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Volume XXIX
Winter 2017

Outlook

Aging Mastery Program

The nation's 76 million baby boomers have been given an unprecedented gift of health and time; but to a great extent, older adults do not make the most of this phase of life.

The National Council On Aging created the Aging Mastery ProgramĀ® (AMP) to develop new expectations, norms, and pathways for people aged 50 to 100, to make the most of their gift of longevity.

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AMP helps older adults and boomers build their own playbook for aging well. It is a fun, innovative, and personcentered education program that empowers participants to embrace their gift of longevity by spending more time each day doing things that are good for themselves and for others.

Aging has changed remarkably since the last generation entered into retirement. Yet, traditional retirement plans are disappearing, the cost of daily living continues to rise, and more than 84 percent of people aged 65+ are coping with at least one chronic health condition, often over many years.

The result is that most older adults are unprepared for this new stage of life. Societal expectations for them have changed little since 1950, but they are facing a new reality when it comes to maintaining their health and economic security and contributing to society.

AMP encourages aging mastery — developing sustainable behaviors across many dimensions that lead to improved health, stronger economic security, enhanced wellbeing, and increased societal participation.

The 10 core classes combine a peersupported classroomlike structure with social rewards. The inperson version is held at sites where older adults and baby boomers already gather in their communities, such as senior centers. Digital AMP offers an online version through a selfguided environment.

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"The class offering was actually profound for me. I am 70yearsold and if I'm 'lucky' I may have 10 more 'good' years. The classes offered ways to make the years happier, healthier, and more worry free," said a participant.

Both programs provide a comprehensive approach to aging well — focusing on key aspects of health, finance, relationships, personal growth, and community involvement. AMP uses a proven model of behavior change incentives with a primary emphasis on getting people to take actions to improve their lives.

Preliminary results show that AMP participants significantly increased their physical activity levels, healthy eating habits, use of advanced planning, social connectedness, and participation in evidencebased selfmanagement programs after taking the core curriculum.

To find out more about the program and the core curriculum, visit the Aging Mastery Program at ncoa.org.

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