Education Isn’t Enough

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The Healthy Living Department at LifePath serves people who are trying to make changes to improve their chronic condition.  We must try to manage weight, avoid foods that make our conditions worse, figure out how to exercise, how to advocate for medical care, etc.  Making these changes can be harder for some of us than for others.  Some of us don’t feel well, or we live with debilitating pain or disability; some of us live alone or can’t afford good food; some of us have space challenges, transportation challenges, or can’t find the motivation.  That is partially why medical providers, as important as they are, only get 10-50% adherence rates when they suggest lifestyle changes.  The most recent approaches for improving health-related lifestyle changes center around the field of health counseling/coaching, which focuses on collaborative ways to help individuals gain the knowledge, skills, tools, and confidence necessary for successful self-management of chronic diseases and other health conditions.

In 2020, LifePath’s Healthy Living Program added EnhanceWellness, an evidence-based program that features health coaching and the development of individualized health action plans and uses motivational interviewing and behavior change theory to help people uncover their own internal motivation for change.  Motivational interviewing stresses that the client is in charge of whether or not they will make a change and what actions they will take.  An individual works with a coach to identify particular goals that are important to them and the coach keeps them on track for reaching those goals.  The coach walks alongside the client in partnership, remembering that the client is the expert eliciting insight, not diagnosing, prescribing, or giving medical advice.  The program is generally completed within a 6-8 month period.

We feel so proud to be able to provide opportunities for our participants to work with one of our two very talented volunteer coaches:

Rachel Lempert:  Registered nurse and a mother of 2 young children who has worked in a multitude of healthcare settings. Over the last few years, she has focused on health promotion and education rather than sick care and was certified through the National Institute of Whole Health as a Whole Health Educator, Health Coach, and Patient Advocate.

Julia Hampton:  MS, Nutrition Counselor and Intuitive Eating Coach who helps people who feel anxious or out-of-control around food reconnect with their body’s wisdom so they can have confidence and ease in eating without food lists, willpower, or guilt.  She has a BA in social work and a MS in nutrition.  She runs her own practice, Nourishing Vitality, LLC, providing personalized nutrition counseling, life coaching, and training in motivational interviewing. 

The following are what some of our participants have said about the program since we started: 

“I greatly enjoyed the total experience and look forward to continuing my path to good health.”

“Great experience.  Had a wonderful, caring coach. So positive and caring and encouraging.  It helped me tremendously to set goals and try to keep them.  I feel so grateful for this program.”

“Working one-on-one with a coach really helped guide me in a few directions that were missing in my overall health.”

If you are interested in participating in the EnhanceWellness program, or in one of our workshops listed below, please contact Andi Waisman at 413-773-5555 x2297, 978-544-2259 x2297, or  

We are also looking for volunteer workshop leaders, who may have health challenges themselves, to bring enthusiasm, empathy, and people skills to lead our evidence-based workshops.  Contact Andi if interested.

LifePath’s FREE Healthy Living Summer 2024 Workshops

Healthy Living workshops are also evidence-based, free, and open to people with one or more long-term health conditions (like diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and chronic pain) as well as their caregivers and loved ones.  Our workshops offer the information, motivation, and support needed to make lifestyle changes, and to know we have control over our health and that we are not alone. Some are accessed in person, some on your computer, and some on your phone!

Living Well with Long-Term Health Conditions (Live Video Conference) Techniques to improve symptoms of chronic conditions, including healthy eating, relaxation techniques, communicating, goal setting, problem solving, and more. Wed., June 12–July 24, 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. 

A Matter of Balance–Managing Concerns About Falls (In Person at Erving Senior Center, Erving, MA) Teaches practical strategies to reduce the fear of falling and explores medical, behavioral, and environmental risk factors for falls, stressing the importance of developing an exercise plan. Mon., June 10–July 29, 1 p.m.–3 p.m. 

Diabetes Self-Management (In Person at The Brick House Community Resource Center, in collaboration with Montague Catholic Social Ministries, Turners Falls, MA) For adults with pre-diabetes or diabetes, or their caregivers, this workshop teaches the basics of balancing medication, diet and exercise, techniques to deal with hyper/hypoglycemia and meal planning, stress reduction, and more. Sat., July 13–August 17, 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Spanish version offered from 1–2 p.m.

Healthy Eating for Successful Aging (In Person at the Trinity Church, Shelburne Falls, MA in collaboration with the Shelburne Falls Senior Center) For adults hoping to improve their nutrition in order to avoid or live well with chronic conditions, this workshop teaches nutrition basics, label-reading, and meal planning, and practices cooking basic recipes to overcome barriers to healthy eating for older adults. Tues., June 11–July 16, 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. 

UCLA Memory Training (Live Video Conference) For people with mild age-related memory challenges, Memory Training teaches memory-enhancing techniques and practical strategies to boost memory functioning. Wed., June 12–July 24, 3–5 p.m.