SilverSneakers member inspires others

October 25, 2013 Denise Pinkney

One morning, Susan Glaser surprised her husband by accepting his invitation to go with him to the Altru Family YMCA in Grand Forks. Little did she know, that decision would turn her whole life around.

Susan Glaser receives a national award for inspiring others through her participation in SilverSneakers. Joining Susan are Mike Carlson of BCBSND, left, her husband, Gary, and Jacinta Riedinger of BCBSND.

Susan, who has Parkinson's disease, says, "Due to this disease my mental and physical health had deteriorated so much, I did not want to leave my home. I had no energy or confidence."

Thanks to the SilverSneakers program, Susan not only gets out of the house but she also exercises four times a week at the Grand Forks YMCA. Even though she has been a SilverSneakers member for just six months, she recently received the SilverSneakers' Richard L. Swanson Inspiration Award that recognizes individuals whose healthy behavior has made a difference and inspired others along the way.  Susan is the first person in the region to win this national award in recent years.

"That morning turned my whole life around. I love being a member of SilverSneakers," Susan says. "My health is starting to improve. I have met so many wonderful and supportive people."

Blue Cross of Blue Shield of North Dakota Wellness Services Manager Mike Carlson and Wellness Consultant Advisor Jacinta Riedinger participated in Susan's SilverSneakers class and presented the prestigious award to Susan on Oct. 16. Susan is a member of SilverSneakers through her Medicare supplement plan with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota.

"Being there really reinforced the importance of the SilverSneakers program and why this type of program really meets the needs of the senior population," Jacinta said. "It was very clear how much they all support each other in both physical and social well-being."

Susan says she is proud to be a member of SilverSneakers and recommends it to all seniors who would like to improve their health.