Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Wellness in Senior Living: Kit vs. Culture

senior woman stretchingUnless you live under a really, really big rock, you have no doubt heard about the importance of robust wellness opportunities as central to a successful senior living community. There have been some fabulous profiles lately on organizations that are doing an amazing job of connecting their residents and others in the surrounding areas to opportunities to live well. Two recent examples highlighted by LeadingAge are these:

What strikes me about both of these offerings is that they are wellness initiatives. I don’t know that the communities packaged them that way, but in fact, they are a model of innovative wellness programming at its very best.

The other element I find compelling about these offerings is that they’re culturally driven. That is to say that this type of creativity can only come from an organization that believes that living well is truly central to its brand.

When your senior living communities investigate what’s possible under the umbrella of resident wellness, it’s important to consider what it is you truly want to build. Is wellbeing something that leadership wants to cultivate, explore, and weave into the very fabric of the community? Or is the community focus elsewhere for now, such that wellness is more of a task that needs to be crossed off the long list?

Looking for the Wellness Kit?

If wellness for your community is about crossing something off the to-do list, then you might be looking for a kit solution. There are organizations that can help you, when you buy into their model, to plant monthly wellness initiatives at your community. Your activities director can typically fold them into the monthly calendar, and you can begin to dip your toe into the wellness water to get a sense of how your residents will receive programming and activities built around traditional wellness pillars like nutrition, physical activity, and so on.

But that's not how we do it. We're not about the monthly theme, unless it's right for your residents, and we're not about the pre-packaged materials, unless they've proven their value.

Wellness Culture Means Cultivating a Lifestyle in Senior Living

At the end of the day, a wellness culture is where we need to be headed. When we adopt a healthy culture as the way of life we’re building for residents, then we start to grasp what’s really possible.

But here’s the thing: culture is person-driven, not program-driven. There are not enough programs in the world to build a culture. Wellness is a way of life, not an activity, and it should be cultivated accordingly. Here are a few considerations if you’re contemplating the challenging and rewarding work that is wellness culture building in a retirement community:

  • Determining a hierarchy: Building a wellness culture means giving consideration to hierarchy for wellness and activities (or leisure services, or life enrichment, or whatever your organization calls the events coordinator at your community). I would challenge you to think about whether activities actually rolls up under wellness instead of wellness being a branch of activities. If you buy into the idea that wellness is a way of life rather than an activity, then challenging the status quo that activities is at the top of the programmatic/community calendar food chain warrants significant thought.
  • Hiring a wellness director: Building a wellness culture requires a dedicated and competent professional blazing the trail. I’ve written about hiring a fitness professional for your community. The principles in that blog apply to hiring a wellness director as well.
  • Thinking progressively and strategically: Building a wellness culture means thinking differently about how you program, and it requires a commitment to moving beyond the bocce tournament you’ve always done. It also requires you to strategically think through what program data you need, and how you’ll use the data to inform your next culture-building steps.

Make no mistake, building a culture is no easy task and you don’t ever really arrive. You just keep learning, building, and growing. You keep evolving to meet and anticipate the needs of your audience. You keep striving for the experience of a life well lived, for breadth and depth of lifestyle choices that provide meaning for each individual.

If this sounds daunting, it is. The wellness kit idea is much simpler to understand and to execute. But the real richness lies in the proverbial road less traveled. Partner organizations, including ours, can help you map out a path to get started.

Are you ready to do wellness better? Learn more about wellness consulting.

 

Topics: nifs fitness management senior center solutions senior wellness programs senior fitness management CCRC fitness center health culture fitness center for seniors

Benefits to offering Zumba Gold® in your Active Aging Community

senior woman dancingWhen I first began working at a CCRC a year ago I learned that Zumba® classes were being taught.  I was very intrigued and actually sat in on the class within the first couple days of being here.  Prior to attending the class, I kept thinking to myself that this was a pretty intense class to be taught to seniors.  After attending the class I was pleasantly surprised as to how enjoyable the class is for the participants.  The type of class that was being taught is actually called Zumba Gold® and was specifically designed for active seniors as well as those participants who may not be ready for full on Zumba®.  Zumba Gold® still uses the same concept of original Zumba® by incorporating exciting Latin and international dance rhythms.  Some of these dances include Merengue, Salsa, Cha Cha, Cumbia, and Belly Dancing.  You are guaranteed to get a full body workout but the exercises are modified for success and safety.  A lot of the moves may even be done at 1/2 tempo so that everyone is able to follow.  The most interesting thing that I observed was that many of the participants were seated during the Zumba Gold® class.  This makes the class available to everyone, including those who may be in wheelchairs or are unable to stand for long periods of time.

