Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Emily Davenport

Recent Posts by Emily Davenport:

Staff High Five: Rachel Leszczynski

We say it with pride quite regularly, our amazing staff in corporate and senior living fitness centers are what help us serve our clients so well. Their strong educational background in health and fitness helps us set the bar high while their exceptional creativity and relationship building skills allows them to keep their members engaged and asking what’s coming next. Since we have the privilege of getting to know our staff across the country, we thought our followers might like to as well. Join us monthly as we throw a different NIFS team member a High Five.

HIGH5_R.Leszczynski

  • Name: Rachel Leszczynski
  • City, State: Issaquah, WA
  • Years with NIFS:
  • Position: Fitness Manager
  • What brought you to NIFS: I started with NIFS as a Health Fitness Specialist in Lincolnshire, IL. It was my first “real job” in the fitness industry.
  • What is the most impactful moment you have shared with a member: I think the most impactful moment has been with one of my regular PT clients. When we first started she wasn’t able to stand up from a chair without pushing off. While we’ve had a few setbacks, she is able to stand from a chair without pushing off.
  • What separates a NIFS fitness pro from the rest: Not only do NIFS staff take good care of their clients, our network of managers is a great support system and was very helpful in my first couple of years as a fitness manager, specifically with programming. So I guess you could say a NIFS pro is best because of the team as a whole.
  • What is your fave thing about working at your client site: My fav thing is being able to access all the hiking trails of the beautiful pacific northwest. Taking members out on a guided hikes once a month is a total treat.
  • What motivates you: I’m an active person and being able to stay healthy and do the things I love keeps me motivated.
  • What is your favorite hobby: Playing soccer!

Interested in learning more about our staffing services? Click below for what best fits your needs.

ACTIVE AGING   |   CORPORATE FITNESS

 

 

Topics: nifs fitness management staffing staffing

Why we can quit following health observances in senior living?

September is a busy month with national health observances which are geared to bring awareness and resources to individuals or caregivers for issues ranging from childhood obesity to senior independence and just about every chronic health condition in between. For many, the health observance may be one of the only times during the year in which they have access to these additional resources.

If you think about it, older adults who reside in senior living communities have access to these types of resources every single day. As NIFS partners with senior living communities across the country in managing their fitness programs, we see firsthand the impact that the vibrant lifestyle has on enhancing the lives of seniors. The scope of resources from health services to socialization to robust physical activity programs help seniors thrive and are built into the lifestyle 365 days per year opposed to a week or month-long health campaign. It’s not just about increasing awareness, the lifestyle provides the tools and resources for older adults to effectively manage their health and maintain their independence. We witness minds put at ease from the convenient access to exceptional dining, medical care and amenities and lives lived to their fullest.

GettyImages-1029344612Let’s look at some examples for September’s health observances that align with the lifestyle that residents in senior living communities have at their fingertips every single day:

  • Healthy Aging Month: well that’s a gimme with the month-long focus on the positive aspects of growing older and bringing inspiration to improving the physical, social, mental, and financial well-being of those 45+. These types of enrichment opportunities fill the lifestyle calendars every single month in senior living communities.
  • National Yoga Awareness Month: brings awareness to the benefits of yoga and its attributes in living a healthy lifestyle. Yoga classes are a senior living staple on the group fitness calendar as the research behind the gentle poses and stretches bring flexibility, strength and balance gains to the participants as well as enhancing the mind/body connection.
  • National Fall Prevention Week: We know that fall prevention is a year-round priority for seniors and NIFS Balance Redefined program brings a comprehensive service model of balance training and fall prevention programming to the communities we serve. Balance classes and rehab departments are commonplace services within senior living.

Just like any industry, some senior living communities have an edge with the scope of amenities and quality of services available to their residents. If you are exploring how a senior living community measures up in fulfilling these lifestyle goals, ask these questions:

  • If you are motivated to become more physically active, does the community have a fitness center with professional staffing and a robust service model of classes, appointments, and programs? Most communities have a fitness center, but the staffing makes all the difference!
  • If you are interested in gaining more socialization, how do the activities, outings, and dining experiences align with your personal passions and interests? How many new offerings are on the calendar each month to keep things fresh?
  • If you are looking for intellectual enrichment, how do the programs engage participants and spark conversation?  There is a difference in the lifelong opportunities available between attending “sit and listen lectures” and events that truly foster new life experiences.

