Finding the Power to Change: How Counseling Empowers Seniors and Adults with Disabilities

A year ago, 67 year-old Karla Nuss was not in a good place—physically or emotionally.

While she’d lived for many years with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, she had always had an active lifestyle. But when a new health issue developed causing excruciating pain in her shoulders, it threw her life off course.

“I felt terrible,” Karla said. “Even after the pain went away, I’d gained weight, I was sleeping poorly, and I’d become pre-diabetic. When you can’t stand for long periods, you don’t have a lot of energy. I’d end up snacking on whatever was within reach, or eating out of stress, which was not healthy.”

Determined to feel better, Karla signed up for Sound Generations’ EnhanceWellness—an evidence-based program that helps people accomplish their health goals. Counselor Nikki Bagli helped her develop a plan to improve her life.

“Working with Nikki was life changing,” Karla said. “She gave me a sense of accountability, and helped me break my big goal of losing weight into small goals such as starting a food journal.”

Another important lesson she learned: the power of forgiving herself.

“I used to fixate on my failures,” she said. “Nikki helped me re-direct my focus to the successes I’d had.”

These days, Karla feels like herself again. She’s lost weight, sleeps better and has more energy. She is also less dependent on medication, has normal cholesterol levels and is no longer pre-diabetic.

To stay active, she takes Sound Generations’ Hyde Shuttle.

“I want to ride Hyde all the time,” she said. “They have a lot of compassion for their clients and go out of their way to make sure they’re taken care of.”

Karla is very grateful for how these programs have improved her health and happiness.

“I feel like a success,” she said. “I know now I can make positive changes in my life.”

EnhanceWellness helps people accomplish their health goals by pairing them with counselors who help develop personalized health action plans.

To learn more, call 206.448.5725.

Hyde Shuttles provide door-to-door van service for older adults and adults with disabilities throughout many communities in King County. Rides are free but donations are welcome.

To schedule a ride, call 206.727.6262