College of Nursing recognized for community outreach in the Brazos Valley

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College of Nursing recognized for partnership with Texas A&M Evidence-Based Program Resource Center and community assistance of the elderly

The Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) College of Nursing and Assistant Professor Wanda Seaback, RN, MS, were recently recognized for their work and partnership with the Texas A&M Evidence-Based Programs Partners.

Seaback and the College of Nursing were specifically recognized for the implementation of community programs to promote healthy aging and prevent falls in the Brazos Valley. This semester, nursing students led community education courses in Navasota, Caldwell and Bryan communities.

The Texas A&M Program on Healthy Aging has partnered with the Texas A&M School of Public Health and Brazos Valley Council on Government/Area Agency on Aging for many years to implement various evidence-based programs through the nine county Brazos Valley region.

“Our focus is to facilitate change in the community,” said Seaback. “The goal of my efforts and the college’s efforts is to promote healthy aging.”

Seaback explained that nursing students are actively involved in Brazos Valley communities teaching older adult participants about healthy lifestyles, increasing physical activity, maintaining and increasing strength, balance, and fall prevention.

Two specific evidence-based programs have been implemented by Seaback and the College of Nursing. The first is A Matter of Balance, an 8-session course that focuses on adults, age 60 and older, who may have a fear of falling and/or would like to reduce their risk of falls. Participants are actively involved in group discussions and sharing of ideas and experiences in addition to participating in stretching, purposeful movement and low impact exercises. The exercise portion can be adjusted according to the needs and ability of the participant. Participants experience improved muscle strength, flexibility, and sense of balance.  At completion of the program, consistent attendance is recognized with incentives, such as a certificate of completion and/or t-shirt.

The second program, Texercise meets twice each week for 10 weeks. Texercise highlights physical activity, healthy lifestyle changes and improved nutrition. Nursing students help participants realize activity and health benefits without the need for fancy gear, health clubs or payments – just a fun, practical guide to looking and feeling great. Nutrition and fitness logs, pedometers, exercise bands, handbooks, DVD, safety tips, fact sheets and t-shirts are provided free of charge to help encourage participant success.

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