formats

Realistic goals are key to program success

Q:  My primary care physician has strongly encouraged me to lose weight. My mobility is becoming more limited and my blood sugar numbers have gone up so he thinks taking off a few pounds would help with both issues. I have tried countless diets and joined exercise programs but I get discouraged and eventually give up. My daughter heard about the EnhanceWellness Program and thought this might be just what I need. Can you give me more information about the program?

A:  The EnhanceWellness Program was developed by a non-profit agency serving older adults and individuals with disabilities in Seattle, Washington. Simply stated it is a “participant driven, health promotions and management program”. For more than 10 years our agency has fully embraced the concept of evidence based self-management programs and witnessed the success of many participants. We were eager to add the EnhanceWellness Program to our menu of services and encourage anyone in a situation such as yours to consider pursuing this option.

The focus of EnhanceWellness is to reduce the impact of chronic health conditions in adults. Upon completing an extensive health questionnaire the participant with the assistance of their coach identify proposed goals, set-up action steps and discuss strategies to overcome potential or past obstacles/barriers to reaching those goals. Understandably there are times goals and action steps may require adjustments. The original goal may have been unrealistic or unforeseen circumstance arise. An example of this could be the participant stated he/she was going to walk for 30 minutes every other day. Within a short period of time it became evident the goal was far too lofty and was adjusted to walking 20 minutes at least twice a week. In this way the participant did not feel defeated and was more likely to follow-through.

Participants and coach work together for a 6 month period. The extent of involvement during this time depends upon how much support is needed and what the participant is comfortable with. At the end of 6 months the participant may decide they are ready to graduate from the program or re-enroll with the same goals or with new goals. The program can be adapted to benefit individuals struggling with physical health or emotional problems. Participants often state they are interested in the program because they want to live a full life for years to come.

For more information or to sign up for EnhanceWellness call 978-651-3033.

 

Are you struggling caring for an older adult or having difficulty locating resources? Our staff is available for a no-cost consultation, set up at your convenience, to help guide you through your caregiving experience. For more details or to schedule an appointment, please call 800-892-0890.

Do you have a question? We encourage inquiries and comments from our readers. Please direct your correspondence to ageinfo@esmv.org or Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, Inc., Age Information Department, 280 Merrimack Street, Suite 400, Lawrence, MA 01843. Joan Hatem-Roy is the CEO of Elder Services.