Of course we support initiatives that help connect people with additional resources for any health condition they or a loved one might be experiencing and the national health observances do a nice job with that. For more information on other observances, check out this link from the US Department of Health and Human Services. In closing, we’ll consider the lifestyle available to residents within senior living communities a yearlong health observance for the best of both worlds.

How we improved an already successful fitness program

Topics: senior wellness programs activities calendar senior living

Corporate Fitness: Maintaining Connections in a Virtual World

GettyImages-1215677044 (1)While many may have feelings of uncertainty come to mind with everything we’ve endured thus far in 2020, we’ve also experienced inspiration from the dedication of our healthcare workers and educators and witnessed innovation in how many industries are adapting to remote workforces and revised service models.The corporate fitness industry included and that is why NIFS has adapted our HealthYou programming to accommodate our clients’ needs while their fitness centers remain closed and their employees are at home.  

We have long stated that it's our amazing staff that makes our business-model thrive and our hiring practices help us recruit some of the best professionals in the industry. The relationships our staff build with their members are key to our successful corporate fitness centers. One thing the current pandemic has taught us is those relationships don’t need to be nurtured within the four walls of a fitness center. As our clients’ workforces were sent home and access to typical fitness amenities became limited, our staff got to work finding opportunities to support their members’ health and wellness needs to maintain engagement.

Here are a few examples of how our staff is keeping our clients’ workforce connected to healthy lifestyle resources utilizing their customized HealthYou portals and our licensed exercise software integrated with Zoom:

  • Virtual Health Coaching: if you have tried to purchase fitness equipment in the last several months, you’ve likely experienced home-based cardio equipment on backorder, dumbbell racks empty in the stores, and the basics for building your home gym difficult to come by. Our staff have been routinely connecting with their members via phone calls and email and finding innovative ways to support their members’ evolving needs. For some, it may have been relaxation techniques while kids were home with distance learning, for others it may have been working through a new exercise program within the scope of what equipment and space a member has available at home. The gratitude and thanks our staff have heard from their members in maintaining that connection has been inspiring.

  • Group Fitness: we’ve been host morning, noon, and night virtual group fitness classes since the pandemic started and it’s amazing to hear just how much our members love to see THEIR fitness staff and still workout with them. They’ve also enjoyed getting to experience classes with other NIFS staff across the country for variety. Not only do they have live classes available but they have a video library of recorded classes at their fingertips which have 1,000’s of views.

  • Programming: let’s face it, those early weeks of the pandemic, in particular, were rough. Stress and anxiety levels were high and many fell into the groove of day-long snacking followed by evening binge-watching of our favorite shows. Wellness programming like NIFS Commit 21, Fitness Bingo, and NIFS Stress Relief Calendar has helped employees establish personal goals and self-care routines to get back on track.

  • Nutrition Services: NIFS Registered Dietitian has been hosting Healthy Lifestyle sessions on Zoom each week where everything from weight loss, to pre-and-post workout nutrition, to family meal planning, is discussed. There is also a Facebook group in which healthy recipes are shared and some great discussion continues throughout the week! As the frequency of cooking at home has increased, these nutrition resources have been a great option to break out of those menu ruts and explore new healthy choices.

We are already hearing requests and interest for our HealthYou resources to remain available to our members once fitness centers reopen. The landscape of many industries post-pandemic will likely look different and we are glad that members are inviting more options to exercise onsite when their fitness centers reopen as well as requesting the continued accessibility of virtual resources.

