How Does Social Interaction Improve Health and Longevity Amongst Seniors?
Social interaction has been integral to the wellness of all adults — particularly older adults. But why is social wellness so important?
To begin, social stimulation benefits well-being, including lightening your mood and making you feel happier, lowering your risk of dementia through the power of conversation, and promoting a sense of safety and belonging. For an aging population, the results of healthy socialization are to improve overall wellness.
What Research Indicates
Research completed by the University of Washington St. Louis’ department of Psychology details how meaningful conversation impacts how older people perceive themselves and their life purpose. The study focused on both working and retired adults. Ph.D. candidate and research student Gabrielle Pfund says, “Specifically for our retired older adults, this is a construct we should really care about,” she said. Pfund says, “The people in your life are going to have a very, very big impact on that. If you find yourself surrounded by people who bring you down … that’s going to have an impact.” She continues, “On the flip side, if you’re surrounded by people who lift you up and who infuse your life with positivity, that’s going to have an impact, too.”
The practice of social wellness can include keeping regular contact with friends and loved ones, engaging in volunteer work if able, joining a group based on interests, or joining a cultural organization. These examples and many others provide a social outlet to improve mental health through feeling a sense of belonging. Socializing also provides opportunities for meaningful conversations, improving the ability to recall and discuss information. Socializing exercises the brain in a way that can reduce the chances of developing memory loss disorders such as dementia. Reflecting on this research, Pfund says, “Having a sense of purpose is about more than feeling good. Prior research has shown that adults with a higher sense of purpose lead longer, healthier, and happier lives. They have lower rates of Alzheimer’s disease and heart and other cardiovascular problems.”
It is essential to reflect on the importance of healthy social interaction and how it can provide a sense of individuality and purpose while improving mental health.
MENLO PARK, CALIF. – Today, Governor Gavin Newsom released his state budget proposal for fiscal year 2023-2024. The budget included several proposals in line with WelbeHealth’s policy priorities, including an increase in resources for Program for All-Inclusive Care of the Elderly (PACE) administration within the Department of Health Care Services and the maintenance of funding for key health and human services programs including CalAIM, behavioral health and housing programs, and ensuring access to health care for all Californians regardless of documentation or ability to pay.
PACE enables frail seniors to remain in their homes while receiving coordinated, whole-person care and is a high-quality cost-effective alternative to nursing home care. In recent years, the number of PACE participants has increased significantly.
“WelbeHealth applauds the governor’s support of Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) and other proven care models for frail and vulnerable seniors. For every participant that enrolls in PACE, it saves taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars while increasing their length and quality of life, allowing them to live at home. Whether from an economic, health care or social standpoint, this may be one of the best investments the administration could make,” said Si France, M.D., chief executive officer of WelbeHealth, in response to the proposed budget.
About Program for All-Inclusive Care of the Elderly (PACE)
Program for All-Inclusive Care of the Elderly (PACE) is a comprehensive whole-person health care program for frail seniors living with chronic health conditions and other complex needs. As both insurers and providers, PACE organizations are able to seamlessly plan and manage all aspects of care for seniors – medical, social and supportive services. PACE participants are over the age of 55, live in a PACE service area and have been deemed eligible by the state for a nursing home level of care. 90% of PACE participants are dual eligible for Medicare and Medicaid.
WelbeHealth is a physician led, mission-driven organization founded to serve the most vulnerable seniors with compassionate and quality care, in a pure value-based model. WelbeHealth manages the entire care portfolio for participants including their primary and specialty care, ensuring they get to and from appointments, helping them navigate any necessary paperwork, providing assistance with activities of daily living, and ensuring they have enriched lives through social and emotional care.
MENLO PARK, CALIF. – Physician-led healthcare organization WelbeHealth has added two seasoned executives to its leadership team: Chief Mission Officer Amy Shin and Chief People Officer Cathy Fraser. The leaders will play a pivotal role as WelbeHealth continues to deliver on its mission to serve the most vulnerable seniors in its communities.
As chief mission officer, Shin ensures that WelbeHealth’s mission is front and center in the community and among policy makers and our regulatory partners. She works closely with the operations teams to ensure that WelbeHealth is continually delivering on the highest standards of clinical quality and compliance. Shin has more than 25 years of healthcare leadership experience, most recently as chief executive officer of the Health Plan of San Joaquin, where she oversaw health care delivery for 350,000 MediCal lives in underserved areas of California. Shin was the chief administrative officer at On Lok, the first PACE organization, and the Alameda Alliance for Health. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Southern California.
