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March 2, 2021 - 5:37pm

Are you 55 or older? Genesee OFA's Aging in Mastery Program could be just what you're looking for

While they won’t receive a “master’s degree in Aging,” the men and women who complete the Aging in Mastery Program through the Genesee County Office for the Aging will walk away with knowledge of the behaviors that promote healthy living and a greater sense of well-being.

That’s the word from Jill Yasses, aging services specialist at the OFA, which is conducting – in conjunction with the National Council on Aging Inc. -- virtual and, hopefully soon, in-person classes for adults 55 and older.

“The goal of the Aging in Mastery Program is for participants to lead a healthy and happy life by focusing on key aspects of health, finances, relationships, personal growth and community engagement,” Yasses said.

The 10-class core curriculum covers a different topic in each session, she said.

Topics are Navigating Longer Lives, Healthy Relationships, Exercise and You, Sleep, Healthy Eating and Hydration, Financial Fitness, Medication Management, Advance Planning, Falls Prevention, and Community Engagement.

“Most of the classes include a guest speaker who is familiar with the topic being discussed,” Yasses said. “This program is interactive so the participants are very involved in the conversations, and there is no charge for the program.”

On Monday, the Genesee County Legislature Human Services Committee voted in favor of the OFA contracting with the Population Health Collaborative in Buffalo to deliver $4,000 in grant funding for the program.

Genesee County OFA Director Diana Fox reported that all expenses will be paid through this service agreement extension at no cost to the county.

Yasses said a virtual class just finished and another one is being set up.

“This class is normally offered in person but due to COVID we did a pilot program to see how a virtual program would be,” she said, adding that she already has started a list for those interested in taking the next class (date to be determined).

She said the goal is to offer an in-person class once COVID-19 is under control, but a third virtual class is a possibility.

“The virtual class is very beneficial to those who have difficulty leaving the home due to lack of transportation, a disability or even a caregiver who cannot leave their loved one alone,” she explained.

Class size is usually 10 to 15 people, but could be increased depending upon the interest level, Yasses said.

For more information or to sign up for a class, call her at (585) 343-1611. Click here to access the ADP website.

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