NIFS HealthYou programming is a great solution for organizations looking to broaden their employee wellness offerings. Whether you have an onsite fitness center or your employee-base works remotely, our amazing staff and virtual tools can connect them to the resources they need to live well. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation to explore opportunities for your employees.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HEALTHYOU >

Topics: corporate fitness program corporate fitness employee wellness group fitness remote working virtual trainer virtual group fitness online fitness coach virtual training online fitness

Lives Enriched through NIFS Legacy Program

Legacy photo-1In February, you may have read about NIFS Legacy Program which was run at a number of our senior living client sites across the country. Many fitness centers were considering programs to promote cardiovascular health for Heart Health Month and this initiative had its own way of tugging at the heart strings. As I was reviewing the monthly reports that our staff were submitting highlighting their program offerings and participation in the month of February, I was touched by this quote from our Wellness Director, Candace Montgomery, at The Chesapeake in Newport News, Virginia, a LifeSpire of Virginia community. NIFS has been partnered with LifeSpire since 2016 to manage their Vibrance program across three of their communities. As you read below, you’ll understand how the resident response to this program exemplifies how LifeSpire is committed to creating joy, purpose, growth, and community in daily living for their residents and we are honored to help create these experiences.

“We took part in NIFS Legacy Project which was a huge success for our Independent Living, Assisted Living and Healthcare residents with 74 participants. It was very interesting learning about residents lives and memories that they jotted down during this project. This project was also very touching for many residents who live in Independent Living but have spouses in Healthcare. One resident in particular came to our fitness office in tears of joy about the heartwarming conversations she had with her husband in Healthcare regarding their life and their children and all of the happy memories that occurred. This is truly what the Legacy Project was all about!”  - Candace Montgomery, NIFS Wellness Director

Candace is absolutely right. That IS what it’s all about and I see and feel so much from reading her summary.

  • I see a compassionate and creative wellness professional who values the stories that her residents have to share and a team-oriented approach that was needed to make this program a success.
  • I see 74 residents across all continuums of care participating in a program that gives them purpose and warms their hearts (all of our hearts frankly).
  • I see a couple reminiscing about the beautiful life they continue to share because they are receiving the care and support they need in a nurturing environment.
  • And I see family members receiving a keepsake that will be cherished for generations to come.

All four of these bullets shine a spotlight on the impact that quality wellness programs can have on your staff, residents, and their families; all were enriched by this program.

While many know us as a fitness management company, our staff are regularly offering holistic programs of this nature to support the overall well-being of the residents we serve. In addition, we strive to bridge programs and services throughout the continuums of care to benefit all residents. Here are a few tips to help carry programs that are offered to your IL residents over to your licensed areas with a little creative planning and teamwork.

Thank you to Candace and the team at The Chesapeake for enriching lives of the residents in your community and for enriching us from afar with your story.

Is outsourcing fitness center management right for your community?

 

Topics: senior wellness senior wellness programs legacy

Exercise Tips for Seniors: Staying Active While Staying Safe

GettyImages-1135376317 (1)While practicing social distancing remains a priority for everyone, finding ways to stay physically active should also remain a priority. This is particularly true for older adults who may find themselves feeling increasingly isolated and vulnerable to remain safe. Exercise has long proven to provide numerous health benefits both for your physical well-being as well as your emotional well-being including:

  • Improved blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels
  • Improved immune system response
  • Improved blood circulation and joint comfort
  • Improved mood, sleep, and happiness levels
  • Decreased feelings of depression, anxiety and stress

The National Institute on Aging has an even lengthier list of benefits if you need more convincing. Truly there is no magic pill or treatment that can provide the combined physical and emotional benefits as exercise. Yet in these uncertain times, it may feel difficult to come by safe and effective exercise options while access to fitness centers, pools and recreation outlets are restricted. Lucky for all of us, that’s the other great thing about exercise in how adaptable it can be. If you feel like throwing in the towel until you can get back to your favorite class or routine, give this some thought:

  • Shorter bouts of activity are just as beneficial! You gain the same health benefits exercising at a moderate intensity for three, 10 minute bouts as you do exercising for 30 minutes straight. If you are stuck at home, consider adding in these shorter bouts of activity throughout the day to decrease boredom and maintain conditioning.
  • It doesn’t require expensive equipment to get in a good workout. By adjusting your number of sets and repetitions and performing a variety of body weight movements, you can still challenge your muscles and overall endurance very effectively.
  • If you’ve been doing the same routine or class for quite some time changing things up with a new at-home workout might be just the thing your body needs for a new challenge. Over time our bodies adapt to the demands we place on it so if you aren’t trying new exercises, increasing the resistance you are working against, etc., your body isn’t getting the same benefits. Utilize this time to experiment with new exercise options to challenge your body and your mind as you learn a new routine.

