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Nina Keller: AAA7 offering Wellness Wednesday

A weekly livestream focusing on wellness opportunities through the Area Agency on Aging District 7 (AAA7) is available each Wednesday on the AAA7 Facebook page. “Wellness Wednesdays” is featured each week at 10 a.m. with a new wellness topic for discussion during the broadcast.

As routines have changed through the pandemic, so too have the wellness programs offered through the AAA7.

The agency offers a number of valuable and helpful programs designed to help individuals with their chronic conditions and other health concerns. Prior to the pandemic, the AAA7 would have these classes in person, but have moved them now to telephone classes.

Through “Wellness Wednesdays,” the agency is able to expand the reach to share information about the valuable programs available to help with chronic disease self-management, diabetes self-management, chronic pain self-management, falls management and caregiver support.

The goal is to increase knowledge about these programs and help more and more people learn to live with their chronic conditions and/or embrace helpful tips that can help individuals live healthier.

Recently, the topic of sleep was included as a discussion point during the livestream.

Sleep is a basic need just like food and water. If you don’t get enough sleep night after night, your quality of life and mood may suffer.

As we age, it takes longer to fall asleep and we have trouble staying asleep.

Shared during the livestream were some helpful hints on how to get a good night’s sleep. Some included:
• Make sure you have a comfortable bed with a quality mattress that supports the spine.
• To support comfort, try using some small pillows to help relieve pain and discomfort.
• Raise the head of the bed four to six inches to make breathing easier.
• Keep the room at a comfortable temperature.
• Use a vaporizer.

Some tips of what to avoid before bedtime to support a good night’s sleep include:
• Avoid eating as digesting food takes time and energy.
• Avoid caffeine late in the day.
• Avoid sleeping pills.
• Avoid using your phone, table or TV about an hour before you go to bed. The light from these devices can disrupt the natural sleep rhythms.

Maintaining a regular rest and sleep schedule can help you create a routine to support better sleep.

If techniques on your own do not help, it is a good idea to speak with your healthcare provider about having a sleep test performed.

Sleep is a topic that is discussed as a part of wellness classes at the AAA7 including Chronic Disease Self-Management, Diabetes Self-Management and Chronic Pain Self-Management. Currently, these classes are being conducted over the telephone. If interested in participating in an upcoming class, call the AAA7 at 1-800-582-7277 or e-mail info@aaa7.org.

If you missed any of the “Wellness Wednesday” episodes, you can see a recorded version on the AAA7’s Facebook page or on the AAA7’s website at www.aaa7.org.

Your local Area Agency on Aging District 7 provides services on a non-discriminatory basis. These services are available to help older adults and those with disabilities live safely and independently in their own homes through services paid for by Medicare, Medicaid, other federal and state resources, as well as private pay.

The AAA7’s Resource Center is also available to anyone in the community looking for information or assistance with long-term care options. Available 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Monday–Friday, the resource center is a valuable contact for learning more about options and what programs and services are available for assistance.

Those interested in learning more can call toll-free at 1-800-582-7277 (TTY: 711). Here, individuals can speak directly with a specially-trained resource specialist who will assist them with information surrounding the programs and services that are available to best serve their needs.

The agency also offers an assessment at no cost for those who are interested in learning more. Information is also available on www.aaa7.org, or the agency can be contacted through e-mail at info@aaa7.org.

The Agency also has a Facebook page located at www.facebook.com/ AreaAgencyOnAging District7.

Nina R. Keller is the executive director of the Area Agency on Aging District 7.