SAN DIEGO–According to the CDC’s California Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 65 percent of Californians ages 65 and older have at least two chronic conditions.
In 2015, 24 percent of Californians age 65 and older were diagnosed with diabetes. A recent San Diego County Senior Health Report showed that 56 percent of older adults living in the County were overweight or obese, a risk factor for chronic diseases that include diabetes, cancer, arthritis, high blood pressure and heart disease.
To help combat this epidemic, San Diego Oasis and Anthem Blue Cross Foundation are offering a series of free classes to help older adults adopt healthy nutrition and fitness habits.
“Oasis has been delivering programs that promote healthy living for older adults for more than 35 years,” said Paul Weiss, president of The Oasis Institute. “Since 2015, nearly 1,500 people have participated in Healthy Habits for Adults classes across the San Diego area. We are pleased to be able to once again offer these free classes thanks to the support of Anthem Blue Cross Foundation.”
Healthy Habits for Adults is a series of weekly, one-hour, interactive classes on topics that range from low-impact exercise to making healthy food choices. Classes are held at convenient community locations including libraries, hospitals, places of worship and senior centers. One of the things that makes Oasis Healthy Habits unique is that classes are led by peer volunteers who understand the unique nutrition and exercise challenges older adults face.
“For many chronic diseases, what you eat is very important for preventing or managing the disease,” said Sue Picus, Registered Dietitian and Oasis Healthy Habits peer leader volunteer. “But what’s in the grocery store is very different today from 30 years ago. Some of the biggest challenges people have are navigating all the choices available and figuring out how to eat healthy on a budget.”
Anthem Foundation has provided $267,000 in funding to the Oasis Institute to offer Healthy Habits for Adults in six cities in 2018. Since 2008, Anthem has provided more than $8 million to support Oasis health programs.
To register for classes or volunteer to lead a class, contact Judi Bonilla at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the program, visit the San Diego Oasis Healthy Habits website.