Now you might be asking, how do I get started? Where do I find exercise resources? How do I know if I’m doing them safely and effectively?

  • Contact your gym or fitness center and see if they have trainers providing virtual fitness coaching. NIFS is proud to continue supporting the residents in the senior living communities we serve with a variety of home-based exercise options to keep our participants moving and your gym might have resources to share as well.
  • Get resourceful with items you already have at home to replace the small equipment you use in your normal routine. Canned goods or water bottles can replace hand weights, a bath towel over carpet can replace a floor mat, a chair back can replace a handrail for balance work, etc.
  • Explore online resources for “senior fitness” or “senior exercise” on Google, YouTube and Amazon. There may be videos for purchase and free trials you can experiment with in your endeavors at home.

Most importantly, focus on your mindset while you are exercising. Recognize that some movement is better than none each day and always listen to your body. Exercise should never be painful so if you try something new and it doesn’t feel quite right, try something else. Consider this chapter in our lives as an opportunity to try new things, keep your body moving, and play it safe. It isn’t a time to push yourself well beyond your comfort zone and limits. Also consider nourishing your body with proper nutrition. It too has a strong impact on mood, energy, and sleep quality.

Like what you just read? Click here to get more great content like this!

Topics: body composition active aging senior living staying active exercise and aging

A Fitness Pros Recs for Free Streaming Workouts

Woman Foam RollingGettyImages-590036654Before social distancing was a phrase many of us had heard of, online workouts had been gaining in popularity as a home-based fitness solution for a number of years. In fact, it was anticipated that it would grow by 30% from 2017 to 2022 but I suspect the COVID-19 isolation may bump that percentage further. People have expert trainers at their fingertips and the variety of workouts is endless all while in the comfort and convenience of your own home. Right now, this is one of the only solutions for many people whose gyms are closed and the weather isn’t quite warm enough in many parts of the country to shift our routines outside. There are subscription based services with a monthly fee and a number of great free options as well!

I jumped on the streaming bandwagon last fall when the weather started changing here in Indiana. I’m a fair weather outdoor fitness enthusiast – if I have to wear more than a long sleeve tee, count me out until spring. I decided to explore some free options before deciding whether I wanted to dip my toe in one of the subscription-based services and frankly I haven’t entertained the thought of paying for a subscription since.

What has surprised me most…

The Versatility

There is literally something for whatever mood I am in for any length of time I have available to work out. In any given week, I am doing kickboxing, Pilates, HITT, strength, etc., all for free and from the comfort of home. Talk about a boredom buster and I find it easier to not make excuses because I know there’s always an option.

The Flexibility

You can absolutely get a sweat pouring workout with little to no equipment. This was one of my main doubts as I looked at my workout area in our basement where I have bands, dumbbells, a yoga strap and mat and a 12’x12’ area of gym flooring. Once you peel back the mindset of needing all kinds of bells and whistles and fitness gadgets, it’s really phenomenal how great of a workout you can get with thoughtfully designed body weight movements and a few sets of dumbbells.

So here are my top three recommendations for streaming options you can access on YouTube for free.

  • Fitness Blender – this is where I started and this is where I find myself going back to the most. Kelli and Daniel provide so many different workout options and formats and they are pretty chill in their cueing and demeanor. I don’t personally need a pep talk through my workout. If I’ve motivated myself enough to head down to the basement, I don’t need further convincing once I’ve started and frankly it’s just noise to me. Their workouts are sound and well designed. I also love the fact that they don’t play music in their videos. The music on most online workouts I’ve experienced is basically noise with a beat (man that makes me sound old…) so I much prefer to play my own music while only listening to the trainers cueing.

