BROOKINGS — SDSU Extension recently received two 2019 Administration for Community Living Grants, to fund two unique programs focused on preventing falls and chronic disease self-management.
“By listening to the needs of South Dakotans and the communities who serve them, our team understands how we can implement research-based and proven programming to address their needs and benefit citizens across the state,” said Suzanne Stluka, SDSU Extension Food & Families Program Director.
Falling is not part of aging
SDSU Extension will use funds received from the 2019 Administration for Community Living (ACL) Fall Prevention Grant to support Fit & Strong, a program with a proven track-record of reducing falls among participants.
“Falling is not a normal part of aging,” said Leacey E. Brown, SDSU Extension Gerontology Field Specialist. However, Brown explained that even though factors which increase fall risk are well known and intervention strategies are well documented, despite this knowledge, South Dakota is ranked fifth in the nation for death from falls between 2007 and 2016.
Fit & Strong! teaches individuals with osteoarthritis, which is degeneration of joint cartilage and the underlying bone, how to exercise safely. “South Dakotans with osteoarthritis are at risk for falling because the pain they feel often discourages them from being active,” Brown explained. “When this happens, the body becomes weaker. A weak body is more likely to fall. If we can keep people strong and moving, their chance of falling goes down. This is a benefit to families and communities across the state.”
The 2019 Administration for Community Living (ACL) Fall Prevention Grant will allow SDSU Extension staff to train individuals to lead the Fit & Strong! classes and support partners as they implement the program.
SDSU Extension will work in collaboration with NDSU Extension to implement and manage the program.
“This collaboration will streamline activities associated with evidence-based programs maintenance to utilize scarce resources more efficiently and reduce the duplication of efforts,” Brown said.
Recruitment and training of class leaders begins soon. If you would like to learn more about becoming involved in the project, please contact Leacey Brown in the Rapid City Regional Center at 605-394-1722 or Leacey.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Empowering those living with chronic diseases
Living with a chronic disease — like diabetes, depression, Parkinson’s disease or arthritis can be lonely, confusing and, if not managed correctly, debilitating. And chronic conditions impact health care costs — 95 percent of health care costs for older Americans can be attributed to chronic diseases.
There is hope.
Supported by the South Dakota Department of Health, and South Dakota Department of Human Services, SDSU Extension, along with numerous community and state-wide partners, provides a suite of evidence-based chronic disease self-management education programs called Better Choices, Better Health® South Dakota (BCBH).
“Programs like Better Choices, Better Health can help mitigate the burden of chronic conditions by empowering participants to better manage their health,” explained Lori Oster, SDSU Extension Better Choices, Better Health SD Program Coordinator.
SDSU Extension will utilize funds from a 2019 Administration for Community Living Chronic Disease Self-Management Education Program Sustainability Grant Award to help fund the BCBH program, which has been helping South Dakotans since 2014.
One in three South Dakotans suffer from chronic disease, and chronic disease is among the top five causes of death in our state. While chronic diagnoses are rarely cured, research suggests if individuals learn to better manage and cope with their chronic disease, their quality of life — and potentially their longevity — may be improved.
“With statewide collaboration, we can provide the BCBH programs to help South Dakotans better manage their chronic conditions and learn ways to inspire positive health behavior and lifestyle changes to live healthier, happier lives,” explained Stluka, who also serves as BCBH program administrator.
Modeled after the Stanford University developed evidence-based chronic disease self-management program and licensed through the Self-Management Resource Center, BCBH offers a suite of community-based education programs, specifically designed for adults and their caregivers to enhance their self-management of chronic illnesses and are proven to maintain or improve their health outcomes.
“Receiving these grant funds will help the BCBH program continue to grow and become a sustainable resource that results in reductions of healthcare expenditures and more appropriate utilization of healthcare resources,” Oster said. “As anyone familiar with chronic disease understands, it is a lifelong condition. We hear of a chronic pain crisis in the United States; more than 50 percent of all adults experienced pain in the previous three months. This grant will help to propel the development, awareness, and availability of the Chronic Pain Self-Management program in South Dakota as an appropriate referral resource for those dealing with debilitating pain conditions.”
Since its start in September 2014, BCBH has offered more than 150 workshops in 30 different South Dakota communities where more than 1,500 adults were trained in strategies to help them manage their chronic conditions. BCBH has trained more than 100 volunteers, professionals and community members as BCBH Leaders to use a scripted curriculum and co-facilitate workshops that bring adults dealing with a variety of chronic conditions together into a workshop setting once a week for six weeks. Workshops and trainings are offered across the state.
“Through the program, participants gain self-confidence and learn lifestyle skills, such as eating a balanced diet, engaging in regular exercise and learning how to manage difficult emotions, that will help them better manage their chronic conditions. They are encouraged to be an advocate for their own health and get hands on practice with self-management skills, like problem solving and action planning, that empower them to take charge and be responsible for improving their quality of life,” said Megan Jacobson, SDSU Extension BCBH program associate and Nutrition Field Specialist.