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Free classes help connect

Since the pandemic closed in-person gatherings, the support available to some of the state’s most vulnerable groups has been sparce.

Now, after more than a year of social distancing, The Concord Regional Visiting Nurse Association is redesigning many of its wellness programs, open to adults and caregivers, to fit the virtual format.

For more than 100 years, the nonprofit has offered home care to older Granite Staters. As part of their mission to care for the state’s vulnerable, it has also provided programs that guide people through aging, healthy lifestyles, advance care planning, grief and bereavement and caregiving.

Beth Slepian, the president of Concord Regional VNA, hopes bringing this programming online will make quarantine a little more bearable. Adhering to physical distancing guidelines for more than a year has taken a toll on older adults and caregivers, who are feeling the isolation, she said.

“Staying connected with people in similar circumstances is more important than ever,” she said.

The VNA will offer a number of virtual classes including the following:

A Matter of Balance is a nine-week series that provides participants with tools and techniques to help them gain confidence and teaches simple fall prevention strategies. The next session begins Feb. 18.

Better Chocies, Better Health is a six-week interactive workshop for adults age 18 and older living with or caring for someone with arthritis, diabetes, hypertension or any other ongoing mental or physical health condition. Facilitators provide tools to help manage disease symptoms, maintain proper nutrition and exercise, communicate with healthcare providers and more. The next session begins Feb. 22.

Aging Mastery Program is a 10-week, fun approach to living that celebrates the gift of longevity. Topics include exercise, sleep, healthy eating, financial fitness, advance planning, falls prevention and more. The next session begins March 16.

Powerful Tools for Caregivers is a six-week, evidence-based educational program offered by health care organizations nationwide, which provides family caregivers with tools and techniques to care for themselves while caring for a relative or friend. The next session begins April 5.

Wellness Wednesdays is a group held on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. The classes will cover topics such as memory loss and aging, managing stress, talking with your health care provider, vaccines.

Those interested can see a full list of programming at All virtual programming is free, though participants need to pre-register and have access to a computer or phone with a camera and microphone. The VNA is offering technical support to those who need help setting up or logging into the programming.