  • Sydney Cummings – her workouts do a great job of keeping you on your toes. Sydney is really creative in her program design to add compound and dynamic movements. You remain focused on putting the different pieces of the exercise together (and trying to look as smooth as she does) opposed to how bad your muscles are burning or your heart is pounding. One con for me is the cheesy fitness/techno music. I have to turn my music up over hers and then sometimes have a hard time hearing her cueing which you really have to follow because her moves are so dynamic.

  • Yoga by Adrienne - admittedly I could use a little more yoga in my routine each week but when I do squeeze it in, Yoga by Adrienne delivers. Once again, she has so many different options available and has the perfect mixture of a calming tone but adding in some personality...and sometimes her dog joins her on the mat for a quick ear rub. I recently had tension and knots in my neck and shoulders in which I’d gone for a massage and had been stretching but could not seem to get any relief. I found a great routine with Adrienne targeting these areas and within three days that tightness was totally gone. I most often find myself pulling up one of these workouts as a cool down or finisher to a more intense workout and it always feels like the perfect supplement.

Like what you just read? Click here to get more great content like this!

Whether you need a short-term fitness fix until your gym opens again or you are simply wanting to dip your toe in the fitness streaming world like I did, these free options a great place to start!

Topics: exercise program exercises workouts online streaming

Top 5 Balance Training Tools for Seniors

Functional training (also referred to as balance training in our circle) is one of the four main components of fitness that the American College of Sports Medicine recommends be incorporated into weekly exercise programs for all populations. It’s not just cardio, strength training and stretching these days as the physical benefits of functional training ring true for all. The days of static exercises like standing on one foot are behind us – and thank goodness because frankly that’s boring and doesn’t truly simulate how we move in our everyday lives. Dynamic movement patterns, utilizing different training surfaces and unique pieces of exercise equipment can make balance training far more engaging and far more effective.

Here’s our equipment checklist for an effective balance training program:

  • Balance Pads & Beams – there are a variety of foam products on the market that can be utilized to enhance the challenge level of many balance exercises. Performing a balance stance on a foam pad or performing a tandem walk on a foam beam creates an unstable base of support kicking the somatosensory system into overdrive for improved lower body and core stabilization.
  • Biodex Balance System or Wii Fit – technology can make everything a little more fun and when any fitness endeavor feels less like “exercise” it can be a win! The Biodex Balance System provides an array of assessments, drills and games to track progress and engage residents in balance training exercises. The platform of the Wii Fit is a less expensive yet fun option to help residents play games while also working on weight shifting and balance.
  • Agility Ladders – these aren’t just for athletes! Tasking participants with a variety of stepping patterns both front to back and laterally can help improve stability and gait. Qualified fitness professionals can create countless exercises for residents to perform on an agility ladder for low to high-impact movements.
  • Painters Tape – perhaps the most basic piece of equipment of them all! Use painters tape to create a variety of grids and paths on the floor in your fitness center, aerobic studio, or even in an outdoor area. Fitness staff can help guide residents through a variety of movement patterns simulating ADL’s or perhaps other functional movements for recreational activities like GettyImages-526312285 (1)pickleball.
  • BOSU or Wobble Board – much like the challenge of completing a stomach crunch on a stability ball opposed to the stable floor, using a BOSU or Wobble Board while performing side leg lifts or squats helps to further engage the core and lower body muscles to get more bang for your buck out of that movement.

 

Our staff are using these tools every day in senior living communities across the US as part of NIFS Balance Redefined fall prevention programming. Having the equipment is one thing and having the creativity and expertise to apply them in balance classes, one-on-one services and other balance training offerings is another. The price points range greatly on these items from just a few dollars to thousands of dollars but the options are endless in how to creatively engage participants in effective balance training.

Learn more about Balance Redefined 

Topics: equipment improving senior fitness coordination agility balance challenge

Garnering Marketing Gold from Your Community Fitness Program

MMFC-3Our fitness management staff members have some of the best stories around on the impact their fitness programs are having on resident lives in the senior living communities we serve. They hear comments from residents or their family members, they see new faces in classes, and they track the data in programs and services that demonstrate solid engagement. Our staff takes great pride in these affirmations knowing that the work they are so passionately committed to is truly making a difference not just for residents but also for the culture of a community as a whole.

