Appalachian State Introduces New Aging Well Program

Carrie Crayner was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2019. Although she believes that she will not succumb to Parkinson’s, but to some other cause, her goal is to delay the disease’s progression for as long as possible. Currently, she is undergoing an assessment at Appalachian State University’s Aging Well support program, where she hopes to receive assistance following an injury she sustained to her back.

The Aging Well support program at Appalachian State University has received funding from Blue Cross Blue Shield NC to facilitate its operations. The primary goal of the program is to help individuals understand how their bodies are aging and adapt to this process. Lizzie Muscarello, the clinic’s program manager, emphasized the importance of understanding and adapting to the aging process.

Muscarello, who previously coached gymnastics, believes that assessing gait and balance is crucial for individuals of all ages. The program is open to anyone aged 55 and up, aiming to establish a baseline for individuals to measure changes in their health year over year. Participants often discover issues like imbalanced gait or low grip strength for their age group, which they were previously unaware of.

“Aging stinks, and truly I think the goal is to make aging easier and to make it better. We see a lot of issues as we age,” Muscarello noted. Through the program, participants are able to gain insights into their physical capabilities and identify areas where improvement may be needed. This information can then be used to refer individuals to appropriate professionals for assistance in improving their overall well-being.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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