There are a wide range of benefits of Zumba®, these include:

  • Improved muscular strength and endurance
  • Improved cardiovascular system
  • Improved range of motion
  • Improved posture
  • Reduces depression, stress and anxiety
  • Opportunity to meet new people
  • Enhanced quality of life

The residents at our community absolutely love that this class is offered!  It is one of our most well attended classes at our community.  This population has grown up around music so what better way to get some exercise while dancing around to good music!  I hear over and over again from the residents that it doesn’t even feel like they are exercising because they enjoy the music so well and they just start grooving.

If you are interested in having Zumba Gold® at your CCRC you will first need to have a licensed Zumba Gold® instructor to teach the classes.  There are always training workshops being taught all over the United States you just have to find the one nearest to you.  You may find these training workshops at the following address Zumba Training.  Now the question is are you ready to live up to the Zumba® motto and ditch the workout and join the party?

Click me 

Topics: active aging nifs fitness management CCRC fitness center zumba gold senior group fitness classes

Benefits of Tracking Participation Data in Community Fitness Programs

senior living fitnessYou're senior living community is missing out on some important benefits if you don't have detailed data from your fitness program.  Read on to find out what you stand to gain by getting smarter about gathering and using data from resident participation in the fitness center and group exercise classes as well as evaluating resident participation in fitness center appointments and services.

Before we jump into benefits for the community, the fitness program, and the residents, we should note that the most common obstacle for communities digging into data is having a dedicated point person who can regularly support this effort on an ongoing basis.  While tracking this data is not rocket science, it has to become part of the fabric of your fitness program in order to be effective.  Certainly, a full system for this type of effort is part of what we bring to the clients we serve.   

[Related Content: Find out more about NIFS Staffing Services]

Benefits to the Community

Although it can be a challenge to determine the return on investment your fitness program is lending to your community, regularly tracking participation levels and establishing target goals for the program can provide solid stories that your marketing department can use to attract prospects. As you embark on setting up a data collections system with your fitness center staff, pull in your marketing team to find out what they think might be most helpful for their campaigns to reach out to prospective residents.  

For example, marketing can share with prospects and their families that XX% of the resident population are active participants in the fitness program or that XX number of residents regularly attend your community balance class. This hard data puts a backbone behind the legitimacy of your program for marketing to work with beyond the more common and generic messaging like this: “We have a lot of residents who come to our fitness center and balance class is their favorite!”

[Related Content: See what one of our Annual Reports looks like for a NIFS client]

Benefits for Fitness Staff

Ready…aim…fire! Without regular participation data to evaluate when deciding on your next fitness program, you may as well step up to pull the trigger and go straight from “ready” to “fire” without an opportunity to aim. The aim should involve looking at ebbs and flows in visits to the fitness center or participation levels in classes and creating targeted programs to increase the number and frequency of participants. Without the opportunity to aim, it will be more difficult to anticipate your residents’ needs.

Even worse, don’t keep a poorly attended program running just because you’ve always offered it. I guarantee you have at least one class on your monthly calendar in which participation has trickled off in recent months or even years. You may be saying to yourself, “Yes, but those three participants still really enjoy the class.” While that may be true, you may be neglecting a dozen more residents who have a desire for a different class while you are pouring resources into a sinking ship. Allow participation data to be a free resource to advance your community fitness program by allowing your staff to aim toward meaningful goals and hopefully more effective programs.

Benefits for Residents

The greatest benefit of all from tracking participation is how it can better serve the residents of your community! Everything that was stated in the previous section on benefiting the staff will of course carry over to benefit the residents through more meaningful program options. By tracking participation data, your fitness staff will be able to further evaluate who is coming to different classes or visiting the fitness center and how often they are doing so…and conversely, who is not! This is truly where relationships are made between the fitness staff and residents!

