Wellness Initiative for Senior Education (WISE)
The WISE Program is a wellness and prevention program targeting older adults, which is designed to help them celebrate healthy aging, make healthy lifestyle choices and avoid substance abuse. It provides valuable educational services to older adults on topics including medication misuse and management, stress management, depression, and substance abuse. Created by NJPN and implemented locally by prevention agencies across the country, WISE promotes health through education concerning high-risk behaviors in older adults. Since the program was launched in 1996, prevention programs presented by WISE facilitators have reached over 40,000 individuals.
The WISE Program was awarded a 2009 National Exemplary Award for Innovative Substance Abuse Prevention Programs, Practices, and Policies by The National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD). The curriculum is listed on SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) and the Administration for Community Living’s Aging and Disability Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (ADEPP).
The six-lesson curriculum is facilitated by trained prevention specialists once per week over a six-week period. Each lesson is about two hours in length and is generally offered with breakfast or lunch. The content is organized in a manner to promote the understanding and value of generational diversity in a format that excites and energizes participants to share what they have learned with family, friends, and peers. During the lessons, participants are educated without the use of didactic teaching, but rather through interactive exercises that include small group discussion and projects, as this method of learning has been shown to be more effective with adult learners. They are also given tools and resources to take home, increasing the likelihood that what they have learned will be put into practice and shared.
WISE Overview: The Six Lessons
Overview of Evaluation Results
WISE Information on NREPP: Intervention Summary
WISE Information on ADEPP: Intervention Summary
NJPN has trained staff from organizations in several states outside of New Jersey, most recently in Nevada, Kentucky, Ohio, and New York. Contact us to learn more about how you can bring the WISE Program to your community.
For more information, call NJPN at 732-367-0611 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What our trained facilitators say about the program:
Seniors can’t get enough of the program. They have fun while learning how to improve their health, and it’s exciting to hear the behavior changes they have made by the end of the program. It really is making an impact in our community.
We began implementing WISE in Ohio in April 2014. I never could have imagined its success. Our participants report increases in learning and having a great time while doing it. Our program primarily focuses on senior centers and senior living facilities. Most sites who have hosted WISE have asked us to come back to facilitate again. One surprise is the benefit to the senior centers. WISE brings people to the centers who may not have ordinarily gone there previously. Senior centers are also noticing more people participating in other classes and activities after participating in WISE.
If you’re looking for a great program for seniors, this is it. WISE is easy to implement, and it truly has an impact on the seniors. They walk away with information, tools, and resources…and sometimes a new attitude about aging.