Associate Close-Up: Elizabeth Walz
We recently sat down with the Exercise Physiologist at Pitman to learn more about her and her passion for senior care and services . These are her words:
Q: What is your name and position?
A: Elizabeth Walz, Exercise Physiologist, Senior Fitness Program Specialist
Q: What do you like best about working for United Methodist Communities?
A: Being able to be a part of the residents’ everyday lives is my favorite part. They become family.
Q: What makes United Methodist Communities unique?
A: UMC provides a unique environment that offers all levels and types of care under one roof. It makes such a difference that our residents can receive acute care rehab right on the other side of the building from their assisted living apartments. It provides us, as a team here, constant communication to provide the best possible care for our residents.
Q: What does “Abundant Life” mean to you?
A: An “Abundant Life” is one that denies ageism and fulfills every facet of wellness: physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual.
Q: What have you learned from working at UMC?
A: Age is just a number. This population has so much more to offer than we give them credit for.
Q: What has been your proudest moment at UMC?
A: My proudest moment at UMC was when I helped a resident graduate from a walker to a cane so that she was able to walk up steps. She wanted to enter into her son’s home for Thanksgiving dinner without any help. The Monday after Thanksgiving her son accompanied her to the gym, they both had giant smiles on their faces. She did it! The entire family was so happy, that at age 93, their mother was getting stronger. Those are the moments that I live for. Here at UMC we have the opportunity to change lives, not just for our residents but their families as well.
Q: What has been your career progression at UMC?
A: I began here as a student intern with the Rehab team. Then I moved on to become the Senior Fitness Program Specialist.
Q: Why did you choose senior care and services?
A: I just know that the human body is an incredible thing. This population still has so much potential to improve and live their best possible life no matter what age they are.
Q: Is there an older adult who had a strong influence on your life?
A: I would definitely say that my grandmother has had a strong influence on my life. She is the strongest and most beautiful woman I know. She has always put her family first and never ever gives up. If I grow to be half the woman that she is I will be more than blessed.
Q: Do you have a prominent memory of your grandmother and/or grandfather?
A: I feel all the memories with my grandmother is one giant ball of hugs, kisses, and smiles. Since I was born she has always been there at every event no matter how insignificant. I can always count on her for relentless love and support not just for me but my parents as well.
Q: Do the residents inspire you? Does one resident stand out?
A: Every single day they inspire me to wake up and do what I do here. They never give up, despite the hard lives they’ve lived, why should I? I honestly don’t think that I could choose one that stands out. They’re like your kids…you can’t pick a favorite. You love them all but they all just fill different spots in my heart. I could write a book on all of the inspirational stories that they have shared with me of love, triumph, and loss. There is so much wisdom that they have to offer.
Q: Where did you grow up? Where else have you lived?
A: I grew up and still reside right here in Pitman, New Jersey.
Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
A: I enjoy spending time with my family. I also like to travel and experience different styles of food.
Q: What is your favorite family tradition?
A: My favorite family tradition is everyone wears pajamas to Christmas dinner.
Q: What are you most grateful for in your life?
A: My family means everything to me; they have never stopped giving me love and support.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
A: I am just grateful for my position here and the opportunity it gives me to change the lives of the incredible people who live here. We were all born with the ability to change someone’s life and we should never waste it!