For example, the fitness staff will have the ability to note whether a three time per week balance class participant suddenly isn’t coming. A follow-up phone call to a resident noting their absence and welcoming them back makes a huge impact in resident adherence and satisfaction. Furthermore, targeted membership campaigns can be tailored to attract residents not currently participating in the program. Without the data to regularly report who is coming to what and when, these outreach efforts to residents would not be possible in a strategic and effective manner.

***

We can help your community get started developing these data practices through NIFS consulting services.  Click the link below to find out more about this cost effective and impactful offering.

find out more about consulting

 

Topics: senior fitness management CCRC fitness center ROI participation data collection

Senior Fitness: Beat the Heat with Aquatic Exercise

water exerciseThe heat index is approaching 100 degrees, and its only 8am. You are sick to death of running on the treadmill at the gym and want another option to burn some calories and improve your cardiovascular endurance. Well, my friend, have you considered the pool? You don’t have to be a swimmer, have fancy equipment, or even be coordinated to get a great workout in the pool. Aquatic exercise is perfect for all ages and ability levels, due to the adaptability of the aquatic environment. In basic terms, you get out of it what you put into it. The more effort you give the more resistance the water provides, and this increases the difficulty level of your workout ten- fold! The workout below can be done in shallow water, or if you are more adventurous, grab a noodle or an aqua jogger belt and try this in the deep end!

Kimberlee's Water Routine

Jog (or run) forward -10 count

Stationary Jog -10 count

Jog (or run) backward -10 count

Stationary Jog -10 count

High Kick forward -10 count

Stationary High Kick -10 count

High Knee Jog forward -10 Count

Stationary High Knees -10 count

Cross Country Ski forward -10 Count

Stationary Cross Country Ski -10 Count

Now repeat the above exercises for a 15 count each, and then a 20 count each. You can repeat this circuit 2-3 times, and add arms to each exercise for an extra calorie burning boost!

Like what you just read? Click here to subscribe to the blog.

Topics: adapting to exercise active aging nifs fitness management CCRC fitness center fitness arthritis

Proven Strategies for Building a World-Class Senior Wellness Program

senior livingPart 2: Eight Strategies to Bring About Successful Collaboration

In Part 1, I talked about the importance of setting aside power grabs and tapping into the skill sets of a variety of community personnel to establish a well-rounded wellness program for residents. Read on to discover a variety of ways your community leaders can work together to deliver best-in-class wellness programming to your residents.

Therapy Department:

1: A formal bridge program should be established between your community therapy and fitness departments to help residents transition from therapy to fitness and vice versa. Residents should feel supported in the collaboration that occurs between these two departments as their needs change.

2: Fall prevention and screening services can be offered through either department, but why not take a unified approach? Coordinate fall-prevention programs, lectures, health fairs, etc., and allow your therapy and fitness personnel to work side by side in addressing the variety of resident needs.

Activities Department:

3: As special trips or events are planned for residents, activities personnel can sit down with the fitness and therapy teams to discuss the demands that will be placed on the residents for said activity. Allow your fitness and therapy personnel to promote the upcoming event and develop educational opportunities or training programs to help residents prepare. For example, if residents are going on a trip to a historical destination where they will be walking on cobblestone or brick sidewalks, programs could be offered to help them prepare for extended walking on the terrain, or a discussion on the importance of proper footwear, cane use, and more could be provided.

4: As fitness classes or programs are coordinated and room reservations need to be made, help show your residents that physical well-being is a priority by making rooms and promotional space on calendars and newsletters available to market these programs. After all, if you are going to regularly advertise Tuesday Afternoon Bridge Group on the calendar, why wouldn’t you equally advertise the Tuesday Morning Gentle Yoga Class?

Dining Services Department:

5: Coordinate healthy cooking demonstrations for residents to help them learn how to order healthy selections in the dining room and then sample those healthy options at the demo.

