Inspiring Stories

Meet the Member: Lezrette Hutchinson

Lezrette is transforming her mental and physical health with the help of Senior Planet while staying in lockdown in New York. Up next? Transforming her home into an age-friendly city.

Tell me about your recent entry into the world of telemedicine?

My first time trying to see my doctor online was so frustrating – it took hours of trying to log on. But later, I was looking at Senior Planet’s calendar and I saw a class on telemedicine. So I thought I would give it a try. For my next appointment, it was.. one… two… three… I was on. No problem.

Lots of the things that I’ve done over these past months, I have to give credit to Senior Planet. I find myself going online quite a few times a day. For instance, a young man came on and spoke about troubled sleeping. So I had a conversation with my doctor about it and I brought the PDF with everything highlighted I wanted to discuss. My doctor said: “Ms. Hutchinson you have changed!” and I said: “Thanks to Senior Planet.”

Before, even if I had learned about something like a sleeping disorder, I wouldn’t have had such an in-depth conversation about it because I didn’t feel informed enough to have that detailed discussion. But being here at Senior Planet and being able to get the PDF and be able to copy it and highlight what I want to ask my doctor about, I feel I am a more informed consumer.

That’s one of the more powerful things we can be – informed consumers.

I don’t think they like that too much out of us.

Have you been taking any exercise courses with us?

Oh yes, I log on every morning with friends. I don’t like to exercise by myself so I bring a friend with me. I used to think I need to be at a gym to do this or do that, but you can do all of it at home. 

What are you getting out of the mindfulness classes?

It’s the conversation. You know – how to connect the mind with the body and what is around you. The mind and the body together work wonders. I can’t believe the stress I used to put on myself because I didn’t know how to just sit there and listen to my body. 

How do you feel different now?

I don’t think I feel different, I feel smarter. We talk about so many topics at Senior Planet, I feel confident I can get whatever knowledge I need.

I was so afraid of technology before. I would do it because I would go to my senior center but outside of there I wouldn’t bother; I would just go back to my old way of living. Now when my friends need help, they call me! Whatever I learn, I share.

What do you see for yourself after lockdown is over?

One of the things that really amazes me is the way we age and the whole “Age-Friendly” initiative New York is taking on. I didn’t know what that meant before I started coming to the age-friendly lectures at Senior Planet. But now I think about it all the time and I talk to my congressmen about it.

I want an age friendly place to live and I want to be a part of helping to build that. I don’t want them to make it for us. We need to be involved in how it is made.

What does aging with attitude mean to you?

It means being informed. The things people used to say to me because I am a senior – I no longer accept it. Like calling me “mom” or all these names. I am more empowered now and I, in a nice way, ask them to not treat me differently because of my age.