Washington State Aging Mastery Program
The Aging Mastery Program is a series of classes to support aging well, creating community and empowerment. It has reached over 30,000 adults across the country and continues to grow and reach new communities. Participants, generally age 50+, consistently report that the program has helped them make meaningful and measurable improvements to their lives. Reduced social isolation, improved health, and increased social support are some of the important benefits AMP participants experience.
The AMP was created by the National Council on Aging in 2012. Classes are offered in person, virtually and hybrid and take place at community-based organizations such as senior centers and libraries. The ten-part curriculum covers topics such as health, finances, social connectiveness and overall wellness. Expert speakers, group discussion and goal-setting all encourage participants to set meaningful action steps resulting in positive behavior change. There are also additional elective classes, a condensed version of AMP that allows for self-directed study at home, book clubs, and opportunities to stay connected long-term with AMP alumni.
The AMP program offers many opportunities for adults to structure and fine tune their own journey and to “age my way.” Here is what one Washington AMP participant said of how they re-discovered some old (good) habits and set new goals for aging well:
“I thoroughly enjoyed it and looked forward to it every week. The homework was thought-provoking and helped me to develop new habits and restored long-forgotten ones like goal setting and journaling that are guiding my life now. The class helped me through some very difficult times; I don’t know how I would have made it through without it. I was able to make new friends and form a support system. Those lessons continue to this day. I’m a better person for the experience.”
Across Washington State, AMP has nearly 40 licensed sites that include senior centers, health care organizations, senior housing, libraries, and Washington State University extension sites. Over the past 3 years, AMP has reached over 1,700 adults in Washington, with a focus on rural areas. Currently, AMP is supported by Aging and Long-Term Support Administration (ALTSA)/Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and aims to continue expanding and strengthening the program.
This is what a Washington facilitator shared on teaching AMP:
“I received more thanks for putting this program together than I could have imagined. Participants reported progress in meeting goals they set including weight loss and increased physical activity, getting a draft of a will completed, initiating “the conversation” with adult children about their wishes … One member loved the chapter on creativity and is carving out her mornings for creative work.”
To find an AMP program near you or if your organization wants to offer AMP, please contact Becky Matter at email@example.com or Ginny Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org. To watch a video that explores the program, visit: https://youtu.be/r0haI8SxijU.
For more information about AMP for agencies and professionals, visit: https://ncoa.org/professionals/health/aging-mastery.