6: You likely provide refreshments to residents at a variety of events. Consider serving cookies and punch as occasional treats and making healthy and engaging options for residents to enjoy. Allow them to create healthy smoothies or yogurt parfaits or create a DIY trail-mix bar with healthy options as you offer an afternoon seminar. Have members of your dining services team present so residents can better connect the healthy options flowing from that department with the educational lecture they are about to hear.

Resident Health Services Department:

7: Fitness and health services staff could coordinate their weekly free blood pressure screenings to occur right outside the doors of where a well-attended group exercise class takes place. This may help capture more participants in this service and it may bring more awareness to the group exercise class by other residents simply looking to take advantage of the free screening.

8: If you have underutilized services available through your health services department such as home health care, medication assistance, and so on, speak with your activities personnel about doing a monthly highlight of the services in the newsletter or in a presentation. It’s often that residents don’t understand or don’t realize that a service is available to them more so than not being interested. Find opportunities to spread the message.

You’ll notice that fitness isn’t included as its own separate header because it is already represented by collaborating with the other departments in the list. This remains NIFS’s philosophy on resident wellness programming. It’s how we support wellness for our clients, and we’ve found it to be an effective model that serves well the needs of current residents as well as contributes positively to community occupancy and viability in the marketplace.

Want to learn more about how to build those key elements in your community? Join us for our Build Vitality webinar series.

Topics: nifs fitness management NIFS senior wellness programs senior fitness management CCRC fitness center wellness brand for senior living

How to Build a Better Fitness Center for Your Residents

Senior living communities are spending a lot of time and resources today responding to the consumer's demand for opportunities to live well.  We see those responses translated into a variety of services and amenities that speak to wellness, and specifically exercise opportunities and fitness centers are one of the most common wellness elements in senior living.  Unfortunately, a lot of communities are still operating with exercise areas that are outdated and less than friendly for residents.  But money is tight, and allocating capital for improvements to existing exercise spaces or building brand new fitness centers is not a decision to be made lightly.  If you commit to investing in that type of capital improvement, you need to do it right. 

Questions about space allocation, design, equipment selection, programming, and liability can be overwhelming.

As you might expect, in my wellness consulting work at retirement communities, I get asked a lot of questions about new construction and rehabbing existing spaces.  I've answered some of the most common questions in a blog on the top 5 list of things to avoid when building a fitness center for senior living.

In a little bit deeper dive on key questions related to space design, size, and equipment, we hosted a "Build a Better Fitness Center" webinar, as part of our Build Vitality series.  The recording is below.  When you watch the 30 minute webinar, you find out more about the following:  

  • how to design/redesign a fitness area,
  • how to make sound exercise equipment selections for your residents,
  • what practices and policies need to be in place to effectively manage your liability, and
  • how to program the fitness areas for optimal engagement.

View the full Build a Better Fitness Center webinar using the button below. 

Watch the webinar: Build a Better Fitness Center 

If you want to cut to the chase and access all four of our Build Vitality webinars, click here.

 

Topics: active aging senior wellness programs senior fitness management CCRC fitness center Fitness Center fitness center for seniors

Proven Strategies for Building a World-Class Senior Wellness Program

senior wellnessPart 1: Who Should Be Contributing to Resident Wellness?

There are many interpretations of what a community “wellness program” should be, and to be fair, many interpretations are quite valid. We’re not saying one size fits all; quite the contrary. What we are saying is that there are multiple VALID interpretations of resident wellness and making your community aware of the potential variety (pulling away from “this is what we’ve always done”) will be beneficial for all. Tap into the unique skill sets of your community personnel to cultivate a harmonious and healthy lifestyle for your residents.

For example, resident health services and therapy departments may perceive clinical programs such as health metrics screenings or gait analysis as wellness programming. Your activities personnel may perceive socialization and educational seminars as a wellness program, whereas your community fitness personnel perceive prevention programming such as balance training and healthy eating as wellness. The answer to which of these options is truly a wellness program is “all of the above”—if they are executed effectively with a collaborative approach to promote resident well-being.

