Success Stories - Capital District
In Albany County, almost 67% of adults aged 65 and older are overweight or obese. At the same time, the number of adults who report no leisure time physical activity in Albany County is about 20%. For those aged 65 and older that number jumps to 30%.
Knowing that many seniors of the Westview Senior Center, located in the city of Albany and part of the Albany County Department of Senior Services, wanted to find ways to become or increase their physical activity, director, Lynn Gross, chose the Active Living Every Day (ALED) program as the newest program offering at the center. ALED is an evidence-based 12-week program. Participants attend a weekly 1-hour group meeting and receive the ALED book and handouts to help them complete their work. For an additional fee, they also have access to the ALED on-
line resources that provide supplemental materials and tools that enhance the course, including links to many activity-related topics.
The ALED program gives participants practical and personalized ways to become physically active in everyday life by helping them learn how to:
- Overcome barriers to physical activity
- Set realistic goals
- Build confidence
- Stay motivated
ALED is based on the findings of Project Active; groundbreaking research conducted at the Cooper Institute. Project Active was a two year study comparing the effects of structured exercise with lifestyle physical activity. The study concluded that both interventions provided comparable increases in physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness from baseline over 24 months as well as providing a useful alternative in helping people meet the public health recommendation for physical activity.
Reach and Impact
Every Tuesday morning for 12 weeks from April to February 2015, 11 seniors from the Westview Senior Center, participated in the ALED program and the participants “loved it”. Eledina Malcampo, a class participant spoke for the entire class when she said, ”… (The class) made us realize that there is so much yet to do that will keep us healthy and happy when we get to our golden years, rather than to opt to roll up our sleeves too soon…”.
Participants were recruited for the class through advertisement such as flyers as well as phone calls from Gross resulting in a mixture of both Westview Homes residents and outside community members.
Importance of Impact
As a result of the program’s success, Westview Senior Center has sponsored the evidence-based intervention, Walk With Ease, and is scheduled to offer another ALED series in the Fall 2015.
Westview Senior Center is working with the QTAC-NY, part of the Center for Excellence in Aging and Community Wellness, to offer evidence-based interventions free to seniors that it serves. The QTAC-NY provides the program instructors and the Senior Center recruits program participants and provides the space. A winning combination that is good for all involved, including the most important people of all, the seniors.
Lynn Gross, Congregate Site Director of Westview Senior Center and South Mall Towers
c/o Westview Senior Center
680 Central Ave
Albany, NY 12206
Phone: (518) 482-2120
There is a large prevalence of adults with diabetes in Albany County: 20,700 adults in Albany County (8.7%) diagnosed with diabetes from 2008 to 2009. In order to prevent more adults from developing this chronic disease, the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) has been disseminated and supported by the QTAC-NY for several years.
Recently, the large grocery store chain, ShopRite, piloted the NDPP at the Colonie, NY store to highlight its in-store dietitian program and the availability of healthy food items found throughout the store. Some of these items were used for demonstration throughout the year-long program.
ShopRite’s support of the NDPP was clear from the beginning when the in-store dietitian, Amy Imler, MS, RD, CDN, was permitted to commit some of her work hours to the promotion, recruitment, and facilitation of the program within the newest store in the Albany area.
The National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) is an evidence-based lifestyle change program, recognized by the CDC, created specifically for adults who are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, or who are pre-diabetic. The year-long program helps participants make real lifestyle changes such as eating healthier, including physical activity into their daily lives, and improving problem-solving and coping skills. Participants meet with a trained lifestyle coach and a small group of people who are making lifestyle changes to prevent diabetes. Sessions are weekly for 6 months and then monthly for 6 months. This proven program can help participants make achievable and realistic lifestyle changes and cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent.
Reach and Impact
The pilot program kicked off in May 2014 with 17 people registered. Of those, 10 people attended an average of 91% of the classes losing an average of 16 pounds with 8 ultimately losing the recommended 5-7%, or more, of weight. The program was held on Monday evenings for the working population. Store recruitment included: flyers, in-store broadcast announcements, flyers as bag stuffers, pharmacy inserts, ShopRite Shop at Home flyers, and through one-on-one nutritional counseling. The promotion of the class also gave ShopRite the opportunity to tell people about other services within the store and about the other Living Healthy programs like the Diabetes Self Management Program. All participants were directed to register online through QTAC-NY Compass.
Within the organization, store employees and supervisors became aware that something was happening because they’d see that the community room was booked for the classes or maybe they’d see it full of people. This relayed the message that the Lifestyle Coach and store employee was bringing potential customers into the store. A win-win for all involved.
Importance of Impact
There was a noticeable difference with many of the participants. People in the program reported to their Lifestyle Coaches, Ms. Imler and Ms. Cori Rowe, that they felt better and that the impact of learning about portion sizes and measuring, along with the addition of physical activity into their lives, motivated them and made a difference in the program outcomes like weight loss and increases in physical activity.
The Lifestyle Coaches also noted that participants gained from learning about stress management in the program. One of the coaches made STOP signs on letter-sized cardstock for each participant to have and to focus on when stress was interfering with their lifestyle changes. It is said that people really focused on themselves; sometimes spouses or family members took on the lifestyle changes without attending the program e.g., it was reported that one participant’s husband lost weight following the program without ever attending it himself.
The next NDPP at ShopRite of Colonie will begin September 2015; again, with an early evening start time for people who work during the day. In addition to in-store marketing, recruitment flyers will also be distributed at community health events and through existing community network opportunities within the Capital District.
Amy Imler MS, RD, CDN, Dietitian & In Store Nutrition Expert
ShopRite of Colonie
1730 Central Ave. Albany, NY 12205