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Empowered to take control of your own health-COSA can help get you there!

The Delaware County Office of Services for the Aging (COSA) is increasing its focus to improve the health and well-being of the county's older adult residents. Their Senior Health and Wellness Initiative offers evidence-based programs to empower older residents to use prevention strategies and evidence-based practices to improve their health and quality of life.

An evidence-based practice is something that has been rigorously evaluated through experimental evaluations such as randomized controlled trials, and has shown to make a positive, statistically significant difference in important outcomes. This means COSA's Health and Wellness Initiative programs are proven to make a difference in the lives of older adults.

For information regarding programs, or to be placed on an email distribution list or mailing list of upcoming program offerings, contact Ellen Williams, COSA Health and Wellness Program Manager, at [email protected]  or by calling 610-499-1937.


Evidence Based Health and Wellness Programs Currently Offered by COSA's Health and Wellness Program

  • A Matter of Balance- Developed at Boston University, A Matter of Balance is a program 2 hours once a week for 8 weeks and is designed to reduce the fear of falling and increase activity levels among older adults. Participants gain confidence by learning to: 1) view falls as controllable; 2) set goals for increasing activity; 3) make changes to reduce fall risk at home; and 4) exercise to increase strength and balance. More information can be found at https://mainehealth.org/healthy-communities/healthy-aging/matter-of-balance.


  • Active Living Every Day- This 12-weekly session behavior change program developed by Human Kinetics helps participants overcome their barriers to physical activity and make positive changes that improve their health and well-being. Participants learn to set goals, overcome barriers, and find activities they enjoy to add physical activity into their daily lives.


  • Chronic Disease Self-Management Program/Diabetes Self-Management Program/Chronic Pain Self-Management Program- Developed at Stanford University, these programs are run in community venues for 6 weekly sessions, one time per week for approximately 2 1/2 hours. They provide individuals with the tools to be a good self-manager of their chronic health problems. More information can be viewed at https://www.selfmanagementresource.com.


  • Healthy Steps for Older Adults- This program is a fall prevention program developed by the PA Department of Aging and is offered in two 2 1/2 hour sessions. It involves information, interactive activities and practice of some easy stretching and strengthening exercises as well as a very simple fall assessment. More information can be found at https://www.ncoa.org/resources/healthy-steps-older-adults-program-summary/


  • Walk with Ease-Arthritis Foundation Walking Program- This Arthritis Foundation program is offered three times per week for one hour for 6-weeks.This program has been proven to reduce the pain of arthritis; increase balance, strength and walking pace; build confidence in your ability to be physically active; and improve your overall health. Information is shared at each session and then the group walks. More information can be found about this program at http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/tools-resources/walk-with-ease/


  • WISE Program (Wellness Initiative for Senior Education)- Developed by the New Jersey Prevention Program, this award-winning program offers six 2-hour sessions offered once a week that cover a wide range of topics such as: the aging process and how to make healthy lifestyle choices; risk factors and behaviors you should avoid to stay healthy; how alcohol, prescription medications and over-the-counter medications affect seniors differently and how you can avoid problems; how to use simple tools to help you feel more empowered about your health and the healthcare you receive; and celebrate this exciting stage of life and all the benefits that come with it. More information can be found about this program at http:// www.njpn.org/initiatives/wise/

For more information, contact Ellen Williams at 610-499-1937 or [email protected]

To view a PowerPoint presentation which provides more information about each program, click here.

Revised 9/28/20

County senior testifies at Senate hearing on the impact of falls prevention programs

Ellen Williams, Health and Wellness Program Manager of the County of Delaware Services for the Aging (COSA), and hearing witness, Virginia Demby, of Chester, PA post with Senator Bob Casey in hearing room.


During a recent hearing, the Aging Committee released a recent report outlining the health and economic impact of falls. Virginia Demby, an 84 year-old retired nurse from Chester, explained how she is working to help spread the word about falls prevention classes. Ms. Demby is not only a participant in these classes, she is working to spread the word on the benefits of these classes and the impact they have had on her life.