Oftentimes there are power grabs at play among community personnel on who is offering wellness or who should be involved in certain types of programming. We’ve written about silos and power grabs before. A well-rounded wellness program cannot truly exist until these power grabs are set aside and everyone learns to contribute to the greater good of resident care and well-being as a team. After all, how long will a resident truly be successful upon discharge from therapy services if they don’t have the support of fitness programming to continue their progress? Or what good is an educational lecture on the importance of managing your blood pressure as coordinated by your activities personnel if health screenings and clinical support are not available?

The needs and expectations of today’s residents are too dynamic and unique to have a “wellness program” facilitated through the vision of one department or one individual. To best serve the needs of residents, all departments should be contributing their own skill sets under a central mission for improving resident well-being.

In doing so, your community will be able touch on many different dimensions of wellness from one department to the next without placing the entire programming burden on one or two individuals. In turn, the scope of possibilities in programming is not as limited and a current of wellness-based lifestyle programs and options will flow from one department to the next. If you were to remove one of these departments, it would likely create a gap in your program. This collaboration can demonstrate to existing and prospective residents that individual agendas and power grabs are not the priority at your community, but improved resident well-being through collaboration is!

You won’t want to miss part 2 of this blog, in which we look into eight specific examples of where your key community players can contribute to well-rounded wellness programming.

Topics: NIFS senior wellness programs senior fitness management CCRC fitness center wellness brand for senior living

“Must-Do” Responsibilities for Retirement Community Fitness Managers

senior fitnessIf you have residents who want to use the fitness center at your community but aren’t sure how to get started safely, you may have given some thought to adding a fitness center manager who can provide that individual attention for your residents. Perhaps you’re unsure about where to start looking for your fitness center manager and what types of things they should be doing while they’re on the job. Read on to learn about four key job responsibilities we think your fitness center manager should be executing often and well.

Providing Value-Add Services to the Members

The whole idea of providing consistent staffing in the fitness center is to get more residents to use the amenity along with other services to live well, right? Consider these types of opportunities to communicate value to your residents:

  • Equipment orientation: There’s a good chance you have residents who have never used a treadmill, a NuStep, or other fitness equipment before. They need at least a basic overview of how each piece works to grow confidence in using the equipment. In truth, NIFS views the orientation as a required piece to “join” the fitness center—it's one of several elements in our risk-management protocol. To read more on how to manage you community’s liability related to your fitness center, download our whitepaper: Managing Your CCRC Fitness Center Liability.
  • Senior fitness assessment: This testing tool is an important opportunity to get some baseline data on the level of fitness for a resident. Starting with an assessment before moving into writing an exercise prescription (described below) is a good way to truly customize the exercise program and assess the resident’s progress over time. This assessment data can also offer compelling messages for your marketing and sales staff on how effective your community’s exercise program is for residents.
  • Exercise prescription: After a resident has gone through the equipment orientation and (ideally) a senior fitness assessment, they can move into an exercise prescription appointment with the manager. In this service, the manager works with the resident to create an exercise plan that is tailored to meet the resident’s needs and goals. The manager then walks the resident through the program on a few different visits to increase the resident’s understanding and confidence about having success with the exercise program.

Protecting the Residents’ Safety and Managing the Community’s Liability

Your fitness manager can take several steps to advocate for resident safety while also decreasing your liability. Implementing a membership process for your fitness center is one of those steps. Consider the following elements.

  • Waiver/release of liability: A handful of states do not recognize waivers/releases of liability, and the language in them is really critical where they are recognized for protecting your community. You should work carefully with your counsel to draft an appropriate release for your circumstances.
  • Health history questionnaire: The fitness manager can initiate a dialogue with residents about the impact of an exercise program on their wellbeing when he or she has a basic health history from residents. In truth, it’s challenging (at best) and possibly negligent for a fitness manager to prescribe any type of specific exercises to a participant, or assess a resident’s fitness level, without the health history information.
  • Medical release: For the active aging population, involving an individual’s medical provider (physician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, etc.) in the process of developing an exercise program is crucial. In almost all cases where an individual has a complicated medical history involving past surgeries, current medications, and so on, a well-trained fitness manager will not have a robust understanding of an individual’s medical history without the support of the clinical community. The medical release notifies the medical liaison that he or she is engaging in exercise and provides an opportunity for the clinician to make specific recommendations about the exercise program for that individual.

