To ensure residents continue living active and fulfilling lives, Wesley Woods provides a robust wellness program made possible by philanthropic support. The program is designed to foster independent living by focusing on increasing mobility and balance while improving strength and flexibility. Through Matter of Balance support groups and on-site wellness nurses, residents are improving their well-being.
WELLNESS NURSES HELP RESIDENTS LIVE THEIR BEST LIFE
At our Branan Towers community in Atlanta, a resident was having difficulty with medication management, which led to seriously uncontrolled blood pressure. At the resident’s request, our Wellness Nurse, Christine, stepped in to help. Christine contacted the resident’s doctor, scheduled an appointment, and attended the appointment with the resident as their advocate.
After a medication change, Christine helped the resident set up a pill box using pictures to help remind the resident what time of day to take their medications. Christine worked with the resident’s family to coordinate weekend medication reminders to help keep the resident on track. She also organized weekly standing appointments to talk with the resident and check their blood pressure.
Thankfully, these interventions have helped this resident to stay out of the hospital and maintain a healthy blood pressure. This resident will be able to remain in their home independently, living their best life because of Christine’s efforts. Our Wellness Nurses make a huge difference in the lives of our residents, and that’s because of generous donors who help make them available.
Make a gift to the wellness program to help more residents by visiting wesleywoods/donate.
MOVEMENT IS THE BEST MEDICINE
Years of working as a metal and pewter smith have impacted the health of Lanier Gardens resident Judie. She struggles with COPD as well as chronic pain in her shoulders and back. Like many older adults, she was told that her best options were pain medication and physical therapy. After talking with a friend about her physical situation, Judie decided to try a yoga class offered through the wellness program at Lanier Gardens.
After attending one class, Judie was surprised at how much better she felt. One class became two, two became five, and the rest is history. Now, Judie can raise her arms without pain, she has less pain in her back, her breathing is much better, and she continues to improve with every class. Judie’s story, like countless others, is one of trying something new that results in a better quality of life. Thanks to our generous supporters, Wesley Woods can offer yoga and many other activities that support the health and wellness of our residents.
Make a gift to the wellness program to help more residents like Judie by visiting wesleywoods/donate.
Shortly after moving into our Blairsville community, David participated in our annual wellness assessment. The wellness assessment tests physical balance, strength, and flexibility, offering residents a snapshot of their fitness and suggestions for improvement. He said the assessment was an eye-opener for him because he did not realize his balance was poor. Following the assessment, David began regularly attending some of the classes offered in his community: yoga, Bingocize, and Stretch & Balance. He reports that he has seen a lot of improvement in himself. He walks with more stability, is more active, and feels better overall. He is excited to see the improvements he has made when he takes this year’s assessment!
David is not alone – many older adults do not realize that their balance is compromised until they experience a fall. Every second of every day, an older adult falls. Because of generous donors like you, Wesley Woods is able to provide wellness activities to help older adults strengthen, maintain and improve their balance, leading them to a happy and healthy tomorrow.
Make a gift to the wellness program to help more residents, like David, by visiting wesleywoods/donate.
PEP IN HER STEP
Ms. Gloria, one of the residents living in our Augusta community, has seen positive results from the new Silver Sneakers fitness classes being offered three days per week. A retired police officer, Gloria has been using a walker since moving in four years ago. After several weeks in the new class, Gloria can do the things she wants and no longer needs her walker for balance and support.
Thanks to your generous gifts, we can continue to keep residents active and engaged, which can make a real difference in someone’s life—just ask Gloria. She says the classes “make us have more energy, feel stronger and have fun!”
Make a gift to the wellness program to help more residents, like Gloria, by visiting wesleywoods/donate.
MOVEMENT IS THE BEST MEDICINE
Robin, a resident of Wesley Woods in Blairsville, has suffered with fibromyalgia most of her life. Sometimes she, like many, forced herself to not quit and to keep moving despite her pain. Robin met with the on-site physical therapist to help, and they went to work to get a doctor’s referral as well as approval from her insurance. Like many of our residents, Robin is on a fixed income and has outlived her resources. She was discouraged to learn her Medicare Advantage plan did not cover the co-pays for the physical therapy services. When the Foundation of Wesley Woods learned of Robin’s need, they stepped in to cover the co-pay costs so that Robin could focus on her health and wellness. The physical therapist worked with Robin and since completing her therapy, Robin has no pain and is even thinking about trying golf again. Thanks to the Wellness team’s efforts and generous Wesley Woods donors, Robin is active and enjoying pain free living!
