Collaborative Efforts with the Aging in St. Johns County
Throughout St. Johns County there are five community Council on Aging (COA) centers for seniors that are looking to stay involved with their community, meet peers and maintain an active lifestyle. These “Senior Centers” have extraordinary individuals that many are self-sufficient and maintain their motivation to inspire both myself and Mackenzie “Mick” DeBoer, COA Wellness Coordinator. Their positive attitude and motivation inspires Mick to establish new wellness programing and improve upon current ones. Both the St. Johns County Council on Aging and UF IFAS Extension at St. Johns County are collaborating on teaching COA participants health and wellness topics including food safety, physical exercise, nutrient guidelines and benefits of consuming local agricultural products.
COA makes sure the participants have the opportunity to participate in exercise at least 30 minutes every day. The program helps seniors reach the goal set forth by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention of 150 minutes per week at a moderate intensity. This amount of exercise could also be translated into 75 minutes of vigorous exercise; these guidelines also state that for the exercise to count towards the goal it needs to be for more than ten continuous minutes including increasing strength, balance, flexibility and endurance exercise. Both COA and UF/IFAS Extension have collaborated on teaching programs to enhance an all-round well-being at participating sites.