Collaborating with Other Department Directors to Cultivate Community Wellness

This seems like a no-brainer, but from our experience working in a variety of retirement community settings, collaboration is anything but seamless. I’ve talked about this in other blogs, so I’ll spare you my soapbox here. Suffice it to say that your overall community wellness programming will be more rich and balanced when you include the expertise of your fitness manager for a creative twist on more traditional offerings.

Evaluating Program Success

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to evaluate what you’re doing in resident wellness. In our two-part blog on gathering wellness data you can actually use, I outline some specifics on how to set up your initiatives for simple but effective evaluation as well as how to evaluate the program when it’s complete. Read those blogs for more information on program evaluation.

The other element of data gathering and evaluation that we often see missing from fitness programs is program attendance. All too often, communities are not capturing resident attendance in group exercise classes or in the fitness center. Your onsite manager should be keeping track of who has joined the fitness program and how often they are using the amenities. This data allows the manager to report to the community personnel about utilization trends. It also informs decisions about what group classes and other services to keep on the schedule and which should be evolved into new opportunities.

If this leaves you with more questions than answers about what your fitness center staff should be doing, contact me to learn what’s on our job descriptions and how we work with our senior living clients.

Click me

Topics: nifs fitness management NIFS senior center solutions senior fitness management CCRC fitness center senior fitness

Top 5 things to avoid when building a fitness center for senior living communities

senior fitnessWe work on a lot of build/design projects in retirement communities where the project is either new construction for a new community, or the plan is part of a repositioning that includes enhanced wellness spaces and services.   I’ve got two communities on my desk currently where we’re helping to map out their fitness center and related spaces.

If you follow industry trends, you see it all the time in press releases, RSS feeds and other media avenues:  ground breakings for projects that include a state-of-the-art wellness wing, indoor/outdoor pool complex, etc.  Communities are getting serious about folding resident wellness into their broader business strategy to remain viable in the market.

Over my years at NIFS, I’ve had the pleasure of working on more than 20 different types of fitness center builds.  As you can imagine, I’ve learned quite a bit along the way.  Below are my top five recommendations (in random order) on pitfalls to avoid during your design journey.

#5 – Don’t let your design team talk you out of consulting with an expert who is used to programming fitness spaces. 

You should rely 100% on your architectural team to provide all the elements of the space that speak to code, compliance, overall flow and esthetics as those elements relate to the  broader project goal.  But it’s not reasonable to expect them to understand how your personal trainers and fitness manager will work with your residents in the space.  Unless your architect had a previous career managing a fitness center for an active older adult audience, my hunch (based on my experience) is that he might miss some key elements in the design that would ultimately inhibit the end-user experience.  

#4 –Don’t overlook the value of qualified management for your fitness areas.

There is nothing worse than pouring money into fabulous state-of-the-art digs than to have them sit idle after the grand opening.  We know that senior living fitness centers are not an “if you build it they will come” proposition.  Your resident audience will be expecting support to use the pool, fitness center, and other health-related spaces.  Plan to hire a qualified manager who is dedicated to running this physical dimension of your wellness strategy.  (Note – this is not the same as your fee-for-service personal trainer.)  You’ll be glad you did.

#3 – Don’t assume that what you’re planning for today will fit you tomorrow.

If you follow #5 and #4 above, you’ll be quite pleased with how well-utilized the exercise programs are in your community.  And it won’t be long before you need to add another treadmill, a mat table, or another piece of equipment.  If you design with growth in mind, you’ll be able to do some subtle shifting of existing equipment to make new pieces fit.  Similarly, if you anticipate that the space and services will quickly become wildly popular, you may need to add staffing.  Planning for additional staff workspace is also essential.

#2 – Don’t get swept up by a sales pitch from an equipment vendor. 

Exercise equipment comes in a lot of shapes and sizes – it is not one size fits all.  Treadmills can vary widely on the marketplace in terms of features, cost, warranty, and ease of use.  Do your homework (or hire someone to help you) and avoid being swayed by the sales pitches from equipment retailers.  All of them will put together a layout for you at “no extra cost”.  All of them will tell you they’ve been in the active aging market for decades.  All of them will tell you that they have the best science behind their product.  It’s a very buyer beware market.

