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.