Submitted by: Didi Lacroix

Clients, interns, case managers, executive staff's Success Story

I - Resident Clients – Lake Park Retirement Residence

- You are the best motivator!! Since my dad started working with you, he got back to the way I used to know him. He is so much more engaged in life again and yes, smiling a lot more. Suddenly, he no longer complains and he is talking about muscular pain as a normal part of a training regimen. Even his doctor noticed how he had changed at his last visit. My dad hasn't been this way for years. He also told us his buddy, Mr. F., may be ready to start an exercise program too. It's a great thing when the residents become role models for each other. Thanks for being their reason to be healthier and happier. You deserve the credit! (Mr. H.'s daughter).
- Every time I come here and work with you, I always feel good afterward. You make everyone feel better. (Mrs. B., 83).
- I'm starting to feel so much better. I'm starting to think that life is still worth living after all. (Mrs. C., 90).
- Yesterday, as I was walking outside on the sidewalk, a man tried to make me trip. It was an awful feeling! Yet, I managed to recover without falling, and then I kept walking without saying anything. I'm sure this is because of all the balance exercises you have been teaching us in class. (Mrs. M., 84).
- I don't see how you could improve anything. I think you are fantastic. Everything you do is just right for me! (Mrs. J., 93).

II - Clients – Senior Support Program of the Tri-Valley

- This program has taken me out of the doldrums because I was feeling sorry for myself and I had wanted to feel better and being helped. I have felt a difference in terms of overall health and confidence. I don't think I would have gotten as far as I have without your help. (Celeste, 84)
- Now I am able to stand up while putting on my trousers. Before [the exercise program] I could not stand on one leg without falling. This program has really helped me and it keeps me flexible. I love it! (Tony, 84)
- I think it's helped with my balance and strength, my ability to get around, in and out of chairs and off the toilet. Psychologically, it has been very uplifting, it's helped with depression and given me something to look forward to. I also feel safer getting around. (Darlene, 68)
- It's strengthening my legs. I've also been stepping out with my left leg more since my exercise coach noticed it was usually lagging behind the right foot (due to a stroke I had). Medication management has helped me to understand why I'm taking some medications and what they are supposed to do.(Al, 87)
- Because of this program, I don't fall anymore and I exercise pretty much every day, using your exercise routine. I feel I am ready to use 3-pound dumbbells, but my doctor won't let me. I would attend this class any time of the day if I had to. (Lola, 88)
- We all noticed the flexibility is so much better while driving our cars. We can look back for incoming cars. This is so great. Thank you for your time. We love our class. (Pat, 71)
- I did get up feeling better than usual. I think my meeting with you every week is going to really help. You do make a difference. (Dixie, 91)
- What did you do to me? I had no more pain in my upper body after you worked with me last week, and I've had that pain for a year. I am so grateful for this program. The small modifications made for my individual needs make a HUGE difference. (Ella, 67)
- This program has been very beneficial in allowing my residents to stay in better health and therefore able to live independently in their own apartments. Unlike some of the activities, the residents are faithful about attending (Judy Montessory, Manager, Hillcrest Gardens).

III - Senior Students – Chabot/Las Positas College and EdenFit

- Elinor really likes the new class (EdenFit), so much that she hopes to join you a couple of times a week! She cannot stop talking about how much better she feels after the one session. She would love to show you off and brag about what a wonderful trainer/coach you are! Perhaps you have an idea of how much I appreciate this too. Elinor is 80 years young, yet I worry about her losing her independence. Your program and YOU in particular have made a huge dent in her uncertainty and it is GREAT to see! Thank you. Melissa Bird (Elinor's daughter).
- Diane LaCroix is an extremely fine instructor, showing extra attention to the needs and consideration for limitations of older people in her classes. She is always very cheerful and soon has us laughing and enjoying our workout while we improve our breathing and strengthen our muscles. Ms LaCroix's extensive training is very apparent and most beneficial to all of us. (Elinor, 76).
- I am an 84 year old man with multiple physical ailments. I have been taking classes with Mrs. Diane Lacroix at the Hayward Senior Center for the past 2 years. During my time with Mrs. Lacroix in her classes, I have lost 13 pounds of unneeded fat, gained increased stamina, flexibility and strength. In addition, my balance and coordination have improved considerably. In addition, her classes are FUN due to her enthusiastic, inventive and productive routines. I enthusiastically endorse her professional abilities as a Senior Health Instructor. (Joe, 84).