#1 – Don’t get tunnel vision on what a quality fitness program (bricks and mortar + management) can do for your residents and the greater community. 

Expand your vision of what’s possible in the space.  If you can dream big on this project, you’ll be able to anticipate where the market is headed for resident wellness.  Do you have an opportunity to capitalize on your local neighbors for some revenue by opening up your fitness center and services to the 55+ community who does not yet live on your campus?  Can you see a path to combine therapy and wellness in your new space where the transition of care is seamless for your residents?  How do you need to design the space to support these concepts as part of your future?  Think about separate entrances, equipment, user privacy needs, data lines and medical records storage.  What has to be in place for your dream space to become a reality and potentially a new best practice in resident fitness programming?

It can be both exciting and daunting to embark on a substantial construction project.  Getting the right stakeholders to the design table early will help you carefully navigate some of the common pitfalls I noted above.  If you’ve “been there” and “done that”, share your tips below.  If you’re about to embark on this kind of project and you’d like to learn more about the key elements of fitness center design, download our Build Vitality eBook.

Download our eBook: Build Vitality In Your Community

 

 

Topics: active aging nifs fitness management senior center solutions CCRC fitness center staying active

Two New NIFS Clients with Two Different Service Angles

Active Aging LogoNIFS was thrilled to begin fitness management services at two new retirement community client sites in April. Furthermore, we were honored to be able to tailor our staffing services for the unique needs of each location. Community fitness and wellness programs can’t be addressed with a cookie-cutter approach. Read on to learn how NIFS is supporting the unique needs of each location and their residents.

Peabody: 20-Hour-per-Week Fitness Manager

Peabody is a CCRC in North Manchester, Indiana. Although Peabody did not have a fitness center for its residents until the grand opening of the brand new Billie Jean Strauss Wellness Center in April, NIFS has been supporting this community since early 2012 through consulting and equipment recommendations. NIFS provided recommendations for the fitness center and aerobics studio, including everything from treadmills to strength equipment to balance-training tools and space layouts. When the build was complete, NIFS was able to support the equipment installation and helped the community prepare for the grand opening celebration.

Because Peabody residents are not accustomed to exercising in an onsite fitness center or having group fitness class options in an aerobics studio, the community began staffing services at 20 hours per week with a NIFS Fitness Manager. As NIFS’s best-in-class fitness programming sparks resident engagement and enthusiasm, they anticipate growing the manager position to full-time to add more opportunities and services for residents. So far the launch of the program has been a great success and residents have been very eager to learn about the new equipment and program. NIFS is excited to expand the possibilities for Peabody residents and grow with the community.

Sandhill Cove: 40 Hour-per-Week Wellness Director

Sandhill Cove is a CCRC in Palm City, Florida. The community has a fitness center, pool, and contracted group fitness and personal training services. NIFS visited the community for a consulting arrangement in the fall of 2012 and provided a variety of recommendations to unify their program offerings in creating a stronger wellness brand. Following those recommendations, community leadership felt that NIFS could best lead this movement for the community and began staffing services with a full-time NIFS Waterfront Wellness Director.

The community had strong elements of a wellness program in place for its residents. The Wellness Director will be leading the initiative at the community and helping to pull in the various programs, services, and personnel under a unified vision for the program. In addition, the Wellness Director will be providing NIFS’s traditional best-in-class fitness programming and management services.

NIFS launched at the community in early April and we are thrilled with the progress made with increasing resident awareness of new and existing services available at the community and with the turnout at the Waterfront Wellness Open House. Residents received a passport to guide them on a tour of different booths. The booths highlighted different programs and service offerings around the community and educated participants on the different dimensions of wellness. Eighty-nine percent of residents who participated in the event submitted a completed passport indicating that they visited every booth. This was a great first step in helping residents identify the various programs and service offerings available at Sandhill Cove under the Waterfront Wellness Program.

Download NIFS Benefits of Staffing Webinar

Topics: NIFS senior center solutions senior fitness management CCRC fitness center senior fitness