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


Medical Costs of Falls in Older Adults

A recent research article explored the costly nature of falls, both fatal and nonfatal, in older adults. The researchers determined that roughly $50 billion had been spent on fall-related treatment, with over half of that amount being pulled from both Medicare and Medicaid.

With the cost expected to rise, it is more important than ever to explore preventative measures to ensure health and wellness at every age. Preventative programs like Moving for Better Balance and A Matter of Balance can not only keep people safe, but can also lead to “substantial reduction in healthcare spending”.



Participant Testimonial

Nicole Hiegl, Tai Chi for Arthritis and Better Balance Instructor, received a heartfelt letter from a participant of one of her classes.

Many thanks to Deborah W. for your recognition and praise! We hold your letter in the highest esteem and are pleased that you have found use and peace through our evidence-based programs.

“I don’t think this card is actually big enough to express my thanks and praise both to you and the HCAAA! But I will try to give some specifics.

  1. You are a 5 star instructor for us seniors, perfect for me and others.
  2. You take much care to ensure our safety.
  3. You encourage and instruct in a very kind manner.
  4. Yet, you also gently correct our form when needed.
  5. You are willing and skilled to help us individually adapt. When I/others had specific health issues (me-my hip and lower back last year, which due to you and your leadership has greatly healed, along with my left shoulder!!!)

I can only hope that when I get trained in the Spring that I can help other seniors find better health healing balance, flexibility, strength, and more peaceful mindfulness in their lives, as you have done so well in mine!!!

Gratefully to you and the HCAAA,

Deborah W.”


Employee Testimonial: Melody Hager

My name is Melody Hager, and I have been employed as the Healthy Aging Student Communications Employee since the Fall of 2017. My responsibilities span a variety of tasks, including engaging with participants in our evidence-based programs, gathering interviews and testimonials of their successes, photographing and videoing their progress, and drafting relevant posts for both the Facebook page and website.

However, my job is so much more than that. Through this position, I have seen first hand the determination and drive that lies within all of us to better ourselves.Through the YMCA Moving for Better Balance program, I have seen a participant with Parkinson’s gather the skills necessary to navigate the world with their condition. And I was honored to have met Martha, participant-turned-mentor of the Diabetes Self Management Program, and learned how she went from struggling mentally, to a stronger, better version of herself.

My position at the NC Center for Health and Wellness has given me access to some of Asheville’s finest, strongest people. I have been given the opportunity to meet members of my community and engage with them on a human level. This wasn’t included in the job description, but it has been one of the happiest surprises I have ever experienced.

There are few things as special as being able to meet the people who benefit from the programs for which you advocate. Though my time at the Health and Wellness center is coming to a close at the end of the Spring 2018 semester, the things I have learned and the people I have met will forever be ingrained in me, both in my mind and in my heart. I am more than grateful to the NC Center for Health and Wellness for my experience as the Healthy Aging Student Communications Employee.

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

Nearly 15 million people are caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s and dementia. In honor of them
and their loved ones, HERE is an article that describes 10 ways in which you can help both those with
the disease, and their caregivers.

NC Gov. Roy Cooper Declares Sept. 18-23 “Falls Prevention Awareness Week”

Today is the first day of Falls Prevention Awareness week in North Carolina.  We celebrate the entire week, not just the first day of Fall, Sept. 22, 2017.  Read our Governor’s proclamation for Falls Prevention Awareness Week.  National participation has grown from 11 states to 48 states and the District of Columbia.  More great resources, handouts, videos, marketing and media materials can be found at  NCOA Falls Prevention Awareness Day .


NC DHHS Newsletter – Healthy Aging Summit 2017

The NC Healthy Aging Summit 2017: Integrated Strategies for Community and Clinical Connections gets a write-up in the NC Department of Health and Human Services newsletter!  The article features comments by Christen Linke Young, DHHS Deputy Secretary.

Using Alternative Treatments to Curb Opioid Use

The Living Healthy Chronic Pain Self Management Program (CPSMP) can be considered an alternative method of helping people cope with ongoing pain. Learn more about how Carolinas HealthCare System is trying to curb the amount of opioid medicines patients are introduced to while in the hospital with alternative treatments.