Workshops to tackle senior health risks

By Dawn Aerts

Iron County Today

While DaCota Terry, Retired and Senior Volunteer Programs (RSVP) director, knows that most elderly people visit a doctor once or twice a year, there is much that can be gained, at home, through one’s personal goal to be physically fit and to… live well.

Terry is part of a growing statewide effort and health care trend to offer expanded ‘preventive health care’ programs that will tackle everything from coping with arthritis, or diabetes self-management, to group classes in wellness exercise and walking to achieve better fitness results.

The Five County Association of Government (Aging Programs) will offer a series of winter and spring workshops, programs and self-help options geared to all ages and stages of physical condition or activity level.

“There will be workshops focused on arthritis, chronic disease and chronic pain management, which were developed through Stanford University-based studies,” she said.

The workshops are geared to caregivers or those who want to take a proactive approach to their own health-related issues.

“We can all learn better ways to cope with health conditions and improve our well-being,” Terry said.  “There are better ways to communicate with a doctor and then, to access the resources that both caregivers and our aging population will need.”

According to Terry, RSVP workshops and programs encourage people to take an active role in preventive health.

“There are many things a person can do to improve their well-being – Sometimes, that is getting involved in basic exercise, walking, or balance work,” she said.  Others may need the encouragement of being with a group, or connecting with others who are experiencing a similar health condition.

Some of the workshops will focus on coping with existing conditions.

The Arthritis Foundation will begin their exercise program in January at the Cedar City Senior Center and a free-six-week workshop focused on Diabetes Self-Management will be held Wednesdays, beginning February 14. Terry is also recruiting RSVP volunteers to help with one-to-one outreach or to lead workshops in the Five County area.

“The volunteer goal is to help others ‘age in place,’ learn about healthier life-styles and to manage (their own) health at home,” said Terry.  “We hope to recruit up to 75 volunteers, (ages 55 years or older), to help with instruction needs for ongoing preventive health workshops.

Those RSVP volunteers will instruct Arthritis Exercise classes, as well as chronic disease, chronic pain, or diabetes self-management workshops.  There will also be volunteers needed to instruct six-week ‘stepping on’ walking programs and exercise classes that focus on balance, strength training and just staying well.”

Terry says that good health is often a combination of good health principles that include healthy eating, exercise, (sitting or standing) improving strength, camaraderie, building stamina, confidence and healthy routines.  “All of these workshops will help us make better life-style choices, and of course, to say, ‘Yes to good health.”

To volunteer with any of the RSVP workshops, (volunteers must be 55 years or older), contact DaCota Terry, 435-673-3548 or email


Caption:  DaCota Terry, Director, Retired and Senior Volunteer Programs, (RSVP) is introducing a series of free preventive health workshops for all ages.



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