Wellness coaching aims to rethink how we treat aging.
This article first appeared December 13, 2017 on Kaiser Health News.
Bea Lipsky shuffled into her wellness coach’s office one morning this fall and parked her walker by the wall. Lipsky, 89, had had a trying year, enduring a hernia operation and two emergency room visits for heart problems. She’s losing her hearing, and recently gave up her dream of riding in a hot air balloon for her 90th birthday.
That day, though, she was filled with pride: She told her coach she’d achieved her goals for the year, including attending her grandson’s wedding in China.
Lipsky spent two months training, doing leg curls and riding a stationary bicycle, to build up the strength to make it through a 10-day trip to China, accompanied by an aide. “It was absolutely divine,” she told coach Susan Flashner-Fineman, who works at the Orchard Cove retirement community in Canton, where Lipsky has lived for the past four years.
Lipsky’s check-ins with Flashner-Fineman are part of a wellness coaching program, Vitalize 360, that Orchard Cove started eight years ago in collaboration with the Kendal nonprofit senior living organization in Pennsylvania.
Kaiser Health News is a national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.