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By Ginger Cruickshank, Evidence-Based Programs Coordinator

Stanley and Ginger during the A Matter of Balance session on Halloween.

I met Stanley when I was teaching WMEC’s A Matter of Balance course, one of our many Healthy Living Programs. Even at 99 years old, Stanley valued an active lifestyle. He would take his beloved 19-year-old dog for walks each day. Yet he wasn’t as stable on his feet as he used to be, and sometimes he was afraid of falling—a mishap that might end his dog walks forever.

In short, Stanley needed more confidence in his mobility, so he signed up for our falls prevention program called A Matter of Balance. When it comes to showing the power of our Healthy Living Programs, there’s no better story than Stanley’s. Despite signing up during a harsh New England winter, he came to every single session. He was an active and vocal participant in each class as he learned better ways to move and trust his body. And he found another surprising benefit: camaraderie. With his lively personality, he made friendships with instructors and fellow participants alike, all of whom became a new support network. These connections were precious, as he was a widower.

The last we talked to Stanley, he was still walking his dog every day—with newfound confidence. Whether you are an older adult or a caregiver, you too can benefit from our free programming. Learn more below.

About WMEC’s Healthy Living Programs

Simply put, our free Healthy Living Programs seek to improve quality of life. That might mean teaching mindful activity or health management skills to older adults. Or, alternatively, connecting caregivers with resources, tools, and peer support so they can more successfully help their loved ones – and help themselves. They are all based on published research from renowned institutions like Stanford University and Maine Health Hospital Center—so we know they work.

Each workshop is directed by two trained and certified teachers who collaborate to meet each attendee’s specific needs and create an individualized learning environment for all. Generally, the workshops instill valuable, immediately applicable skills and work with participants to implement them in their daily lives, leading to greater follow-through and success. By encouraging consumers and caregivers to take active roles in their health, our programs see great follow-through and results. It is incredibly inspiring to see people grow and overcome their challenges.

Offerings for Older Adults

Now held online via Zoom, our Healthy Living Programs are held once or twice per week for 4-8 weeks, usually for 1.5 hours per session. Workshops cover a variety of topics critical to overall health and wellness for older adults and people of all ages with disabilities, including:

Support for Caregivers

Caregivers deserve to be supported in all of their efforts – that’s why we have three programs designed

specifically for issues they face on a daily basis:


Taking Healthy Living Programs Online

Formerly held in person, we have adapted each program to a virtual environment due to COVID-19. Not only does this approach keep participants safe, but webinars also expand our ability to support people in need who are unable to attend in-person meetings.

When switching to online learning, we wanted to ensure that every attendee, regardless of age, skill, or technical knowledge, could attend our lessons confidently. Before the beginning of any Healthy Living Program, we offer a Zero Session to teach people to use their computer and Zoom. We also connect them with our IT professionals who can assist even further. If troubles arise during an event, our teachers can provide one-on-one support, and an IT staff member is available, as well.

Get Involved!

Looking to get involved with a ­WMEC-sponsored healthy living event? The easiest way is to visit our events page and sign up for a program that benefits you or your loved one.

Workshop Leaders Wanted

If you’d like to donate time to a good cause, we’re always looking for more leaders to teach our programs. We provide all of the resources and training needed to get properly certified. New volunteers must teach two classes in their first year, and subsequent years require only one class. Classes are taught with a partner and volunteers have the support of WMEC’s staff and entire community behind them. If you think you’d be a great fit for this or another position, you can email me at or reach out to us through our Contact Page.