In the spring 2009, Joe brought a hand crafted banner, which he posted in front of the stage with the mention "Joy Luck Club."; He claimed this class had been making him feel so good that he needed to find an appropriate name for it.
- Thanks for keeping us in shape all year. Without it, I'd not be alive. Thanks again. (Louise, 92)
- Thank for keeping me going. Love (Louisa, 89)
- This class is so important to me. I need it for my health. (Maria, 84)

IV - College Interns – ProActive Balance Program

- I am saddened to hear that this program is being phased out. I have come to believe that in a short period of time that many clients have benefited and appreciate the ProActive Balance Program. I would like to say that I am thankful and appreciative of the experiences that I have had both with you and the clients. I have gained some valuable hands on training towards any future career plans that I have. I fully enjoyed working with you on client logs and all other special projects. Your attention to detail, work ethic, and energy was infectious. I enjoyed working with you Diane as your "la creme de la creme" (best of the best). (Parley Gan, senior student in Health Science at CSUEB).
- I want to thank you for everything you have done to help us be a part of this program. You are genuinely a great person and it's easy to see how much of a positive difference you have made in the lives of the people you have helped. I wish you the best and I hope we can stay in contact with each other. Thank you so much for making everything so great! (Steven Russo, student in Exercise Science at Las Positas College).
- I am so grateful that I was able to have an opportunity like this to work hands-on with older adults. I now feel more prepared than ever to go into my second year of nursing school at University of San Francisco. This wonderful experience has helped my social skills and now I will feel more confident when working with patients. Coaching these older adults has taught me that health is extremely valuable and there are so many aspects besides medications that go into treating a patient's condition. I wish that I was able to intern longer, but I feel the time I spent this summer with this program as helped better not only the lives of some older adults in my local area but mine as well. Diane, once again thank you so much for all the time you spent training me and making me more knowledgeable about the many aspects of health care. (Grace M. Todd, junior student in Nursing at U. of San Francisco).
- In my time with Senior Support Program of the Tri-Valley, I have been blessed with the opportunity to have Diane Lacroix as my supervisor. Diane is a very hard worker who undoubtedly cares for the well being of every client in the program. During my first few weeks with the program, Diane took time to train me about various exercises, safety techniques, and some common disorders that our clients have. Diane was very knowledgeable about the subject, and her sweet, patient personality made me feel very comfortable. I saw Diane as very approachable, and she was always extremely helpful with any questions I had. When Diane observed me while I worked with clients for my first time, I did not feel intimidated or nervous by her presence. Thanks to all the training, positive feedback and helpful critiques given from Diane, I was able to see my own clients feeling very confident.
After being a part of the program for several months now, I really understand and appreciate all of the hard work Diane puts into it. She is devoted to improving the happiness and well being of our clients. For example, when I took on a client with Parkinson's Disease, Diane took extra time out of her day to teach me certain exercises and tips for working with a client with PD. She wrote up a new, very detailed exercise plan for me to use with him, which helped me out a lot. In addition, I told Diane I needed to increase the weights for one of my clients, and she made sure to get them to me as soon as possible despite her very busy schedule. Things like this show me Diane's commitment to the program, the clients, and her interns. Having someone like Diane as a supervisor really makes me enjoy what I do for the program. (Laura Nolting, junior student, Health Science, recipient of a summer 2009 scholarship for a paid internship with ProActive Balance)
- My experience with Senior Support of the Tri-Valley was very rewarding. I enjoyed interacting with the staff and clients. Diane was a wonderful instructor and it was a pleasure learning from her. (Anh Pham, senior student, Health Science)
- In this week's session with David; David and his wife, Wara, both expressed how appreciative they are to have this program be a part of their lives and how it has helped David so much. Wara said she is aware of the budget change coming up, and if there is anything they can do on their part to ensure that this program will in fact still be available because that is how important it is to them. (Rachelle Massey, senior student, Health Science)
- I have had the pleasure of knowing Diane Lacroix for more than a year and working with her for nine months. She is extremely enthusiastic and knowledgeable in older adult exercise, balance training, and care. I've had the wonderful experience of learning exercises for balance training from Diane for ProActive balance. She was patient as she taught me new and complex skills needed to work with older adults, which helped me feel comfortable teaching a diverse group exercise class. Diane is constantly looking for ways to improve herself, her program, and care of her clients, she is always working toward a new goal she has set before herself. I would recommend her for any position in older adult care. (Catherine McKeefery, graduate student, Kinesiology)
- It is hard to find constructive criticism on a program that is so very well organized by such a highly energetic, enthusiastic, intelligent, and detail oriented leader (and much more!). (Janie, new Nurse graduate)

