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Health & Safety Classes
A group of older adults sit in chairs arranged in two rows. They are smiling and lifting their arms above their heads in a group exercise.

The Ohio Department of Aging, through its HEALTHY U Ohio and STEADY U Ohio initiatives, supports evidence-based educational programs to help you and your loved ones live a healthier and safer life. These programs are coordinated in your community by partner organizations dedicated to improving the health and wellness of older Ohioans.

Contact us to learn more about these programs, or call 1-866-243-5678 to be connected to the area agency on aging serving your community. Check our Health & Safety Calendar to find a class starting soon near you.

Health & safety programs

Chronic Disease Self-Management Program

Image shows the HEALTHY U Ohio initiative logo: A large letter U with an orange banner with the word HEALTHY over a dark blue shape of the state of Ohio.HEALTHY U: Chronic Disease is a small group program that helps adults of any age gain confidence in their ability to manage symptoms and understand how their health problems affect their lives.

Individuals participate in an interactive workshop 2 1/2 hours a week for six weeks. Each workshop is facilitated by a pair of leaders, one or both of whom live with a chronic disease themselves. HEALTHY U was developed by researchers at Stanford University, and is effective in improving health outcomes and reducing health care costs.

The Ohio Department of Aging in partnership with the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) encourage participants in the OPERS Retiree Health Care Plan to attend a HEALTHY U workshop. Please let HEALTHY U workshop leaders know if you are an OPERS health plan participant under the age of 65.

Chronic Pain Self-Management Program

Image shows the HEALTHY U Ohio initiative logo: A large letter U with an orange banner with the word HEALTHY over a dark blue shape of the state of Ohio.HEALTHY U: Chronic Pain helps participants who live with back pain, nerve pain, fibromyalgia and other types of chronic pain to improve their confidence in managing their symptoms and daily activities.

Like the other HEALTHY U programs, participants attend a series of workshops where they learn to develop action plans to incorporate changes in their lifestyle, improve nutrition, increase physical activity, and deal more positively with emotional issues associated with their condition.

Diabetes Self-Management Program

Image shows the HEALTHY U Ohio initiative logo: A large letter U with an orange banner with the word HEALTHY over a dark blue shape of the state of Ohio.HEALTHY U: Diabetes builds on the successful structure of HEALTHY U: Chronic Disease, but is tailored specifically for adults living with type 2 diabetes.

Like other HEALTHY U programs, workshops are conducted in a series of six, 2 1/2 hour weekly sessions at locations within your community, by workshop leaders with personal experience dealing with diabetes and diabetes-related conditions.

Diabetes Empowerment Education Program (DEEP)

Image shows the HEALTHY U Ohio initiative logo: A large letter U with an orange banner with the word HEALTHY over a dark blue shape of the state of Ohio.Diabetes Education Empowerment Program (DEEP) was developed by the University of Illinois at Chicago and is an interactive program that provides participants with tools to better manage diabetes.

It is conducted in six weekly two-hour sessions and is based on principles of empowerment and adult education. The primary goal of DEEP is to empower participants in diabetes self-management efficacy.

A Matter of Balance

Image shows the STEADY U Ohio initiative logo: A large letter U with a dark blue banner with the word STEADY over a red shape of the state of Ohio.A Matter of Balance is an award-winning group program that emphasizes practical strategies to reduce the fear of falling and increase activity levels. Participants meet in small groups in community settings once a week for eight weeks. They learn to view falls as controllable, set realistic goals, change their environment to reduce risk factors and exercise to increase strength and balance. Through group discussion, problem-solving activities, assertiveness training, exercise and skill building, participants are empowered to take simple steps to become more active without the fear of falling.

A Matter of Balance is offered through area agencies on aging, senior centers, local aging network providers and health departments.

Tai Chi

Image shows the STEADY U Ohio initiative logo: A large letter U with a dark blue banner with the word STEADY over a red shape of the state of Ohio.Tai Chi is a centuries-old, mind and body practice that involves fluid, whole-body movements that gently challenge and strengthen balance, mental focus, deep breathing and relaxation. It has been proven to improve balance and reduce falls and may have other health benefits as well. Tai Chi is available in many Ohio counties.

Tai Chi has been proven to improve balance and reduce falls. In addition, research suggest that practicing Tai Chi may improve stability in older people and those with Parkinson's, reduce pain from knee osteoarthritis, help people cope with fibromyalgia and back pain, and promote quality of life and mood enhancement in people with heart failure and cancer. It also may offer psychological benefits, such as reducing anxiety.

Our partners at the Ohio Older Adult Falls Prevention Coalition offer a list of local tai chi instructors.