West Florida Area Health Education Center (West Florida AHEC), a non-profit organization, works in partnership with the Northwest Florida Area Agency on Aging (NWFLAAA) to improve the health and well-being of adults ages 60 and over. The evidence-based programs listed are offered at no charge and are sponsored by West Florida AHEC, NWFLAAA, and the Department of Elder Affairs.

Our service area includes Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton Counties

Programs are currently available in person, online as live webinars, and by telephone.

Free evidence-based online live webinar (Zoom) and telephone health education programs provide adults ages 60+ a variety of ways to join a class from the comfort and safety of their home.

Contact Kristil Knox, West Florida AHEC Wellness Services and Education Coordinator, to register or schedule a class for your senior center, church group, or civic organization.

Phone: 850-669-0579
Email: [email protected]



Living Healthy, also known as the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, was developed at Stanford University to help people with a variety of chronic health conditions.

Older adults with ongoing health conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, chronic pain and anxiety are invited to enroll in a Living Healthy workshop to learn skills to help them better manage those conditions.

Workshops meet for once a week, for six weeks.

The workshop helps seniors take charge of their lives and find practical ways to:

  • Manage symptoms and break the pain cycle
  • Deal with difficult emotions
  • Improve breathing techniques and muscle relaxation
  • Reduce and manage fatigue
  • Improve communication skills

  • Make action plans and improve problem solving skills


Tai Chi is a low-impact form of Chinese martial arts that involves slow, controlled, flowing movements.  It can help improve hand-eye coordination, enhance health and fitness, improve balance, reduce stress and provide a gentle aerobic workout.  WFAHEC Healthy Aging offers two different Tai Chi workshops.

Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention is an 8-week, 16 session workshop.

Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance is a 12-week, 24 session workshop.

adults doing inside exercises


In 1997, Dr Paul Lam, a family physician and tai chi master, led a team of tai chi and medical specialists to create this unique program. It is easy, enjoyable and safe for people with arthritis to learn. Although especially effective for arthritis, it is also beneficial for overall health improvement and to reduce the risk of falls.

  • 12 movements based on Sun style tai chi
  • Can be practiced standing or seated

  • Classes meet for 8 weeks, twice each week

  • Particularly helpful for participants at a higher risk of falling

adults doing tai chi

TAI CHI: Moving for Better Balance

Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance was developed by Dr. Fuzhong Li at the Oregon Research Institute. The program includes an 8 form routine that emphasizes weight shifting, postural alignment, and coordinated movements. Classes meet for 12 weeks, twice a week.

Participants can expect to:

  • improve static and dynamic postural stability

  • develop mindful control of body positioning in space

  • learn movement symmetry and coordination

  • increase range of motion and build lower extremity strength
senior on computer

Diabetic Education Empowerment Program

DEEP workshops were created to teach persons living with diabetes or pre-diabetes how to better manage their diabetes and prevent complications. Workshops are interactive and involve demonstrations, role play, games, and other engaging activities.


A Matter of Balance workshops are designed for seniors who have anxieties about falling or who have fallen in the past. This 8-week program helps older adults improve their balance, develop an exercise plan to increase strength and flexibility, and conduct a home safety check, among other topics.

Topics covered include:

  • Evaluate thoughts about falling

  • Improve balance

  • Develop a personal exercise plan to increase strength, balance and flexibility

  • Conduct a safety check for the home

  • Exercises to improve promote flexibility

  • Reduce fall risk factors

adults in group class


Powerful Tools for Caregivers is a national program sustained by extensive collaborations with community-based organizations. This program provides caregivers with the tools and strategies to better handle the unique challenges caregivers face.

This six-week curriculum will help improve:

  • Self-Care Behaviors – increased exercise, relaxation, and health management

  • Management of Emotions – reduced guilt, anger, and sadness

  • Self-Efficacy – increased confidence in coping with caregiving demands

  • Use of Community Resources – increased utilization of local services