The Enhance Wellness Path

Written by Glen Felias-Christensen RN, MPH / EnhanceWellness Counselor & T-Trainer and featured in the Sound Generations Positive Aging Newsletter (Spring 2018):

Envision a winding path…one that leads to a vista overlooking a mountain range. From this vista we can see far beyond to what feels unreachable, yet still inspiring. EnhanceWellness is like this path – a path that guides us to reach our “life vistas” – where we can envision what is possible for us.

From this vista, the most visible is often the mountain range. These mountains represent the many programs offered by Sound Generations: Meals on Wheels; EnhanceFitness; Matter of Balance; Senior Center activities and support groups; workshops to develop skills for managing chronic conditions; Hyde Shuttle transportation services and many more. We may know they exist, but we may not understand their value or know how to access them. EnhanceWellness creates a bridge that connects participants to these and other programs that provide a foundation for well-being.

Beyond the mountains shines the sun with its rays reaching towards the sky, representing the things we want to touch but are beyond our reach. Through their partnership with EnhanceWellness Counselors, participants find support and guidance to identify the health goals that are important to them, and the steps they can take to reach those goals. EnhanceWellness brings participants closer to the values that guide their actions and bring meaning to their lives. It empowers participants to make their own choices. On the path to reaching their goals, participants find Confidence, Well-being, Independence, Connection, Purpose and more.

Now a T-Trainer for the EnhanceWellness program, my initial exposure to this program took place in 1996 when I saw a job opening for a Geriatric EnhanceWellness Nurse at Northshore Senior Center. Fascinated by the job description, I applied for the position, was interviewed, but passed over due to my lack of geriatric nursing experience. I remember thinking what a great job it would be someday….

Twelve years later out of the blue, an employee of Sound Generations whom I knew sent me notice about an
opening for the very same job at the very same senior center! This time, I got the job. Since then, serving as an
EnhanceWellness Counselor has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. The changes I’ve
witnessed in the participants whom I’ve had the privilege to work with have been transformative, not only for them but for me as well. The wisdom I’ve learned from these seniors is priceless. I also feel much gratitude for the opportunity to help the EnhanceWellness program grow in my role as its T-Trainer.

My vision of EnhanceWellness as a path that leads to a vista was inspired by my recent yoga/hiking retreat in
Peru that culminated with a 2100 feet climb up Mt. Machu Picchu overlooking the famous ruins. It was a climb I had
expected not to complete, considering my fear of heights and tendency for vertigo. But with the support of my
fellow “yogis” and our Peruvian guide, hard work, and the lessons I have personally learned from serving as an
EnhanceWellness Counselor, I managed to overcome my fears and complete that 4 hour, stair-climbing hike. From
my “life vista” above Machu Picchu, I was reminded that what seems unreachable CAN be possible with support
and a lot of little steps.