Suncoast PACE Lifestyle Coach Shaneena Holland

Suncoast PACE Lifestyle Coach Shaneena Holland

By: LaShante Keys, Empath Health

Suncoast PACE Supports Healthy Living

Making changes for a healthier lifestyle is something relevant at every age. For older adults, it’s a crucial part of aging well. In the African-American community, this is especially important.

The U.S. Department of Health’s Office of Minority Health reports that non-Hispanic Blacks are more likely to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure – as well as experience more severe complications from these conditions – than non-Hispanic whites.

However, in combination with medications, lifestyle intervention can help people reduce their risk and live longer. One study of diabetes prevention programs demonstrated that such interventions could reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes development by 58 percent over three years and reduce the risk of other health issues.

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 Diabetes Prevention 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,” explained 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 physical and mental wellness, such as exercise, stress management and relaxation.

“These are people who want to live healthier,” said Holland. “This program provides access to the resources they need, especially for those with limited mobility who need workarounds.”

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 via Zoom while the day center is temporarily closed due to COVID-19.

Whatever an individual’s goal may be, Holland is ready to help.

“Older adults are concerned with being healthy, too,” she added. “We are finding ways to help them reach their goals and improve their quality of life.”

Suncoast PACE is currently enrolling residents of Pinellas County who are age 55 or older, able to live safely in their home and the community, and want to remain independent. At this time, staff is bringing services to participants through daily in-person or telephone visits, craft supply delivery and daily virtual reality programs and Zoom classes, like those hosted by Holland. Services also include telehealth or visits to the on-site clinic with transportation.

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.

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