In 2020, NIFS is embarking on a new platform to more effectively bridge the gap from these stories garnered in community fitness centers directly to the marketing and sales teams. We have always partnered with clients on helping them in their marketing and sales messaging, but we are taking this to a new level in 2020 as more clients want to differentiate their communities during prospect tours and via social media in particular. Community fitness centers are becoming more commonplace in the industry. Communities know they need to have the physical space available. However, a truly comprehensive program can be a distinguishing element to showcase through the right storytelling about your resident successes.

How to Capture and Share Your Stories

Here are a few tips to help your community capture and share some of that marketing gold happening in your fitness center!

  1. It starts with the data. Having a strong foundation in your fitness program, where you are tracking total members, visits to the fitness center and classes, engagement in various services each month, etc., can help you identify the wins and program successes you want to spread the word about during prospect tours and social media postings. If you don’t have a solid foundation established to track this data with consistency, it’s difficult to substantiate the impact your program has with any bearing. Click here for more insight on the value of strong data.
  2. Capture the feedback. With a qualified fitness professional at the helm of your fitness program, you have someone who has a strong relationship with your residents, who is coaching them and guiding them in the fitness center, and who hears directly from your residents about the strides they are making in their fitness, balance, and overall well-being. Having a system in place to share resident success stories can be marketing gold to help your consumers identify how living in your community might positively impact their quality of life as well.
  3. Make it visual. On your website and social media channels, avoid use of stock art where possible. If prospects are following you socially, let them genuinely experience your community by seeing your spaces alive with vibrant activity week after week. They’ve likely seen your fitness center, pool, or aerobic studio during a tour, but you can help them truly feel what your residents experience through your images and videos or let your fitness manager go live for an even more engaging experience. Being able to see their friends and acquaintances thriving in a space they once toured can build a much stronger connection than stock art alone.

Let NIFS Help

The era of social media is changing how consumers shop from afar. Don’t miss out on creative opportunities to help your prospects experience your community week after week as they scroll through their Facebook feeds. If you have questions about how to effectively move forward with some of these components or how to have the right structure in place to do so, contact NIFS for more information on our fitness management or consulting services.

Find out more about NIFS Consulting Services >

Topics: senior fitness management data collection senior fitness success social media marketing in senior living senior wellness consulting

Show Me the Money: Generating Revenue from Your Fitness Program

MoneyCheckmarkWhen thoughtfully planned and executed well, there are a variety of opportunities to generate revenue out of robust health and fitness programs in senior living communities. But you might be thinking, “I didn’t realize there was ANY revenue potential."

In terms of expenses, there is the initial startup cost of thousands of dollars worth of exercise equipment and the necessary square footage to house it. Then there is the maintenance cost on that equipment and a range of budgeting that needs to be considered for fitness staffing, ranging from a dedicated full-time employee (or multiple FTEs) to simply having group fitness instructors. Don’t get me wrong, fitness centers absolutely give back to the community from a marketing perspective. Consumers are demanding quality fitness programming in the senior living market, but calculating the true ROI is next to impossible.

Revenue Opportunities in Senior Living Fitness Programs

If you are looking for potential ways to get revenue out of your program, consider these opportunities:

