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Move With Balance® Fundraiser Concert

65 nonprofits, who work with people over 65, have been selected for a 65-hour fundraiser sponsored by Home Instead Foundation. 65 hours = Monday July 11, 7PM—Thursday July 14 12:00PM HST.

Giving Back, our nonprofit organization on Maui since 2000, has created an award-winning program Move With Balance® for elders 65+. We have been selected as one of the 65 nonprofits.

Home Instead will give $10,000 to the nonprofit who has the most donors, and $10,000 to the nonprofit who receives the most donations. We are going after the “most donors” prize!

Simultaneously, during the Home Instead 65 hours, Giving Back is holding a Fundraiser/Concert at the Makawao Union Church Sanctuary on Tuesday July 12 from 5:30—8PM. Bill Fuller is the musician, singer, songwriter, entertainer for the evening. We have all heard his beautiful, heartfelt music over the years. Come and support us while enjoying Bill’s amazing music.

Bill and I have teamed up to create Move With Balance® with Music for Alzheimer’s/Dementia. We have successfully completed 2 programs with great results.

Here’s how you can help:
1. Please blast out the attached flyer to your email list. It would be great to fill the sanctuary for this fundraiser/concert. It will be a fun evening!

2. Admission to Concert:
Please make a tax deductible donation to Move With Balance® on the site. You can either donate on your computer at the GIVE65 site beforehand, and bring your receipt to the concert; OR on our computers as you enter the sanctuary the evening of the concert. $10–20+ suggested donation. You don’t have to be present to donate.

Move With Balance® Fundraiser and Concert
Tuesday July 12, 5:30—8:00PM
Makawao Union Church Sanctuary
1445 Baldwin Avenue

Thank you! Karen “Freesia” Peterson and Bill Fuller

Move With Balance® Goes Statewide in Maryland

We are excited to announce we will be presenting Move With Balance® to the AAA’s (Area Agencies on Aging) statewide in Maryland in November via a web-meetingWe received an email asking us “to share information regarding your innovative and effective program (Move With Balance®) with the other AAAs statewide, and to discuss pertinent policies and share best practices”. Maryland will “utilize Older Americans Act funds (IIID) for Move With Balance® as a highest tier evidence-based program”.

Mutual of America Surprises Us Again!

In 2009 Giving Back was a Merit Finalist for the Community Partnership Award given by Mutual of America from New Your City. They came to Maui, gave a luncheon to honor 60+ important people who were working with Giving Back at that time. They also gave us $15,000 to begin the replication of the Giving Back Fall Prevention Project, which is now named the familiar Move With Balance®.

Thomas Gilliam of Mutual of America visited Maui on January 25, invited us to breakfast to receive a Giving Back update, and gave us a surprise check for $5,000!!

Thank you Thomas and Mutual of America for your continued generosity.

Move With Balance® is Launched Statewide in Arkansas

IMG_1935On January 12, 2016 I heard from the Arkansas Area Agency on Aging. Below are some excerpts:
“We have launched Move with Balance statewide.
Our seniors love this class.  We have one center that had to run  sessions classes per week because they had 75 people coming to class and that was too many to work with at one time.  We currently have Move with Balance being offered in all 8 of our AAA regions and in 90 senior centers to date.” (Photo from the Arkansas training.)

NEWS FLASH !!! Move With Balance is featured in the November 5, 2015 Alzheimer’s Foundation of America newsletter!


Member Spotlight

Move with Balance
Paia, Hawaii

Karen Peterson founded Move with Balance, an exercise program designed to help prevent falls and falls-related injuries in seniors in 2005. Upon receiving a grant from Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, Peterson set about creating a version of Move with Balance designed specifically for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.

For this program, Move with Balance teamed with Maui Adult Day Care, to recruit 10 seniors who have Alzheimer’s or a related dementia and also recruited 10 loving and compassionate fit seniors to serve as their mentors. Each class begins with a 10-minute icebreaker. Mentees arrive and sit at a coloring table with their mentors participating in activities such as writing with both hands at the same time. This gives mentees a chance to connect with their mentors before heading into the classroom setting for the main program.Terry_Venecia

The mentees feel safe with their mentors and have formed warm and caring relationships. Many recognize their mentors week after week.


American Society on Aging Blog

Republished from American Society on Aging website: April 7 2014
peterson-karenMove With Balance, which won the ASA 2012 MindAlert Award, has several exciting developments to share. Receiving the award gave us a hefty push to write a book, Move With Balance®: Healthy Aging Activities for Brain and Body,and create 60 online videos so others could easily replicate our program. And we published an evidence-based study in the November 2013 issue of Hawai’i Journal of Medicine & Public Health.

Now our program is available to group leaders, caregivers and individuals. The brightly illustrated book, which links to 60 online demonstration videos, is loaded with dozens of movements and exercises that even the frailest elder can accomplish. The payoff: increased coordination, sharper cognitive skills, better vision and enhanced self-confidence.

Since publishing Move With Balance®: Healthy Aging Activities for Brain and Body, the book has won two national awards. In September 2013 the Jenkins Group awarded it a bronze medal Living Now Book Award, which celebrates innovation and creativity, while encouraging better living. In March 2014 Foreword Reviews selected Move With Balance®: Healthy Aging Activities for Brain and Body as a Finalist in its Book of the Year Award. This award is for the best Independently Published books of 2013. Winners will be announced in June 2014. More info.

Our evidence-based study, called “An Exercise Program to Prevent Falls in Institutionalized Elderly with Cognitive Deficits: A Crossover Pilot Study,” was published in the November 2013 edition of the Hawai’i Journal of Medicine & Public Health. Study results demonstrate that the Move With Balance program is 66 percent effective in preventing falls. Dr. Lorrin Pang, study author and Maui District Health Officer, is now working on a cost-benefit analysis of Move With BalanceMore info.

Move with Balance Founder Karen Peterson has developed a program with a therapeutic approach that integrates the motor, sensory and vestibular systems of the brain, and is particularly beneficial to older adults.

“By building on the reality of neural plasticity and the brain’s ability to be shaped across the lifespan, Move With Balance understands the positive outcomes of caring for our cognitive, motor and spiritual selves,” says Dr. Paul Nussbaum, clinical neuropsychologist and adjunct profession of Neurological Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Nussbaum hosts the Brain Health Forum each year at the American Society on Aging conference.
We would love to help you start Move With Balance, with its unique combination of balance, strength training and cognitive skills training, in your community. Visit for information on our book, videos and recent study.