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L. Duncan, UF/ IFAS Extension Sumter County, L. Spence, UF/IFAS Extension Marion County, M. Wilchcombe, UF/IFAS Extension Lake County.

Situation: The population in The Villages Florida continues to grow. Following a series of programs called Sharing Wisdom, the tri-county Family Consumer Sciences team had requests for additional topics to be added. Sharing Wisdom included six, one hour classes on topics related to wellness and aging. Participants expressed interest in having more in-depth information to make decisions related to fall prevention, staying in their homes, organizing their homes and untitled property. Due to the trend towards wanting to “declutter,” a three-hour session was offered on organizing and completing needed documents in the home, selecting untitled property to keep as they downsize and how to properly care for items. When participants were introduced to “A Matter of Balance,” a program on fall prevention, many expressed interest and Agents became trained to conduct the program.

Methods: Four, three-hour classes were held throughout the area related to organizing and care of property. Over 200 people participated in these classes. One “Matter of Balance” series was started. An additional Sharing Wisdom series (6 classes) was offered. Self-reporting post program surveys were conducted.

Results: Eighty-five percent of the participants, in all of the programs combined gained new knowledge. In the declutter series, 95% of the participants set written goals to utilize the knowledge gained. Agents continue to collect information regarding the needs of the clientele for future programming and re-evaluate the program.

Conclusion: Feedback from participants is necessary in designing future programs and evaluating current approaches. Input from participants can help Agents adapt to the needs of the clientele and provide them with information and skills to maintain their independence and live a healthy as they age.



  1. This is a hot topic right now, so good to see you are catching the public’s interest and doing it through science!

  2. I appreciate the multi-county partnership to address clientele needs. Well done “sharing wisdom.” 🙂

  3. Nice work, perfect for the target population, I think the series can be apply for all ages too, I am more than sure that Youth can use the knowledge and skills taught in thee series.

  4. These are all very necessary topics to cover, especially with an aging population. Fall prevention is overlooked way too often. However, I know people of all ages that need decluttering lessons! Great job.

    • Thanks Nancy! I’m learning by teaching on some of these (*smile*)

  5. I tend to have more practice adoptions after series classes but also lose participants during the series. Just wondering if it also happened to your series.

    • Yes, there were some who came every week and others who came and went, not a perfect system, but more behavior change.

  6. Is there a plan to survey attendees in the future to see what they have actually implemented after taking the class?

    • Yes. That was the plan but we think we have lost the data with Mia’s departure. Still trying to find some of it.