“Amy is a tremendously well respected and connected leader in California’s healthcare landscape, and she’s spent her career doing mission-driven work for vulnerable populations,” said Si France, MD, chief executive officer of WelbeHealth. “It is an honor that she would choose to support and advance WelbeHealth’s mission.”
As chief people officer, Fraser is responsible for the people strategies and services that enable team members to effectively fulfill and expand the WelbeHealth mission. Her focus is on maintaining WelbeHealth’s commitment to values and culture, developing career pathways, elevating team member experience, and investing in diversity, equity and inclusion. She most recently led human resources at Mayo Clinic, US News and World Report’s #1 Hospital, and Tenet Healthcare Corporation (NYSE: THC), a large national healthcare services company. Earlier in her career, she served as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company and worked in various finance leadership roles at American Airlines, Sabre, and General Motors. Fraser earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Washington and an MBA from the University of Michigan.
“When we started Welbe, we started with the belief that we have to care for each other before we can care for our participants, so our team has always been the center of our culture and focus,” said Si France. “With Cathy, who led dynamic people functions at Mayo and Tenet, we’re making a significant commitment to putting our people first.”
WelbeHealth is a physician-led organization founded in 2015 that coordinates senior care, including all medical and dental care, physical and occupational therapy, transportation to medical appointments, meals and personal care services, in a fully coordinated program. WelbeHealth teams close the loop on comprehensive care to keep the most vulnerable seniors living safely in their own homes. WelbeHealth delivers these services through the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), a Medicare and Medicaid program. WelbeHealth operates four programs across California, including the cities of Stockton, Modesto, Pasadena, Long Beach and Fresno. WelbeHealth served more than 1,000 seniors in 2021. For more information, please visit welbehealth.com.
https://welbehealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Add-a-heading-1.jpg6872003Cristal Gonzalezhttps://welbehealthweb.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/WelbeHealth_Logo.pngCristal Gonzalez2023-01-05 15:48:322023-01-10 15:55:59WelbeHealth Deepens Commitment to Serving Seniors with Executive Hires
Although it is not uncommon for people of all ages to experience some degree of sadness over the holidays, be it from having been isolated during the pandemic or having experienced the loss of a loved one, older adulthood is a time of greatest risk and could result in substantial increases in death by suicide. For this very reason, it is encouraged to start a conversation with a friend, family, therapist, or another medical professional about how your mood is going and if you might be experiencing some degree of depression. This is not to say that most seniors are depressed, but we do recognize that the experience of declining health or mobility, plus the shrinking of one’s natural support system due to loss, can raise the sense of loneliness and despair.
In their toolkit for suicide prevention among seniors, the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration identifies the following warning signs of suicide:
Talking about wanting to die or kill oneself.
Looking for a way to kill oneself.
Talking about being a burden to others.
Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
Acting anxious or agitated, behaving recklessly.
Sleeping too little or too much.
Withdrawing or feeling isolated.
Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
Displaying extreme mood swings.
If you experience any one or more of these behaviors, please reach out to your doctor or mental health professional they can listen to your thoughts and feelings around these matters.
From conducting one of the longest-running support groups at WelbeHealth in Stockton, Forever Friends, I can attest that not only do other seniors share your concerns, but they are ready to help out whenever possible
– Randall Ramírez, LCSW, LMFT | Behavioral Health Specialist
Strategies for Coping
As an alternative way of approaching the holidays, seniors can:
Becoming more proactive in planning ahead on how they want to celebrate the season and how they can build special celebrations or memorials around those loved ones who have passed on or who are distant from them.
This may include raising a toast at the holiday dinner table to the lost family member or friend and asking others to offer one cherished memory. Or it may involve setting a place for them at the table and reminiscing.
Making a Donation
It could also be as simple as setting up a spot to collect donations to the loved one’s favorite charity. All these approaches not only honor the person we lost, but they create a space for acknowledging our collective sadness and feelings.
We hold onto the belief that seniors retain talents, strengths, and skills into their later years that can be shared with others. Because seniors are living longer, we also support the idea of embracing quality of life and progressing with your dreams into the Golden Years. Joining a group that hosts activities, whether at a Senior Center or local club, aim at creating strong connections and bonds with fellow seniors.
https://welbehealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/pexels-cottonbro-studio-8860212-scaled.jpg17072560Cristal Gonzalezhttps://welbehealthweb.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/WelbeHealth_Logo.pngCristal Gonzalez2022-12-21 14:23:192023-01-10 15:56:11Managing Sadness and Grief Over the Holidays
Mindy Wilds, executive director of WelbeHealth’s Fresno Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), was recently honored by the National PACE Association (NPA) with the prestigious Marie-Louise Ansak Award.
