Making changes for a healthier lifestyle is something relevant at every age. For older adults, it’s a key part of aging well.
Suncoast PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly), a member of Empath Health, aims to fully support seniors facing chronic illness and aging as they seek to stay active, socially connected and live safely and independently at home and in the community.
Participants in Suncoast PACE’s healthy living program have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities that focus on improving overall wellbeing. With the support of lifestyle coach Shaneena Holland, they can work towards reaching their own unique goals.
“It’s each participant’s choice to be a part of the program,” explains Holland. “As a lifestyle coach, I’m supporting their decision by providing the tools for change.”
Holland, who has a background in nutritional science and massage therapy, focuses on promoting overall health and wellbeing. Specific offerings help individuals reach goals related to both physical and mental aspects of wellness, such as exercise, stress management and relaxation.
“These are people who want to live healthier,” says Holland. “This program provides access to the resources they need. They may not be able to research something I know off-hand or they may have limited mobility and need activities that work around that.”
Each activity is designed with participant feedback in mind to reflect their interests and needs. Providing access to activities they may otherwise not be able to do is a priority for designing programming. Bingo, morning exercise and meditation are a few of the options participants have been enjoying. Currently, they are held via Zoom while participants are unable to physically be together due to COVID-19.
Even though the offerings are being held virtually, it is still an opportunity for participants to socialize with each other. Older adults are more likely to be isolated and live alone. Regular socialization helps improve morale and helps them stay independent longer.
Holland and her Suncoast PACE colleagues are continuing to explore ways to bring programming to participants while following distancing precautions. This includes topics liked meal planning and preparation and increasing access to healthy foods. Once participants are allowed back to the Day Center, Holland has plans to create an outside garden for participants to cultivate.
Whatever an individual’s goal may be, Holland is ready it help.
“Older adults are concerned with being healthy, too,” she adds. “We are finding ways to help them reach their goals and improve their quality of life.”
To learn more about how Suncoast PACE can help you or a loved one live a healthy life in older age visit SuncoastPACE.org or call (727) 289-0062 or (800) 955-8771 (hearing impaired).