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.
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!