V - Case Managers – Senior Support Program of the Tri-Valley

- I just spoke with Darlene Lima who said the in- home exercise is making a very positive difference in her functioning! This intervention is truly life-changing for many. Bravo! (Toni Coplan, Case Manager, Senior Support Program )
- I have had the pleasure of working with Diane Lacroix at Senior Support Program of the Tri-Valley for the last three years. As a case manager and rehabilitation teacher, I frequently refer frail elderly clients for our in-home exercise program that Diane has developed for our Falls Prevention Program. She devoted countless hours to the creation of an assessment tool and a detailed curriculum that is customized for each client with the goal of increasing muscle strength, balance and mobility. She designed a program for intern participation to deliver the program to clients in their homes, personally recruiting and training each intern. In addition to monitoring the performance of this rotating intern staff, Diane keeps meticulous records of client progress. She makes herself available to case managers to discuss individual clients. I have seen the very positive benefits of this program in the lives of my clients, many of whom were formerly weakened from illness, and discouraged about their prospects for improved mobility. They have expressed deep appreciation for this program, and look forward to weekly intern visits. They value the guidebook with clear illustrations of the exercises they are asked to do at home daily.
Diane has tremendous drive, enthusiasm, and complete dedication to her work. She is a true professional, with a very strong work ethic. She will be a great asset wherever she is employed. (Toni Coplan, Case Manager, Senior Support Program)
- As a case manager, I have worked with Diane LaCroix on several cases. Diane has been patient, empathetic and yet very effective with my seniors. Her kindness and energy combine to make quite an encouraging "package". She is also very organized and continues to update case managers on the progress of our clients. It is a wonderful, positive experience working with Diane. I never hesitate to recommend her services to my clients. (Anne Fowler, Case manager, Senior Support Program)

VI - Employee Evaluations – Senior Support Program of the Tri-Valley

"Outstanding" in terms of:
- Position competence (knowledge, performance, skill, quantity of work, neatness of product, thoroughness, accuracy)
- Personal characteristics (relations with fellow employees, public relations, personal appearance and habits, judgment, initiative, industriousness, organizational skills)
- Work habits (observance of work hours, rules, attendance, orderliness in work, application in duties, adherence to assignment schedules)
- Adaptability (performance in new situation, performance under stress, contribution of constructive suggestions, ability to accept constructive criticism)
- Dependability (work without close supervision, not repeating mistakes, compliance with instructions, physical and health stamina, trustworthiness)
- Safety and cost consciousness (personal safety, regard for others, resourcefulness, use of material and supplies, use of equipment)
- Diane is very self-motivated, organized, cheerful, energetic and professional. Her computer application skills allow her to manage data for her program in an efficient manner. She seeks out information and training to keep current in her field and is constantly working to improve her program. Diane's energy, initiative and program management make her a real asset to our agency. I recommend her for a pay raise as funding permits. (Carol Garberson, RD, Wellness Director)

Didi Lacroix

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