Since February is American Heart Month, we were excited to talk with one of our fantastic Senior Planet Trainers, Josy Delaney, who happens to be a passionate advocate for women’s heart health.
Josy, 69, lives an active and outdoorsy life in New York, with her husband of 45 years, their dog and three cats. She has two graduate degrees and was a NYS licensed massage therapist; she recently started her own Tai Chi practice.
How did you end up as a Senior Planet Trainer? You were originally a participant, right?
I had heard about Senior Planet when I was working full-time running a community wellness program at a Medical Center. Then the program was cut due to major reduction in force and I was let go. I was at retirement age, but I was nowhere near close to retiring! So, I started attending some Senior Planet classes.
I applied to be a trainer for Team Senior Planet, the health and wellness program, but I got a call asking if I wanted to be a tech trainer instead and I said sure! I am very proficient in technology, but I had never actually used an iPad until three weeks before teaching my first class. The participants knew I was just three weeks ahead of them and they loved it because when I didn’t know the answer, I was unabashed about it and would say “let’s find out together.”
Why is women’s heart health so important to you?
Women’s heart health is near and dear to my heart – no pun intended.
I was involved with Go Red for Women for 22 years because of my background in cardiac rehab and hearing different women’s stories. Often women just didn’t realize that they were having heart attacks. I met one woman whose only symptom was that she had pain in her wrists and she felt weak. Her husband took her to the hospital because her face was turning grey – it turns out she had had a massive heart attack.
“Women’s heart health is near and dear to my heart – no pun intended.”
Heart disease is not a man’s disease – women’s heart attacks just register differently. It’s not always the classic feeling of an elephant sitting on your chest – so it’s important for women to be aware of what the symptoms are.
You teach Tai Chi online twice a week with Senior Planet. Why should everyone be doing Tai Chi?
The benefits are amazing – better balance and fall prevention are two of my passions. It’s also good for flexibility, mobility, arthritis stiffness, chronic pain management, stress relief and cognitive function. Plus overall well-being, It’s a pretty big list and I’m sure there’s more. (Josy will be leading a talk about Tai Chi on Wednesday, February 15! Click here for more info.)
What does aging with attitude mean to you?
I love this tagline. For me, it’s about embracing life as an adventure, staying a forever student, living with an open mind and an open heart. And being sassy.
Want to acknowledge Josy or another trainer by making a donation to Senior Planet? Click here to give!
Pam Hugi is Senior Planet’s Community and Advocacy Manager. Based in Brooklyn, she runs Senior Planet’s Supporter program in addition to being a contributing writer for this site. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.