The Marie-Louise Ansak Award, named after the founder of PACE, recognizes the ingenuity, hard work and sacrifice of an individual PACE program employee who has worked to improve the quality of life for one or more frail older persons during the past year.
“We are proud to recognize Mindy with the Marie-Louise Ansak Award,” said Shawn Bloom, president and CEO of the NPA. “Mindy earned this high honor through epitomizing the innovative team player that is core to delivering PACE.”
“I love this model of care because we can think outside the box and provide common sense solutions for our participants and their families,” said Wilds.
Wilds joined WelbeHealth in February 2021 as the executive director of WelbeHealth’s Fresno Center, which provides medical care, physical therapy, social and recreational activities, meals and nutritional counseling, transportation and other support services to PACE-eligible medically frail seniors age 55 and over.
“Mindy is a model for all of us. Her tireless commitment and dedication to seniors in our communities enables them to thrive and live longer with greater connection, vitality and meaning,” said WelbeHealth CEO Si France, M.D.
Founded in 2015, WelbeHealth provides comprehensive home-based medical and social services to more than 1,500 vulnerable seniors across California, including the cities of Stockton, Modesto, Pasadena, Long Beach and Fresno. The company recently became the first Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) provider to convert to a public benefit company, meaning it is obligated to take into consideration the concerns of all stakeholders while prioritizing corporate responsibility and sustainability.
An alternative to nursing homes, PACE is a Medicare and Medicaid program that helps keep people in their homes and communities. PACE programs are proven to reduce depression, lower hospitalizations, decrease rehospitalizations, reduce nursing home admissions and improve preventive care, according to recent data from the National PACE Association.
https://welbehealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/MicrosoftTeams-image-57.jpg6301023Cristal Gonzalezhttps://welbehealthweb.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/WelbeHealth_Logo.pngCristal Gonzalez2022-12-05 14:29:482022-12-05 14:30:54WelbeHealth Executive Director Mindy Wilds Honored with Prestigious PACE Award
Physician-led healthcare organization WelbeHealth and Northern California-based healthcare network Sutter Health have opened a new center in Modesto that serves medically frail seniors.
Located at 1224 Scenic Drive, the center is designated a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) alternative care setting. Integrated with WelbeHealth and Sutter’s PACE center in Stockton, the new Modesto location provides day services to PACE-eligible medically frail seniors age 55 and over. The center, which will employ more than 100 full- and part-time employees when at capacity, features:
Physical and occupational therapy
Personal care and supportive services
Meals and nutritional counseling
Access to in-home care and mobile clinic
The new Modesto center addresses a community need, since only a fraction of the over 3,000 PACE-eligible seniors in Stanislaus county are receiving PACE services, according to a WelbeHealth analysis of U.S. Census data and the Medi-Cal Managed Care Enrollment Report.
“WelbeHealth was built on the mission of serving our most vulnerable seniors with greater quality and compassion in underserved communities,” said WelbeHealth CEO Si France, M.D. “As the first provider of PACE services in Modesto since 2019, we are proud to complement our care with a beautiful facility.”
PACE is a national Medicare and Medicaid program that helps keep seniors living in their own homes instead of nursing homes. PACE programs are proven to reduce depression, lower hospitalizations, decrease rehospitalizations, reduce nursing home admissions and improve preventive care, according to recent data from the National PACE Association.
“We are proud to partner with WelbeHealth to enrich the lives of seniors, their caregivers and the broader community,” said Christopher Stanley, M.D., Sutter Health’s chief population health officer. “WelbeHealth shares our commitment to high-quality, community-based healthcare services that help frail older adults anticipate problems and prevent hospitalization or early entry into a nursing home.”
Todd Smith, M.D., foundation area CEO for Sutter Health in the South Valley, said that the importance of good health for aging seniors can’t be underestimated.
“Creating greater access to comprehensive home and community-based healthcare services helps seniors achieve their best health and maintain their independence,” Dr. Smith said.
In addition to the new Modesto center, WelbeHealth has locations in Stockton, Pasadena, Long Beach and Fresno. More than 1,500 seniors were served in 2021. Sutter Health is a not-for-profit integrated health network that serves more than 3 million people in 22 California counties.
MENLO PARK, CALIF.—Physician-led healthcare organization WelbeHealth today announced that veteran healthcare law attorney Blaire Bernard has joined its leadership team as general counsel.
Bernard has focused her 20-year legal career on supporting providers whose mission is to expand access to value-based care. Most recently she was general counsel at Iora Health and after Iora Health was acquired by One Medical, she served as senior counsel and compliance officer. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and a law degree from Boston University.
“We’re thrilled to have Blaire join our executive team,” said WelbeHealth CEO Si France, M.D. “She is a seasoned value-based care executive and a collaborative mission-driven team player. This is even more important as we continue our focus on clinical and care excellence as a public benefit company.”
Bernard will lead WelbeHealth’s legal and compliance functions, partnering with executive and operational leaders to execute the company’s mission of bringing PACE to communities in need.
WelbeHealth recently became the first Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) provider to convert to a public benefit company, meaning it is obligated to take into consideration the concerns of all stakeholders while prioritizing corporate responsibility and sustainability. An alternative to nursing homes, PACE is a Medicare and Medicaid program that helps keep people in their communities.
Founded in 2015, WelbeHealth provides comprehensive home-based medical and social services to vulnerable seniors across California, including the cities of Stockton, Modesto, Pasadena, Burbank, Long Beach and Fresno. For more information, please visit welbehealth.com.
https://welbehealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/blaire-1.jpg750750Cristal Gonzalezhttps://welbehealthweb.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/WelbeHealth_Logo.pngCristal Gonzalez2022-08-03 11:37:292022-08-03 11:41:57Blaire Bernard Joins WelbeHealth as General Counsel
WelbeHealth Becomes First Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) Provider to Convert to Public Benefit Company Status
MENLO PARK, CALIF.— Physician-led healthcare organization WelbeHealth recently became the first Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) provider to convert to a public benefit company (PBC).
Founded in 2015, WelbeHealth is a leading California PACE provider. An alternative to nursing homes, PACE is a Medicare and Medicaid program that helps keep people in their communities. WelbeHealth provides comprehensive home-based medical and social services to vulnerable seniors across California, including the cities of Stockton, Modesto, Pasadena, Burbank, Long Beach and Fresno.
In joining other companies that have become public benefit companies, including Patagonia, Seventh Generation and Vital Farms, WelbeHealth is exemplifying its commitment to helping seniors thrive and live longer, said WelbeHealth co-founder and CEO Si France, M.D.
“The seniors we serve are the elders of their communities and families,” Dr. France said. “By helping them thrive, they can live longer lives with greater connection, vitality and meaning. We’re converting to a public benefit company to ensure that our mission and purpose are protected for generations to come.”
Public benefit companies are obligated to take into consideration the concerns of all stakeholders, not just shareholders, prioritizing corporate responsibility and sustainability. For WelbeHealth, this means participants, their families and caregivers, employees, and the broader community.
“Both our independent board and management team wanted to formalize WelbeHealth’s commitment to its mission, clinical quality and positive community impact,” said WelbeHealth Board of Directors member Robert Margolis, M.D., founder of the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy. “By converting to a public benefit company, WelbeHealth is demonstrating its commitment to operating responsibly, sustainably and in the interest of all stakeholders, both now and in the future.”
This commitment to the greater good is not new. In fact, WelbeHealth was lauded for its elder care during the pandemic. A case study conducted by UC Berkeley found that WelbeHealth had a death rate more than 1.5 times lower than other PACE organizations and almost five times lower than nursing homes while, despite serving patients in some of California’s most impacted counties.
“As the pandemic came in waves, WelbeHealth mobilized not only to vaccinate its own participants but to also vaccinate thousands in the greater community, which had an exponential impact on saving lives,” Dr. France said. “We want to take full responsibility for our part in making the world a more compassionate, loving place.”
Founded in 2015, WelbeHealth is a physician-led organization that coordinates senior care, including all medical and dental care, physical and occupational therapy, transportation to medical appointments, meals and personal care services. WelbeHealth teams close the loop on comprehensive care to keep the most vulnerable seniors living safely in their own homes. WelbeHealth delivers these services through the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), a Medicare and Medicaid program. WelbeHealth operates four programs in California: Stockton/Modesto, Pasadena/Burbank, Long Beach and Fresno. For more information, please visit welbehealth.com.
https://welbehealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/MicrosoftTeams-image-3-scaled.jpg17092560Cristal Gonzalezhttps://welbehealthweb.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/WelbeHealth_Logo.pngCristal Gonzalez2022-06-29 08:33:122022-06-29 09:29:41WelbeHealth Becomes First Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) Provider to Convert to Public Benefit Company Status
When Libby Renshaw, Home Health Registered Nurse at WelbeHealth, visited Jim at his West Hollywood apartment, she became very worried, very fast. It was his first day home after multiple seizures had led to a 17-day hospital stay, followed by a month in a skilled nursing facility. She knew coming together in his time of need was critical.
“As I sat with him, I saw that he had severe tremors in his arms and hands,” says Libby. “His muscles were weak from being bedridden, and I also noticed significant memory impairment.”
All of this was making even simple activities extremely difficult. The hand tremors were especially concerning because they made it hard for him to eat, and he couldn’t administer the insulin he needed to treat his diabetes.
Jim had a caregiver on site that day, thanks to the quick work of WelbeHealth’s Home Care Coordinator, Michael. In addition, Jim’s good friend Amir was there and said he could assist. But these were only temporary solutions.
“Living alone at home seemed unrealistic,” Libby says. She gently told Jim that he might need to go back to the skilled nursing facility, and she could tell that he was devastated.
“He desperately wanted to be at home,” she recalls. “After I left his apartment, I got on a conference call with the care team. We all agreed that we would do everything possible to keep him living at home.”
After the call, each WelbeHealth team member got to work on their part of the plan. When Libby returned to the apartment the next day, she was amazed by what she saw.
Physical Changes All-Around
WelbeHealth Occupational Therapist, Christine Gaw, had set up many solutions to make daily tasks easier for Jim.
That day, he received a new bed rail to get out of bed more easily, and a bedside commode to avoid walking to the bathroom at night. Christine also installed a toilet riser and a shower bench to make the bathroom safer and more usable.
She brought in a chair cushion, both for comfort and to prevent pressure ulcers, and she arranged for a recliner chair to help Jim transition from sitting to standing.
Christine had also hunted down adaptive shoelaces—a big deal because Jim kept mentioning that he could no longer tie his shoes.
Fitness and Food
The apartment was humming with other team members, as well. Pam, Jim’s assigned Physical Therapist, was teaching Jim and his friend Amir a home exercise and walking program.
Claire, Jim’s Dietitian, talked to Amir about good food for Jim. She provided ideas and recipes that tracked Jim’s preferences and would also help him manage his chronic conditions.
Claire and Amir also talked about monitoring blood glucose levels and keeping a log to share with the dietary and medical teams. Claire noted that, in addition to using insulin, Jim could help keep his diabetes in check through his diet.
On the medical side, Jim’s Primary Care Provider Lauren, with help from Registered Nurse Case Manager Jennifer, simplified Jim’s diabetes medications. He went from five insulin injections per day to one.
Lauren also started Jim on medication to help reduce the tremors. She also educated both Jim and Amir on the side effects of Jim’s new seizure medication and answered all their questions.
One Request Makes a Big Change
Even with all these improvements, Jim and the WelbeHealth team were still concerned about whether he could safely navigate through his home, prepare his meals, and remember to take his medication. He clearly needed regular and consistent home care.
WelbeHealth could arrange for this, but then Amir offered an even better solution; he could move in and care for Jim. Everyone agreed this was a great idea, but there was one problem. Because Jim was in Section 8 housing, strict rules applied. He could have no extra occupants and was concerned about losing his apartment since he didn’t want to violate the rules.
WelbeHealth Social Worker, Twyla, delivered a solution by requesting a ‘reasonable accommodation’ through Section 8. With this change, a caregiver would be allowed to live in the apartment with Jim.
Today, WelbeHealth’s Physical Therapist continues to visit and work on conditioning and balance. And the Home Care Coordinator arranges caregiving support to support Amir and Jim. Other team members are available to help whenever needed and answer questions.
Libby saw Jim recently and was heartened to see he was doing well. “He looked so good, and he was practically walking independently,” she says.
Ultimately, Libby says, the experience showed her that the people at WelbeHealth don’t hesitate to go above and beyond for their participants.
