There’s nothing Kendal at Home member Norma Maraschin loves more than going on a cruise. Not content to just spend a week at sea, Norma goes on month-long excursions. But after her mother died, she began to notice some changes that could affect her ability to step back onto a cruise ship.
“I would sit down in the afternoon and start reading and would fall into a very deep sleep and I would sleep for hours,” Norma explained. “It hit me one day, ‘This is exactly what happened to mom.’ This is what she did. She would sleep late in the mornings. Get up, have breakfast and coffee, go back to bed and sleep. Get up for lunch, go back to bed and sleep and I go, 'Oh, my God, I am too young for this.'"
It was this realization that spurred Norma to make some changes to ensure she could keep doing the things she loves. Not sure where she should start, she picked up a packet of Vitalize 360 forms she received from her life plan coordinator, Joanne Cornell.
The Vitalize 360 program is a personal coaching program designed to help you live your best life through the pursuit of the goals and activities important to you.
“I needed some sort of motivation. On one of them it asks, ‘What do you enjoy doing? What do you want to be able to keep on doing?’ My passion is traveling. I love cruises. I have been on probably 70 cruises. I have been around the world. I go for months at a time,” she said.
What’s nice about cruises, Norma explained, was that people of all physical abilities could go on them. But those travelers with limited mobility are restricted in what activities they can enjoy.
"I don't want to be that. I want to be able to travel and go cruising and be able to easily and fearlessly get on and off the ship, walk down the pier to wherever the transportation is or the town is to go on excursions and not be afraid am I not going to be able to walk, get on and off the bus,” she continued.
“That was the biggest trigger for me, to do this I told myself, ‘OK, this is what you want to do. You can't do that now. You are getting to the point where you don't feel comfortable doing some of these things, so get yourself in shape and start doing it.’”
Meeting Goals with Vitalize 360 and Kendal at Home
Norma started her journey by joining the Silver Sneakers exercise program at her local community center.
“That first week I marked down all the classes and I probably took nine classes that first week just to sample, see if I could do them, see which ones I liked,” she said.
Now, she attends six classes a week at the community center, and with the help of her life plan coordinator, keeps up with her fitness goals at home by doing exercise programs on her Independa TV. And she is loving the results.
“In my community, we have to walk to a mailbox to get our mail. As it turns out my mailbox is halfway down another street, so it's not far to walk but I couldn't walk it before. I had to get in my car and drive to my mailbox. Now when I go to my mailbox, I take the long route and I do three tenths of a mile to pick up my mail. I don't think about walking places anymore. I don't think about going to the store and having to find a cart to push. I just walk,” she said.
Since joining Kendal at Home and beginning Vitalize 360, Norma has lost nearly 50 pounds.
“I was not prepared for all of the support Kendal at Home gives you to keep you healthy in the first place. That the emphasis is not on taking care of you when you need it, but helping you maintain your health and your independence for as long as possible,” she said.