Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

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

Senior Living Lifestyle: Identify Your Wellness Champion

This series features insights on developing a robust wellness-based lifestyle at your community. Some content will cover practical tips and some will identify barriers to achieving success meant to spark conversation within your community. In part 1, I talked about defining wellness and the importance of how you use that word in branding. Read on for part 2.

Staff who work in senior living communities are some of the most compassionate, dedicated, and often creative people you will meet. Their plates are full, their to-do lists are long, and it can be a heavy lift to bring down the silos between departments, which is necessary to truly cultivate balanced lifestyle offerings for residents.

The problem is not that the staff are resistant to meeting with other stakeholders in resident well-being, having more dialogue, or planning differently. (Notice here I said planning differentlynot planning more. That is the key to this approach.) It’s that there is often a missing link in bringing these different people, talents, and departments together in a sustainable fashion.

Identify a Wellness Champion

ThisGettyImages-985893328 (1) is where it is critical that communities identify their wellness champion. This person can act as a catalyst in eliminating the silos and bringing everyone together to work from a unified vision of how lifestyle offerings and services are delivered to residents.

In NIFS’ case, where our staff members are regularly referring residents to therapy and the Registered Dietitian, or collaborating with activities or dining staff, shifting our onsite Fitness Manager’s focus to a Wellness Coordinator role has been a great fit in many client settings. It’s often a natural progression because residents and other departments are already accustomed to our staff bringing people together and fostering collaboration.

Our degreed and certified staff act as educators with community staff, and they also learn how to best tap into the personal passions and interests of the team members to improve buy-in to the process. After all, they’ve already been working with many of these stakeholders for some time on other programs. Now they are simply bringing everyone to the table with improved consistency and more structure.

Here are three tips when considering how to identify your wellness champion:

  • Your champion should talk the talk and walk the walk if they are going to advocate for the message of wellness and collaboration for your community. Ask yourself, “Who would be a good spokesperson at our community to message our wellness program to prospective residents?”
  • Your champion should have strong communication and interpersonal skills to foster collaboration among your wellness team. They should be able to determine how to tap into the personal passions and talents of those on the team to leverage strengths and improve buy-in.
  • Your champion should be well organized and have strong attention to detail. After all, they are the individual responsible for keeping the team organized, establishing timelines for special events, tracking completion of tasks, and more. The champion is once again that catalyst bringing everyone together and being responsible for maintaining cohesion among the team, so they must be organized.

Help from NIFS Consulting Services

Does your community need support identifying who your wellness champion is or how to shift roles and responsibilities to support this type of position? NIFS consulting services can help you answer those questions and many more to support a collaborative approach to wellness planning.

Find out more about NIFS Consulting Services >

Topics: nifs staff lifestyle philosophy in senior living nifs wellness consulting wellness-based lifestyle wellness branding wellness coordinator nifs consulting services