HealthEASE was created in New Jersey to coordinate and expand health promotion and disease prevention services for older adults at the local level, with the goal of promoting, supporting and sustaining older adults in living healthier, more independent lives. HealthEASE targets older adults at all levels of the health spectrum, from those experiencing no health issues to those with multiple chronic diseases and physical limitations.

Through a three-year grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the HealthEASE model was developed and piloted in two counties: Bergen and Ocean. Following a full year of program development, HealthEASE was implemented and evaluated in the pilot counties for two years. The evaluation demonstrated positive outcomes in the following areas:

  • Expanded role of the Area Agency on Aging in health promotion
  • Expanded service delivery
  • Improved partnerships among provider agencies
  • Enhanced information and referral for health promotion
  • Health and social engagement benefits for program participants
  • Participant commitment to make healthier lifestyle choices

Based on these positive program outcomes, regional training programs were held, first in 2006 and 2007 and periodically since, to expand the physical activity and health education components statewide.

The education series includes important information on eight health promotion topics including nutrition, physical activity, heart disease, memory improvement, osteoporosis, fall prevention, women's health, and safe use of medications. The modules can be delivered as separate educational programs or as a series of workshops. The goal of each module is to provide education to promote patient empowerment leading to a healthier lifestyle. Each module includes specific actions that can be taken to improve health as related to the session topic. Each session is approximately one and a half hours in length.

The Health Education modules are "turn-key" in that each includes all of the materials needed to conduct the educational session. The manuals are provided in hard copy and on disk. The sessions are designed to be delivered by health or aging professionals with experience in health education. Individuals who complete a half-day orientation program can teach the HealthEASE Health Education program. There are 242 trained facilitators providing this program in 20 counties.

The eight modules are titled:

  • Exercise and Getting Fit
  • Serving Up Good Nutrition
  • Bone Up On Your Health (osteoporosis awareness)
  • Be Wise About Your Medications (medication management/substance abuse)
  • Keeping Up The Beat(self management techniques for cardiovascular disease)
  • Maximizing Memory (maintaining memory/cognitive skills)
  • Standing Tall Against Falls (fall prevention)
  • Women's Health: The Big Three

Impact: Participants in the health education program demonstrated greater knowledge of the session topic and an increased likelihood of taking positive action steps to improve their health in this area. These positive outcomes were evident for those seniors who attended individual sessions, as well as those who attended the complete education series.

Call 609-438-4797 for more information about the HealthEASE program, upcoming classes, and leader training sessions.

The Blueprint for Healthy Aging in New Jersey is designed to help you and your community take steps to help older adults stay healthy and active by providing:

  • County-level demographics on older adults and their health status; 
  • Information on the benefits of healthy behaviors that can improve the quality of life for seniors,
  • Public policy recommendations and strategies for containing health care costs; and
  • Examples of cost-effective New Jersey-based model programs that can be implemented locally to support older adults in pursuing healthy behaviors.

Community service providers often find it difficult to prove that their health promotion programs are efficient or effective, or make tangible, positive differences in the lives of their clients.

A variety of federal agencies and private foundations are coordinating efforts to support the implementation of evidence-based prevention programs at the community level through aging services provider organizations, such as senior centers, nutrition programs and senior housing projects.

Evidence-based programs are proven to be effective in reducing the risk of disease, disability and injury. By implementing interventions that have proven to be effective in reducing the risk of disease, disability and injury among the elderly, State and local programs will be able to improve the health status of this vulnerable population.

Evidence based programs are interventions based on evidence that is generated by scientific studies published in peer-reviewed journals.

Resources on How to Use Evidence Based Programs: