Faith In Action of Upper Pinellashttp://www.fiaup.org
FIAUP staff and volunteers currently support over 365 individuals in two main programs: 1) Independent Living Program (ILP) which provides services to maintain in-home residency and 2) Strong for Life Program (SFL) a resistance exercise program designed for older adults to support the physical requirements of day-to-day activities. ILP has been providing non-medical services in the community through the efforts of volunteers for thirteen years. Services provided include: transportation to medical appointments, grocery shopping, light housekeeping, laundry help, light yard work, respite care for primary caregiver, personal services, such as sorting through mail, telephone assurance calls, and friendly visits. SFL exercise program began in 2003 with 10 pilot participants; SLF became a permanent program in 2004; as of 2008, there are 15 centers within Upper Pinellas with an average of 11 individuals per site. The mission of the SFL exercise program is to provide resistance exercise designed exclusively for the older person to increase strength, improve balance, build muscle, and increase mobility. SFL sites are located in community outreach groups, such as senior citizen centers, church congregations, assisted living facilities, manufactured home parks, etc. FIAUP coordinator trains, facilitates, supports, and monitors the SFL site groups, each group having their own SFL Site Leader and corresponding participants. The SFL exercise program, a proven resistance exercise training program, uses a 35-minute videotape consisting of a warm-up routine, 11 strengthening exercises using Thera-Bands® (elastic bands of graduated resistance) and a cool-down period. The SFL program was developed under the Roybal Center for the Enhancement of Late-Life function with support from the National Institute on Aging and is copyrighted by Boston University (BU).