Winthrop University: Winthrop Faculty Awarded $1.3 Million Grant for Popular Senior Wellness Program
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Winthrop Faculty Awarded $1.3 Million Grant for Popular Senior Wellness Program

February 24, 2022

HIGHLIGHTS

  • A $1.3 million award will allow Associate Professor Joni Boyd ’07, ’20, ‘21 and Assistant Professor Jennifer Bossi of the Department of Physical Education, Sport, and Human Performance to oversee the use of Bingocize® in 60 S.C. nursing homes. 
  • Winthrop will partner with faculty from Coastal Carolina and Anderson to train 300 nursing home staff members to use the program. 

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Two Winthrop University exercise science faculty members will collaborate with two other universities to train South Carolina nursing home staff to use a wellness program to exercise senior citizens’ minds and bodies.

A $1.3 million award from the Civil Money Penalty Grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will allow Associate Professor Joni Boyd ’07, ’20, ‘21 and Assistant Professor Jennifer Bossi of the Department of Physical Education, Sport, and Human Performance to oversee the use of Bingocize® in 60 S.C. nursing homes. 

Bingocize® is a program merging the widely popular game of bingo with range-of-motion exercises. Boyd expects the project to serve 3,000 nursing home residents in twice-a-week sessions over the next three years. 

“This grant will have a far-reaching impact in our state,” Boyd said. “We are excited to bring an evidence-based falls prevention program to South Carolina, particularly one that has been very successful within nursing homes in other states. It also allows the students and faculty from the exercise science program to engage and serve members of an underserved population of our community. Combining a very popular game of bingo with gentle exercises increases the interest and participation from the residents.”

Winthrop’s award is the largest Bingocize award given to date, Boyd added. 

Grant Involves Two Other S.C. Universities

Winthrop will partner with faculty from two other Palmetto State universities, Coastal Carolina and Anderson. Faculty partners expect to train 300 nursing home staff members to use the program, Boyd said. In addition, 800 undergraduate and graduate students from the universities' exercise science and/or nursing programs will volunteer to provide support at the nursing homes.  

Beth Costner, interim dean of Winthrop’s Richard W. Riley College of Education, noted that this is the first program award of this size for Winthrop’s exercise science faculty. “This illustrates the ongoing commitment that our faculty, programs and college have to better the lives of South Carolinians while serving as a leader among peers,” Costner said. “Bingocize® is working to positively impact the nation, and this grant will allow Winthrop to be seen on that national stage as innovators.”

Bingocize® has been used to successfully engage individuals with all types of physical and chronic conditions, including those suffering from Alzheimer’s and other dementias. 

Developed by Associate Professor and Co-Director Jason Crandall at the Western Kentucky University Center for Applied Science in Health and Aging, Bingocize® mixes the game of bingo with a series of exercises aimed at improving residents’ ability to perform daily activities and to decrease the risk of falls. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nursing home residents account for approximately 20 percent of deaths from falls in individuals 65 and over. In other nursing homes where the program has been used, the facilities note that some of the benefits include improved ability to perform activities like bed transfer, toileting, grooming, dressing and eating.

One of the major benefits of this program is that it gets the residents socially engaged with one another and with college students, Boyd said. It also will help train college students to work with older adults in a long-term care setting.

So far, Bingocize® has been implemented in older adult facilities in 40 states and three countries. 

Other Winthrop officials who helped make the $1.3 million award possible are Kristin Smith, director of grants and sponsored research development, and Lisa Johnson, interim associate dean in the College of Education.  

For more information, contact Boyd at boydj@winthrop.edu.  

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Last Updated: 7/13/22