Age: 60

Issue: Wanted to have more balance – quality – in his life – not just focus on his health problems

Chronic Illness: Spinal injuries with surgery and heart failure

Result: “Life is an adventure and lots of options come before you. Be patient and help create ways of making good decisions and learning from them – that’s what the program was for me.”

Allen is a 60-year old married man, on his second marriage, with one adult daughter. He is now retired after two relatively severe medical conditions in three years that include spinal injuries with surgery and heart failure. He is on a complex medication regimen, is part of a heart failure group, but finds his group experience to not fulfill his needs. He has history of ADHD, and is now without the structure of formal work. He wants to make better assessments of his life and activities, learn more about how to take good care of himself without it consuming his whole life.

Developing a Healthy Balance

He says: “I’m 60 years old now with a new wife, my second marriage. I had to retire because of my health but want to stay as vibrant as I can. The doctor suggested a ‘heart failure’ group offered at the hospital – but honestly it didn’t help me. I saw an advertisement about the Healthy Lifetime program and then picked up a brochure at the Cardiovascular Center at the Hospital. Boy it really grabbed me. The brochure talked about things that I was actually interested in – I want to have more balance – quality – in my life – not just focus on my health problems. This program would do both – help me take better care of myself and help me figure out how to move on and live the way I want to live. I was stuck in my daily life of pills and measuring my body weight – I wanted to do better and live the way my new wife and I want to live.”

He goes on to say: “I started the program without any idea of actually how it worked. I learned how to use the computer and loved the video sessions with my nurse coach. The first thing she helped me do was focus – I have ADHD and you know, that’s hard for me! I soon learned that focusing is really important – we talked through my real priorities and what was most important to do in managing my health care. I learned from tracking my weight and my meds how to set up my routines so they worked well without it being a hassle. I was finding time again in my days to plan new things to do with my wife. I went from having long lists of ‘to do’s’ every day – that I didn’t really understand – to a short list of things I now know how/why are important – and they work for me. I now worry less, have more time to do normal, fun things, and can say I am actually feeling happy again.”

Health Without the Hassle

Allen was very engaged in the video coaching sessions and tools the program provided, like the video journaling. He learned from his own daily responses to medication and activities how to tailor his routine to feel his best – and without it being a ‘hassle’. He learned skills in how to focus more on the important things, set short list of priorities not long lists that weighed him down. He learned he could take charge, balance his life to include the normal pleasures again that brought joy back into his life.

Allen’s recommendation to others about the HealthyLifetime program: “Life is an adventure and lots of options come before you. Be patient and help create ways of making good decisions and learning from them – that’s what the program was for me.”