Visit wesleywoods.org/donate to support the wellness program.
Anne Nicholson is an active and engaged resident at Wesley Woods. She hesitantly tried yoga for the first time a year after moving in, worried it would not be a good fit. Three years later she says, “I wish I had started sooner.” How did it help? “I’m less tired and more alert,” she says. “I’ve improved my balance and discovered the importance of stretching.” Anne incorporates what she is learning into her everyday life by balancing on one foot while watching TV or engaging her core while walking. Yoga has helped Anne to become more mindful and aware of her body. “I use yoga whenever I think of it.”
Make a gift to the wellness program to help more residents, like Anne, by visiting wesleywoods.org/donate.
PHYSICAL WELLNESS PROGRAMS WORK!
Five years ago, Wesley Woods began conducting voluntary wellness assessments for residents. Using evidence-based tools like the Fullerton Balance test, we identified specific areas needing attention to help us shape and invest in educational, physical and support programming to improve the overall well-being of our residents. We began offering balance classes like Yoga, Tai Chi and Walking Clubs to support physical needs, and we hired on-site Wellness Nurses and Chaplains to provide support for clinical, educational, and spiritual needs. Here we are—almost four thousand assessments later, and the data clearly demonstrate a sustained increase in our combined Fullerton Balance scores, showing our wellness program is working! As we continue to grow and expand opportunities on this journey to resident well-being, we appreciate and depend on our faithful donors to support our progress and to increase this invaluable programming! Visit wesleywoods.org/foundation, to support the wellness program.
WELLNESS IS BODY, MIND AND SOUL
One in four adults ages 65 and older will struggle with anxiety, depression, PTSD, or other mental health issues. At Wesley Woods, we have seen a growing need for mental health support which has been exacerbated by the pandemic. We began offering free counseling services to residents in one of our affordable housing communities to help make mental health services available and accessible to residents as a complement to our current wellness programming.
To date, we have provided more than 200 psychotherapy sessions, with both residents and staff having noticed a marked improvement, especially in participant coping skills. These skills help us minimize, manage, and endure stressful situations in life, which can help everyone feel better physically and physiologically, impacting overall well-being.
Wesley Woods is grateful to the foundations and individuals who have generously supported mental health services and wellness programming.
To support wellness programming, visit wesleywoods.org/donate.
YOUR SUPPORT OF WELLNESS NURSES SAVES LIVES
Christine, the wellness nurse at Asbury Harris and Branan Towers, met with a resident who had not been feeling well. Concerned, she asked questions about his symptoms and asked that he show her all of his medications.
Upon review, Christine discovered the resident had been taking three different strengths of the same blood pressure medication. The resident had literacy challenges and was unable to read the medication bottles, so when his doctor increased the dosage, he continued to take his old prescriptions along with the new one. Christine checked his blood pressure to make sure it was not dangerously low. Finding him to be okay, she explained he should only take the most recently prescribed dosage of the medication, and they eliminated the old prescriptions.
Wellness nurses are a Godsend to Wesley Woods residents, and their salaries are fully funded with donations. To support the wellness nurse program, visit wesleywoods.org/foundation.
MENTAL HEALTH CARE CRUCIAL IN TIME OF CRISIS
The mission of Wesley Woods is to create communities of connection, well-being and promise. This includes enabling residents to live independently as long as possible and a key part of doing this is to ensure their mental and emotional healthcare needs are met. As a piece of our wellness program, mental healthcare has become an important part of what we do and the demand for these services has grown due to the pandemic. COVID -19 has elevated anxiety and depression in our residents and the accompanying social isolation has left some of them feeling emotionally vulnerable.
Branan Towers is our southeast Atlanta HUD-subsidized senior living community. Because of relatively low incomes, a lack of insurance benefits, and limited transportation options, residents of Branan Towers have, in the past, typically not had access to mental healthcare. To ensure that their mental health needs are met, we began last year to contract with a highly-qualified clinical psychologist who provides onsite psychotherapy to residents as needed, free of charge.
WELLNESS NURSES MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Donor support makes wellness programming possible for Wesley Woods residents. Earlier this year, an Asbury Harris Epworth Towers resident attended the biannual health assessment offered by the community wellness team and found that her blood pressure was very high. The team notified the resident’s primary care physician, and a follow-up appointment was made. The wellness nurse taught the resident to self-monitor her blood pressure and set up a routine for taking medications. The resident made all of the follow up appointments, monitored her blood pressure closely, and continued to update the nurse after each appointment. By the beginning of April, the resident’s blood pressure was significantly down - a true success story!