Long before the phrase “evidence based” became a buzzword, Child & Family Service (CFS) was providing award-winning evidence-based services. Founded in 1980, the Honolulu Gerontology Program, as it was then known, was incorporated into Child & Family Service in 1985. The following year the program received both the Department of Human Service’s Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Health Promotion and the Administration on Aging’s Project Health Award. In 1999, it received the Best Practice Award from the Health Promotion Institute of the National Council on Aging, and in 2002, CFS developed the No Fear of Falling program.
“The growing aging population and its increased life expectancy challenge service providers to develop and implement effective programs,” says Howard Garval, MSW, President and CEO of Child & Family Service. “We are proud of the evidence-based approaches we are using with seniors in our gerontology program.”
The CFS Gerontology Program offers Hawai‘i’s kupuna five national evidence-based programs:
- The Wellness Services offers two forms of exercise tailored for seniors of different abilities. The Health Maintenance Program utilizes the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program for seniors who have more limited movement, so that they can exercise comfortably yet make progress and even graduate to the next level of exercise. No Fear of Falling utilizes the EnhanceFitness® Program. Each class is followed by a half hour of education and socialization. Classes are held across O‘ahu in nine locations.
- The Chronic Disease Self Management Program addresses the chronic health conditions many of our seniors face. This six-week class helps seniors learn how to manage chronic illnesses. The program, developed by Stanford University, has proven to reduce the number of hospitalizations and doctor visits, which can lead to medical cost savings. Individuals who participate in these groups feel more empowered to take charge of their lives. Classes are now being formed across O‘ahu.
- The Case Management Services focus on seniors’ needs through Senior Case Management, and the REACH Program centers on seniors at risk for abuse. The national program Healthy IDEAS (Identifying Depression, Empowering Activities for Seniors) helps seniors overcome the effects of depression, a problem often noted in these groups.
- The Caregiver Support Program encompasses ‘Ohana Care, Caregiver Respite, and Chore Service; together they cover case management, the Healthy IDEAS program and caregiver training. We have also brought the national program Powerful Tools for Caregivers to the Islands. It focuses on overwhelmed caregivers who do not take care of themselves. Classes will be scheduled across O‘ahu four times in the next 12 months.
CFS Gerontology Programs are funded primarily through funds from the City and County of Honolulu, . The services are free to individuals 60 and over, or to their unpaid family caregivers. For more information, please call 543-8468 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.