Evidence-based Programs in Massachusetts

Hebrew SeniorLife's Department of Medicine is committed to promoting healthy aging initiatives in our community and across the Commonwealth. Through the development, testing and implementation of evidence-based programs, HSL seeks to empower older adults to become more active partners in managing their own health care. Over the past five years, HSL has trained more than 200 leaders at 60 community organizations in evidence-based healthy aging initiatives. These interventions take a comprehensive approach to keeping seniors vibrant and healthy in the community by addressing a full spectrum of health-related concerns in older adults.

Healthy Eating for Successful Living in Older Adults

  • For seniors who want to learn more about nutrition and how lifestyle changes can promote better health.
  • Goal setting, problem solving, group support, nutrition education, and self-assessment and management of dietary patterns.
  • Based on USDA MyPyramid.
  • Taught by trained peer leaders with support of a nutritionist or registered dietitian.
  • Six consecutive 2 ½-hour sessions followed by a Healthy Eating restaurant outing one month after the sixth session.

A Matter of Balance

  • Goals include reducing fear of falling, stopping the fear-of-falling cycle, and increasing activity among community-dwelling seniors.
  • Promoting a view of falls and fear of falling as controllable.
  • Setting realistic goals for increasing activity.
  • Changing the environment to reduce fall risk factors.
  • Promoting exercise to increase strength and balance.
  • Eight sessions, meeting once or twice weekly for two hours per session.

Chronic Disease Self-Management Program

  • For adults experiencing chronic health conditions such as hypertension, arthritis, heart disease, stroke, lung disease and diabetes
  • Information and practical skills on managing chronic health programs.
  • Confidence and motivation to manage challenges of living with a chronic health condition.
  • Six sessions, meeting weekly for 2 ½ hours per session.

Diabetes Self-Management Program

  • Techniques to deal with symptoms of diabetes: fatigue, pain, hyper/hypoglycemia, stress and emotional problems (anger, fear and frustration).
  • Appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength and endurance.
  • Healthy eating.
  • Appropriate use of medication.
  • Working more effectively with health-care providers.
  • Six sessions, meeting weekly for 2 ½ hours per session.

Fit For Your Life

  • Safe, effective exercise program for frail elders.
  • Strength, endurance, balance and flexibility training.
  • Large or small classes - from 4 to 40 participants.
  • Research-based program developed by Hebrew SeniorLife.

The Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program

  • Community-based recreational exercise program.
  • Range-of-motion and endurance-building exercises.
  • Relaxation techniques. •Education topics.
  • Benefits include improved functional ability, decreased depression, and increased confidence.
  • Classes meet two or three times per week.


Hebrew SeniorLife offers evidence-based programs in more than 60 Massachusetts communities.


Jennifer Raymond
Director of Evidence-based Programs
Hebrew SeniorLife
1200 Centre Street
Boston, MA 02131