  • Fee-based personal training: Whether you are in a commercial fitness setting or private fitness studio, all consumers expect to pay for individualized one-on-one attention via personal training. Having select fee-based services that are tailored and custom to individuals will not shock residents that there is a cost associated with it. In fact, many older adults and their adult children are coming to expect that this service be available in a comprehensive fitness program, and they are willing to pay for it. Thoughtful consideration should be given to establishing competitive rates, allowing for trainer commission, and securing high-quality trainers, but this service can be a nice opportunity for communities to generate a revenue stream.
  • Specialty group fitness classes: Requiring residents to pay for specialty group fitness classes like yoga, Zumba, or Barre is a fairly common practice. A quality instructor must be secured and paid for each class, and including a slight upcharge to the instructor rates is an additional means by which a community can generate revenue while also benefiting from having a well-rounded and robust group fitness schedule.
  • Nonresident participation: Some communities explore opportunities to provide fitness center memberships to nonresidents—particularly marketed to those 55+. Sometimes this is for full access to the amenities and services, and sometimes it is allowing participation only in select programs like group fitness classes. Strong consideration needs to be given to rates, available space, and how this will impact your existing residents, but in the right situation with proper planning, participation from nonmembers can not only be a revenue source, but it can also help increase exposure of your community’s lifestyle to a broader market in your area.

Revenue Goals, Marketing, and Investing the Extra Income

When implementing some or all of these practices, consider a revenue goal for your fitness program and how you can creatively promote each opportunity to support that goal. The annual revenue generated is rarely a cash cow for communities, but it does create opportunities to further support your fitness program needs. The cumulative total at the end of the year may be enough to purchase a piece of equipment, offset the cost of your preventative maintenance service agreement, or pay for a new class on the schedule. Give some thought to how these revenue opportunities can help fund your fitness program.

Looking to take your programming to the next level?  We can help by simply consulting with you to tackle what areas you need help focusing on with your wellness program. Click below to find out more about NIFS Consulting Services. 

Find out more about NIFS Consulting Services >

Topics: marketing senior living fitness center senior group fitness classes nonresidents

Senior Living Lifestyle: Create Your Wellness Team

If you missed the first blogs of this series featuring insights on developing a robust wellness-based lifestyle at your community, start here. Some content will cover practical tips and some will identify barriers to achieving success meant to spark conversation within your community. Read on for the final piece of the series.

GettyImages-1008096704 (1)All personnel working in a senior living community have a stake in supporting resident well-being from your concierge to your bus drivers to your service staff in the dining room. The daily interactions your team have with residents and the work culture at a community all directly impacts the quality of life of residents. As communities pursue opportunities to both evaluate resident care needs and broader program and service needs under the banner of enrichment, forming a wellness committee of your key stakeholders can be an integral step. Finding the right balance of personnel to represent different arms of the community as well as getting their buy-in with already full workloads can be a tricky step.

A few considerations in forming a wellness committee include:

  • Establishing balanced representation from key departments that impact resident well-being. Your wellness committee members shouldn’t be strictly clinicians and it shouldn’t be strictly activities personnel. It should be a healthy blend of both areas plus fitness, dining, chaplain services, etc...
  • Establishing balanced representation from staff who are connected with leadership’s vision for the lifestyle you want to foster (i.e., perhaps your marketing director) as well as representation from staff who are interacting daily with residents hearing directly about their interests (perhaps your activities coordinator). Make sure the personnel encompass both ends of the spectrum from your administrative staff to your line staff to best meet the needs of current residents while also modeling for future residents.
  • Establishing goals for the group to help keep all of the personnel with different daily job duties and focus areas working on the same track. Your Wellness Champion from part II of this blog series is integral in supporting this step but allowing your team to come together to talk about the challenges they are experiencing in their departments, the feedback they are hearing from residents, etc., can help them identify their goals as a team and establish a work plan to move forward together.

As your wellness team comes together and begins having a strong team dialogue, identifying challenges and problem solving together, you might also consider the formation of a resident wellness committee or including a resident on your staff committee. Once again, the same level of thoughtful diversity in your resident representation should be considered. Many communities will invite their most active and fitness-oriented residents to join such a committee but you also want voices that have strong connections to spiritual well-being, volunteering, etc…

In establishing your wellness team, having them form goals, and collaborating regularly, your community will uncover ways to bridge resources and support one another as a collective front. In turn, your community will make more of an impact on residents’ lives and will have more positive stories to tell about your culture.

Looking to do wellness better in your community?  Connect with NIFS on how you can better evaluate your wellness offerings for residents in your community, schedule your free 30 minute consultation today!

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Topics: active aging wellness consulting lifestyle philosophy in senior living nifs consulting services