Be The Change at Evergreen Woods

– Maureen Terwilliger –

What is your position at Evergreen Woods?

I am the Wellness Director at Evergreen Woods.

How long have you been at Evergreen Woods?

I have been here since September 2019.

What excites you the most about this position and this company?

What excites me the most about this position is being able to share my knowledge and passion for health & fitness with all of our Members.

What is your favorite thing about working for Senior Living Communities?

My favorite thing about working for a Senior Living Community is hearing all the stories our Members have to tell.

Describe a time that a Member had a positive impact on your day?

One day I was teaching a pool class and a Member said something and I replied “you just made my day” the Member said “made your day? You make our whole lives better!” That statement had a very positive impact on my day.

How have you grown professionally and personally since joining the Team?

I have definitely grown professionally and personally since joining the EW Team. I truly believe this is where I am supposed to be at this time in my life. I am very confident and happy.

What about your position allows you to pursue things you’re passionate about?

My position allows me to share my love of all things fitness and health related. From pickleball, to hiking, to skydiving, to chair and strength exercises, yoga, tai chi, aquatic classes and healthy nutritional shakes and juices and snacks!

When it comes to your programming, what is the motivation behind specific activities, events, programs that you do with your Members?

The motivation behind my programming comes directly from interactions with our Members. I like to really get to know each of our Members and then find something that they can do with the body they have today. Instead of focusing on what they used to do or what limitations they may have – we find what they CAN do and go from there.

Your community has a monthly social event called a Signature Experience, how does wellness play a role in these themed days?

Signature Experiences are a huge part of our programming. Our Social Director Irene is absolutely amazing and so creative. Once she has an idea we brainstorm a way to incorporate fitness/health into it. For example, we once had an Opera theme and I thought how in the world can we tie fitness in with opera. I found a local person who is an opera singer and a personal trainer and he came and led an exercise class and focused on the breath – the same way opera singers need to! Additionally, for our Winter Olympics Signature Experience day we played floor hockey and had bobsled races in our auditorium!

Wellness programming has won three Argentum Best of the Best Awards over the last few years. What was that feeling like and how does it motivate you moving forward? Tell us about WAVES, C.L.I.M.B, or Purpose-Based Wellness. How does it benefit the Members, what does the program look like, and how did it come to be?

Winning 3 Argentum awards is an honor and I am looking forward to being part of the next award that we win! Our WAVES class at Evergreen Woods is wonderful – and we have a brand new state of the art lift. We have one resident who was recently diagnosed with ALS and it has been a blessing that she can still get in and out of the pool safely and feel weightless in the pool while doing her exercises.

I think Evergreen Woods Wellness programming stands out because we truly care about every single Member and we listen to their ideas and we make it happen. Our goal is to help them live their healthiest and best lives and we will do whatever it takes to make that happen.

Talk about the impact your wellness program has had on the Members at your community, big wins, maintaining independence, and more.

The impact our wellness program has had on our Members is huge! Sometimes it’s the little things that can make a huge difference in their daily lives. We have one Member who was unable to get his shoes on because he lacked the flexibility to bend down to put them on and tie them. After a few months of 1:1 sessions he came in with a big smile and said he no longer needs any help with his shoes! Another one of our Members recently told me that she has noticed a huge improvement in her posture from all our core work during strength classes. I truly believe exercise is not only beneficial for our physical health but our mental health as well.

Personal question: What is your favorite fitness activity?

My favorite thing to do to maintain my fitness level is to RUN! I am also currently training for my 3rd Ironman (2.4 mile swim/ 112 mile bike/ 26.2 mile run) which will be in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho on June 27th!