An initiative of The N.C. Center for Health & Wellness at UNC Asheville


June is National Safety Month- Stand Up to Falls!

June brings summer to our doorstep, along with National Safety Month. This year’s theme encourages us to “Keep Each Other Safe.” One of the best ways to keep each other safe is to “Stand Up to Falls.”

Adults 65 and older are the most vulnerable for falls and falls are the number one cause of injuries and injury deaths in this age bracket. As 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 each day, more and more of us will have family, friends, and neighbors who age into this high risk pool.

Older adult falls are truly a growing problem. Although many seniors are more active and living longer, more than 1 in 4 report falling. Emergency departments treat over 3 million older Americans for falls each year while direct medical expenses add up to more than $31 billion annually.” Read more at CDC’s National Safety Month blog post !

The Opioid Menace: A nationwide addiction to opioids threatens older Americans

Explore this AARP special report on how addiction to painkillers has been impacting older Americans, from a description of the problem (doctors overprescribing pain pills without realizing the impact), to the epidemic (22,598 deaths in 2015 from prescription opioid overdoses), to ways to take action (questions to ask and how to help an addicted friend):

Americans over 50 are using narcotic pain pills in surprisingly high numbers, and many are becoming addicted. While media attention has focused on younger people buying illegal opioids on the black market, dependence can also start with a legitimate prescription from a doctor: A well-meant treatment for knee surgery or chronic back troubles is often the path to a deadly outcome.

Consider these numbers:

• Almost one-third of all Medicare patients — nearly 12 million people — were prescribed opioid painkillers by their physicians in 2015.

• That same year, 2.7 million Americans over age 50 abused painkillers, meaning they took them for reasons or in amounts beyond what their doctors prescribed.

• The hospitalization rate due to opioid abuse has quintupled for those 65 and older in the past two decades.


Building Better Balance Screener Training YMCA July 24, 2017

The WNC Fall Prevention Coalition is happy to announce a training opportunity for those interested in raising awareness and screening community older adults for fall risk.

Building Better Balance (BBB) offers fall risk screenings in various community locations throughout the year by teams of certified coaches and screeners. BBB is an excellent gateway program to introduce older adults to evidence-based fall prevention programs and other community programs.

The more trained screeners we have the more screenings we can offer – so please consider attending the training and joining our team! BBB Screeners are asked to assist with 1-3 community screening events throughout the year as they are able and training is free.

A BBB Screener Training will be held on Monday, July 24th from 1:00-5:00 pm at the YMCA-Woodfin Branch. A BBB training flyer and general information sheet are attached for more information and training registration information.

Please share this announcement and the attached documents with others who may work with older adults or may be interested in doing so. For more information or questions, please contact Lori Schrodt, PT, PhD at

BBB Screener Training Flyer

Building Better Balance Overview

We hope you can join us!

Library Cards for Homebound or Disabled Patrons

Buncombe County Libraries . . .

. . . now has a policy in place to provide library cards to folks who are unable to physically visit a local branch. Any homebound or disabled person can call any Buncombe County Library, or e-mail and ask to have a card mailed to them.

Buncombe County Libraries does need a copy of an ID to show the person lives in Buncombe County, and this ID can be copied and mailed, or a photo can be taken with a phone and emailed. A friend or family member may also bring a copy of the person’s ID and have a library card made in the library to take back to the homebound or disabled person.

The free library card that is mailed is good for three years and can be used for the library system’s online services, including downloading books, magazines and music from the digital library.

All of the library locations and phone numbers are listed here.

Not a resident of Buncombe County?
Check with your local library to see if this service is available for you!

Time to sing! Using Music To Ease Hearing Loss

Read about this ongoing study organized by Frank Russo, a professor of psychology and director of the Science of Music, Auditory Research and Technology Lab, or SMART Lab, at Ryerson University in Toronto, that is testing out a different intervention for dealing with hearing loss: learning music. Previous research has found that aging musicians fare better than non-musicians when it comes to distinguishing speech from noise, even when their overall hearing is no better than that of non-musicians. He says one way we follow a particular voice is by locking onto its pitch, allowing us to use frequency as an anchor. “When we’re listening to voices and speech, there’s a frequency trail we can follow, but it’s often buried under a din of noise. But if our brains have improved in tracking that anchor, we can better reconstruct the nuance of each speech fragment,” he says. “So that’s the presumed mechanism for why this pitch training is so important.”

Free Falls Screening and Prevention in McDowell County

Community Health And Mobility Partnership, CHAMP, offers for free falls screening and preventions each month at the McDowell County Senior Center. Once a month, the McDowell County Senior Center hosts a group of volunteer physical therapists (PT), PT faculty from NC universities, PTAs, nurses, EMTs, speech therapists, and students in these disciplines to provide free falls screening.

Following the screening, participants are given recommendations to reduce their falls risk, including Otago exercises prescribed by the PTs and PTAs on site that day. Participants return monthly or bi-monthly for check-ups and to progress exercises as needed.

The McDowell County Senior Center website has more information, including how to sign up:

Gabrielle Scronce, PT, DPT                
Phone Number:   (919) 451-1753





CDSME – Dr. Kate Lorig

Check out this article by Dr. Kate Lorig, developer of the Chronic Disease Self Management suite of programs, about the definition of “evidence-based programs”: “The hallmark of evidence-based behavioral interventions is that there is evidence. This means that they have been shown to be effective in one or more trials.  In some cases, the research literature supporting an intervention’s efficacy stretches to 100 or more studies. Nevertheless, every funder and every agency seems intent on measuring outcomes for the specific programs they are supporting.  Somehow, it is expected that the results will be different for “my population” or “my city or state.”  We would never make these demands for a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration.  One might say, “So why not measure outcomes? What can it hurt?” Unfortunately, this is not necessarily true. Several harms may result.”

Healthy Aging NC Resource Center Webinars

Welcome to our Healthy Aging NC Resource Center series of webinars.


Title:  The Healthy Aging NC Website: How to post your workshop and fill out CDSME paperwork
Presenter:  Jeanne Dairaghi, Project Manager, Chronic Disease Self Management Education Resource Center, NC Center for Health & Wellness
Objectives:  a) Explore the website for resources and program information; b) learn how to post your Living Healthy CDSME workshops to the website, c) Review steps for filling out the 3 required CDSME forms   Webinar Script CDSME Paperwork


Title:   Evidence-Based Health Promotion (EBHP) Programming (Title III-D)
Presenter:   Jen Teague, Healthy Aging Specialist, NC Division of Aging and Adults Services:
Objectives:   Learn more about Title III-D funding in NC, examples of evidence-based health promotion (EBHP) programming, benefits of EBHP programming, introduction to the Healthy Aging NC Resource Center, steps on how to implement EBHP programming, requirements following a completed workshop, and plans for the future.  DAAS PowerPoint


Title:   Introduction to the “Living Healthy” Chronic Disease Self Management Component of the Healthy Aging NC Resource Center
Presenter:   Jeanne Dairaghi, Project Manager, Chronic Disease Self Management Program of the NC Center for Health and Wellness
Objectives:   Learn more about the Healthy Aging NC Resource Center of the NC Center for Health and Wellness, the Living Healthy Chronic Disease Self Management Education component, and the services and resources of the Healthy Aging NC Resource Center as they relate to chronic disease and healthy aging.  CDSME PowerPoint

Title: Healthy Aging: A Resource Center for North Carolina Evidence-Based Programs
Presenter: Nicolle Miller, Director of State and Community Collaboration
Objectives: An overview of our work, the programs we support, and our website.