Interfaith Caregivers Encourages Community to Understand Osteoporosis and “Unleash the Power of Your Age”

By Diane Blaszka
Hamilton, NJ – June 1, 2013 — On May 23, 2013, 70 Interfaith Caregivers of Greater Mercer County (ICGMC) supporters and staff gathered in the Hamilton Township Public Library to celebrate May being both National Older Americans Month and Osteoporosis Awareness Month. ICGMC guest speaker Sally Fullman, Ph.D, a nationally recognized osteoporosis awareness advocate, presented an inspiring and informative presentation on osteoporosis and encouraged the audience to obtain better bone health by increasing awareness of the disease. “Pay attention and respect your bones! They will take you through life,” she advised.
Dr. Fullman, who is a Fulbright Fellow and has osteoporosis herself, has been an active member of National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) and the Healthy Bones Advocacy Network. In 2009, she participated in NOF’s Strong Voices for Strong Bones on Capitol Hill and met with members of Congress to raise awareness of the physical and economic impact of osteoporosis. In 2011, NOF honored her with its Steps for Strong Bones Award. Dr. Fullman is also a past Peer Leader and Lead Coordinator of Project Healthy Bones, an exercise and education program within the New Department of Health and Senior Services.
Since 2012, with the support of a grant from the Mercer County Office on Aging, Interfaith Caregivers of Greater Mercer County has offered 24-week Project Healthy Bones workshops locally. The popular and interactive workshops feature light weight training, education and professional presentations by health experts, participants learn about the importance of exercise, nutrition, safety, drug therapy and lifestyle factors in the prevention and management of the disease.
ICGMC Executive Director Jane Latini, who directs the program, states, “One in every two women; and one in every four men over 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime. The good news is that osteoporosis is a disease that can largely be prevented and managed. Through Project Healthy Bones, ICGMC helps do both!”
Other speakers at the May 23rd luncheon included ICGMC Project Healthy Bones participant, Lucia Pérez Delgado, a Peer Leader for classes in Spanish, who reflected on how much her walking, mobility and independence have improved since she began participating in Project Healthy Bones; and Mercer County Freeholder and IGMC Advisory Board Member Ann Cannon, who presented a Proclamation from the County to ICGMC.
About Interfaith Caregivers of Greater Mercer County (ICGMC)
In the past 15 years, Interfaith Caregivers has recruited, screened, trained and managed nearly 2,000 volunteers who have given more than 160,000 hours of free services to more than 2,500 residents of Mercer County. In 2012 alone, volunteers provided 11,821 hours of free caregiving services – an 8 percent increase over 2011 – to 319 Mercer County seniors and people with disabilities. Services included friendly home visiting, phone calls and respite care; transportation to medical and other appointments; clerical assistance; shopping; occasional meal preparation; indoor and outdoor chores; and health/wellness education. For further information about Interfaith Caregivers and/or Project Healthy Bones, visit www.icgmc.org or call 609-393-9922.