Recent AMP Class Graduates 2018
Graduates from a recent AMP class at Heritage Commons show off their certificates of completion.

CareWell Services Southwest, the Area Agency on Aging covering Calhoun and Barry counties, has completed another Aging Mastery Program® (AMP) in Marshall at the Heritage Commons Senior Enrichment Center with the generous support of the Marshall Community Foundation, Oaklawn Hospital, and the Michigan Health Endowment Fund.

Sadly, many people stride into their retirement adventure with little instruction or preparation. Navigating unknowns such as Medicare, changing health, and finances can be difficult as most older adults live several decades past the traditional retirement age of 65. This gift of longevity presents enormous opportunities, but also presents several critical challenges. Longevity alone does not guarantee aging well, and circumstances can change from year to year.  Without intentional planning for how they will live their lives as they age, people often find themselves searching for a new purpose and passion while grappling with changing health, financial, or social circumstances.

Fortunately, a road map for mastering the elements of aging well is available. AMP, created by the National Council on Aging, is a nationally recognized, evidence-based curriculum for aging well. The course has a special emphasis on the new realities of aging, making the most of the gift of longevity, and taking small steps to improve health, financial well-being, social connectedness and overall quality of life.  

“For those nearing retirement, newly retired, or even those who have been retired for decades, AMP can help you navigate unfamiliar landmarks as you tackle your retirement adventure, said Jim Pardoe, a local Marshall resident who served as class facilitator and is a Marshall Community Foundation Board Member.

The goal of this program is to empower older adults to make and maintain small but impactful changes. The classes explore how best to navigate longer lives, by improving physical activity, sleep, healthy eating and hydration, financial fitness, medication management, advanced planning, healthy relationships, preventing falls, and community engagement, and more. For each of these classes, participants received educational materials developed from highly trusted sources, plus a checklist of potential next steps.  

“With generous support by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund and our local Marshall partners, we have been able to offer the Aging Mastery Program to those Marshall residents who may not have been able to obtain this fundamental knowledge about aging,” said Karla Fales, CEO of CareWell Services, “We are continually looking to develop pathways for program sustainability by working with local employers, funders, health systems and others to make sure we reach more people in the Marshall community with this important information.”

The next available AMP lunch and learn classes are as follows:

  • Aspirations/Bucket List on February 6, 2019  
  • Rightsizing Your Life on February 20, 2019

$5.00 will be charged to cover lunch, while materials will be provided for free. Both classes are being held from 12:00pm–1:30pm at the Heritage Commons Senior Enrichment Center, 13444 Preston Drive, Marshall.  Please call (269) 558-6150 for more information or to register.

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