Pain Management Program at Glencroft Center for Modern Aging

seniors stretching with instructor

Many older adults regularly deal with pain. According to the National Institutes of Health, a study found that about 53% of seniors deal with pain, and about 75% of seniors said they had multiple areas where they experience pain. 

The Glencroft Center for Modern Aging recognizes the debilitating repercussions for seniors dealing with chronic pain and is taking action. Their ZoeLifeTM team of physical therapists, occupational therapists, exercise physiologists, and nutritionists have created a revolutionary pain management program to provide a truly comprehensive strategy specific to a senior demographic.

What Is ZoeLifeTM?

Offered on campus and free of charge to residents, the ZoeLifeTM wellness program is an important benefit at Glencroft Center for Modern Aging. Steve Heller, Vice President and Director of ZoeLife Operations, shares, 

“Our mission is to provide a safe place for seniors to thrive as they age. ZoeLife is

helping seniors pursue vitality through engaging in a full, active, and purposeful life. Our mission is to help our seniors have a safe, yet abundant lifestyle.”

This unique approach focuses on six pillars of wellness: 

  • Pillar I – Spiritual
  • Pillar II – Emotional 
  • Pillar III – Physical 
  • Pillar IV – Social 
  • Pillar V – Intellectual
  • Pillar VI – Vocational 

In this program, seniors are introduced to the six pillars and build upon each pillar to have a strong foundation for changing their lifestyle. They work on the ZoeLife pillars five days a week. 

“The endgame is working on fall prevention strategies  and  the six pillars so they’re not isolated and anxiety-ridden – two issues that often accompany seniors who are experiencing pain,” says Heller. 

Starting with the first pillar of spirituality, seniors have a regular Bible study to find purpose in their existence. While it is modeled after a Christian Bible study, all faiths are welcome. The second pillar includes emotional wellness, which can include handling stress in difficult situations in a healthy way and accepting positive emotions. 

These two pillars work in tandem to help older adults start to unpack sources of pain – and some may have been holding onto those sources for decades. 

In the physical pillar, seniors get more than treatment for their ailments. They are taught lifestyle habits that promote strength and flexibility in addition to physical and occupational therapy. Coupled with the lifestyle habits, they have more of a wellness mindset than just treating the symptoms at hand. 

The social pillar focuses on interactions with others and how to maintain meaningful bonds with others. 

The intellectual pillar looks at continued education and supporting seniors in expanding their knowledge on something new. The last pillar, vocational, empowers seniors to find a new calling in life. Combining all these pillars, seniors have more than a strategy to manage chronic pain – they develop a new outlook on life. 

“Through ZoeLife, they learn a new hobby, skill set, and continue their education. It’s an opportunity for a lifestyle of thriving,” shares Heller. 

How Does the ZoeLifeTM Approach Support Seniors?

The ZoeLife approach encourages seniors to get out of their apartments and live their best lives. The Glencroft campus spans 40 acres with amenities and extensive programming for residents to be involved in anything and everything.

A senior living community may have plenty of activities and socials for residents to enjoy, but pain can prevent them from participating. Pain can cause insomnia and exhaustion, making the senior unable to take part in all their community has to offer. 

That’s why the ZoeLifeTM approach is so important. At Glencroft, a unique plan is created for each resident. The team works with families, primary care doctors and providers to create a comprehensive wellness strategy and execution plan. 

There’s constant communication with everyone involved in caring for a loved one, so they are getting the most out of this program. For example, the dining services team will put together a personalized dietary plan to make sure the resident’s taste and nutritional needs are met.

The care team also works on antibiotic stewardship. If possible, they try to wean seniors off medications with harmful side effects that impede their everyday lives. As their pain management improves, they may not need certain medications in the future. 

Families are strongly encouraged to be involved with their loved one’s care, even if they are not located nearby. Glencroft offers a FaceTime portal to include families so they can see their loved one’s progress.

When you enter the ZoeLife program, you can expect a week with a Bible study, group exercises, lunch-and-learn lecture, a hot-and-cold contrast cycle between a whirlpool and ice bath, and using the e-stim black box. 

What Is E-Stim Acuscope and Myopulse? 

With ZoeLife’s holistic approach to wellness and managing pain, Glencroft embraces using naturopathic ways to help seniors deal with any type of pain.This includes seeing acupuncturists, chiropractors, massage therapists, and nutritionists, alongside physical, occupational and speech therapists. 

Glencroft also has access to revolutionary noninvasive technology called Electro-Acuscope and Myopulse, which has helped seniors manage pain, improve function, and regain mobility. 

The Acuscope is a tissue-regulated neural microcurrent device that stimulates the nervous system in the body. This can be used to target areas where a senior is experiencing pain. When the tissue has an abnormal electrical impulse, the device recognizes the abnormality and seeks to fix it by providing its own impulse to achieve balance.

The Myopulse stimulates the muscles for rehabilitation purposes. This can help increase circulation, relax muscle spasms, prevent the progress of muscle atrophy, and help with range of motion. 

There are only six of these devices in Arizona, and Glencroft has one that’s free of charge for residents in the ZoeLife program. 

How Has E-Stim Helped Residents?

Glencroft residents thrive when they use e-stim therapy as part of their ZoeLifeTM care plan. See how e-stim has helped residents Marilyn and Michelle:

“I’d like to give a huge shout-out to Steve Heller for the outstanding treatment on my knee with this special e-stem unit. Due to several falls and inactivity during the pandemic, I was in pain while walking and getting up from a chair. My leg always felt twisted, and I couldn’t straighten it. Since the treatments, my pain has decreased considerably. I can get up from chairs and the bed in the treatment room unassisted, and my quality of sleep has improved. I am truly amazed!”

 – Marilyn Belanger

“The result of my treatments has been life-changing for me! After 10 years of pain and stiffness caused by a bad fall, fractures, and ankle repair surgery, I now have feeling in areas that I thought were completely dead and numb forever! I also have increased range of motion even where the screws and plate are located, and I can walk pain-free!”

– Michelle Jones

Learn More About Pain Management at Glencroft Center for Modern Aging

Prospective Glencroft residents can expect a customized strategy for wellness, including finding the root cause of their pain by approaching the issue from the various perspectives of the ZoeLifeTM pillars. This is a hands-on, active approach that requires participation and dedication every day. The Glencroft staff offer their full support every step of the way. 

Heller spoke about his favorite thing to see in residents who are in the ZoeLife program. 

“Watching someone late in life pivot from the mindset of I can’t do this to you know I think I can is amazing to watch. No matter the season of life someone is in, there are always a lot of positives that can be achieved by just having a little hope.” 

Glencroft invites you to get in touch with their team by calling 623-295-0294 if you have any questions or would like to speak with a staff member regarding ZoeLifeTM, or becoming a resident of this wellness-focused community. 

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