Why You Should Care About Evidence-Based Programs

It sounds like jargon, but Evidence-Based Programs (EBPS) are simply classes that have been proven to have positive effects. Not only are the programs developed using solid research, they also have been tested and shown to be effective. That’s the evidence part.

EBPs are used for many people – often youth and older adults – from different socioeconomic levels, cultures, and geographic locations. The National Council on Aging leads EBPs for older adults. These programs have been proven to provide benefits to health and overall functioning. Participants learn to prevent falls, reduce pain and disability, improve mental health, incorporate healthy behaviors into daily life, and manage or ward off chronic conditions like high-blood pressure and diabetes.

Active Living Every Day (ALED) is an EBP that was offered for the first time in Maple Grove this summer. Instead of focusing on exercise, the class helps participants identify ways to incorporate physical activity into their daily routines. With the instructor’s guidance, each participant develops his or her own personal plan.

“This class provides a great deal of motivation with the bonus of being very social,” said one participant. Another noted that, “We can be healthier now in our later years than we were in our work life. You need to start somewhere, this helps you start now!”

The City of Maple Grove regularly offers several Evidence-Based Programs, often in partnership with Maple Grove Hospital. (Additional EBP opportunities in the area can be found at www.yourjuniper.org.) They are an affordable and convenient way to learn practical skills and information and connect with others in the community.

The City is offers the following EBP classes. Register through Parks and Rec. Some classes are on Zoom, and watch for all the classes and programs to resume as COVID restrictions allow. 

Stepping On: Building Confidence, Reducing Falls 
Stepping On is a 7-week workshop where you will learn exercises and strategies to help prevent you from falling. The Stepping On program has been researched and proven to reduce falls in older people. Taught by health professionals and local guest experts providing information on exercise, vision, safety and medications. Topics include: simple and fun balance and strength training, the role vision plays in keeping your balance, how medications can contribute to falls and more. Stepping On is designed specifically for anyone who is 65 or older, has had a fall in the past year, is fearful of falling, lives at home and does not have dementia.

Living Well With Chronic Conditions 
This is a class developed at Stanford University’s Patient Education Research Center and offered around the world. The class has helped participants with ongoing health conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, anxiety, osteoporosis, heart disease and other chronic conditions to find better ways of dealing with pain and fatigue, discover easy exercises to help improve or maintain strength and energy, improve nutrition, understand new treatment choices and feel better about life. The class is taught by two trained peer leaders. New topics are covered each week and provide opportunities for interaction and group problem solving.

Advance Care Planning—Health Care Directives 
Now is the time! Advance care planning helps people explore and document goals and wishes for their future health care, should they ever be unable to express them due to illness or injury. Who would speak for you if you were unable to speak for yourself? A Health Care Directive is a legal document that designates an agent to speak for you and ensure that your wishes are known. There will be an opportunity to fill out your own Health Care Directive and have it notarized. If you already have a Health Care Directive, bring it with you. You're encouraged to bring your Health Care Agent along! Registration free, but required.
One-time class; free.