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The Work We Do: Chrissy Viola, Peconic Landing

 

Credit: Mahreen Khan

The Suffolk Times – My name is Chrissy Viola. I am a lifestyle coordinator here at Peconic Landing in Greenport. 

As a lifestyle coordinator, I am considered a health coach, and what a health coach does is really encompass the member’s lifestyle. It’s not just focused on a particular topic, as fitness or social. It really brings a lot of different components into my daily routine and that’s how I have to address it with the employees and the members here.

I have been here since 2016. I have worked with over 600 people, over 300 team members and 300 members, and my role is to meet with each one on an individual basis, or in a group setting, have them complete a lifestyle review, which is based on four components: social, intellectual, spiritual and physical. Then, we can review them. It’s their choice if they want to, and basically what I do is help them see what’s on their bucket list, what might be missing, try to help them be a little more resilient in their lives, have a little fun and get to know them even more.

Our goal was to become a certified center for successful living. Once that was completed, which took some time, we rolled out the initiative to the members. Yes, we definitely got push-back because who am I to tell someone who’s in their 80s and 90s, ‘Oh, do you know how to successfully live?’ when they’ve totally outlived me already? But many people are very open and embrace it because they see an opportunity to continue their life. 

This isn’t a place where people come to give up on their life. This is a place where people continue to grow and, we, at Peconic Landing, as a complete group — and I like to consider it a big family because it really is — we really support each other in that journey.

This is really going to help change the perspective of how the community and the population in general look at aging. To see that people move into Peconic Landing and they are kayaking, having language lunches, teaching classes, continuing their life, is important. I think we’re giving a lot of people a new perspective on what it’s like to be 70, 80 or 90 and not thinking, ‘OK, this is it. I can’t do anything else.’

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