Healthbeat: West Hazleton woman credits Geisinger program for health improvements

Healthbeat

WEST HAZLETON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — You’ve probably heard the expression, “use it or lose it”. That’s certainly the case as people age.

It’s especially true for retirees who often find themselves in a “slower-paced lifestyle.” People of retirement age often begin experiencing a loss of strength and balance. But seniors can find a way to keep up by making sure a wellness program is part of their Medicare plan.

Dianne Suravicz is her name, and wellness is her game.

Working on her coordination and balance is important to the 65-year-old Weatherly woman who’s retired but still works part time.

“I thought this is what I want because I wanted to get back into a full fitness program like I had been in before,” Suravicz said.

She chose a Medicare plan through Geisinger that offers the unique wellness program called 65 Forward.

“They get classes. They can have personal training sessions and overall it’s just a nice social activity for them,” 65 Forward Hazleton wellness coordinator Janell Soika said.

Suravicz says the program has helped her reach some surprising milestones.

“Throwing the ball against the wall on one foot. You know, I never would have though I’d be able to do that,” Suravicz said.

She’s also able to put on her socks while standing on one leg, something she was unable to do for years. Suravicz has also lost 10 pounds and lowered her blood sugar levels. She credits that to nutrition instruction, improved cardio training and a wellness coordinator who helps challenge her.

“It’s great. She pushes me to my limit but she doesn’t overdo it,” Suravicz said.

“I like seeing patients progress to different levels so I know it makes them happy when they can do chores or ADL’s (activities of daily living) or something at home and they can see improvement,” Soika said.

Suravicz offers this advice for other seniors during Medicare’s open enrollment period: “Look for something that’s going to keep you healthy, keep you safe. And affordable and, you know, get everything out of it that you can.”

the open enrollment period for Medicare ends December 7th.

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