“This really is the embodiment of our values,” she says. “It is Courage to Love, Pioneering Spirit, and Shared Intention—all coming together. We provided what this vulnerable senior needed to ‘unlock his full potential’ and live independently in his community. It is a beautiful sight to see.”
https://welbehealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/jim-.jpg439767Cristal Gonzalezhttps://welbehealthweb.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/WelbeHealth_Logo.pngCristal Gonzalez2022-05-18 10:45:292023-01-31 09:50:54Coming Together in a Time of Need
For many older adults, staying active is a priority. Keeping up with friends, exercising, and giving back to the community brings fulfillment and joy. WelbeHealth helps facilitate meaningful physical and mental activities for seniors of all abilities.
“At WelbeHealth, activities for are adaptable to any level of ability. We find ways for every participant to engage,” says Esther De Santiago, Engagement Supervisor, Adult Engagement and Activities in Stockton. “These activities are done in a group setting. It is wonderful how the other participants cheer each other on.”
Festive Activities for Seniors
Many of our participants’ favorite activities for seniors are related to holidays and other special occasions. Our centers celebrate birthdays monthly, and national holidays are also celebrated, such as Veteran’s Day. This year, one center honored participant Veterans by giving them a certificate and a special pin to wear.
The Day of the Dead (Dia De Los Muertos) is a two-day Mexican holiday that reunites the living and the dead. Families create offerings to honor their loved ones who have passed on. Participants and staff at one WelbeHealth center worked together to create an altar to honor their friends and family members who have died. They read poetry to express their emotions and remember their loved ones.
Each Halloween, WelbeHealth staff and participants like to dress up in costumes. You’ll find all kinds of spooky characters at our centers––and Halloween candy, of course!
Thanksgiving is always a special time at WelbeHealth. Our centers serve a special candle-lit meal, display fall decor, and share what they are thankful for. After Thanksgiving, there is always lots of holiday cheer! Festive activities, meals, and decor make our centers cheery and bright all the way through New Year’s Day!
Malcomb Forbes, an American entrepreneur, said “It’s never too late to learn.” At WelbeHealth, we agree! Our activity directors bring in guest speakers to present on interesting topics such as poetry, history, and music. We’ve even had Hawaiian dancers come to share and give a hula performance.
We’ve also found that our very own staff and participants are extremely talented. We sometimes give a participant a little tap on the shoulder and ask if they’d like to present their expertise to the center. One of our participants gave a virtual presentation on her writing and art to her peers. She hopes to present in person eventually. We also had an amazing performance by a participant who is an expert in African dance and belly dancing.
One WelbeHealth staff member is a fire-breather. His performance really “lit up” the expressions of the center staff and participants!
Many of our participants love to get their creativity flowing. Creative activities for seniors like embroidery, origami, knitting, and crocheting are done at the centers.
“Creative projects are something that people of all ages can engage in,” says De Santiago. “When you finish a project and realize that you created something, it can be very satisfying. Plus, we all have fun sharing ideas and creating together.”
Some participants have given back to the community through creative arts. At one WelbeHealth center, a group of participants crochet and knit clothing items to donate to a local NICU. The babies in the NICU get an article of clothing made with love by WelbeHealth participants, and participants get the fulfillment of serving these precious babies and their families.
Entertaining Activities for Seniors
We have a lot of fun at our day centers. If you ask us, fun includes dancing and singing! Participants of all abilities can engage in singing and some form of dancing. Activity directors always adjust so no one is left out of the merriment!
Thriller by Michael Jackson is a classic spooky tune played around Halloween. The famous “thriller dance” accompanies the 1982 song. At one center, participants and staff learned the Thriller dance, standing or while seated in a chair. Laughter and cheers were shared by all!
Karaoke is a favorite activity for seniors at WelbeHealth. Many of our participants are vocally gifted and love to belt out a song for their peers. Whether you can carry or tune or not, staff and participants always cheer each other on. Whoever has the microphone is guaranteed to feel supported and celebrated!
We know that exercise is good for our bodies. It can be great for our minds too! That’s why WelbeHealth incorporates exercise into the daily list of activity options. For those who want to participate in the exercise activities, there are always modifications that can be made. Participants of all ability levels can take part and benefit from the movement.
Exercise activities done in the WelbeHealth centers include:
Chair Zumba: An exciting dance workout usually done alongside Latin-inspired music.
Tai Chi: A gentle exercise that promotes balance and stretching.
Therabands: Band exercise that provides light resistance to strengthen muscles.
Group Dance: Led by rehabilitation therapists, this is a fun, light aerobic exercise.
Supportive Activities for Seniors
WelbeHealth participants make it a point to support one another in times of loss and grief. Our participants are never alone in their pain. Each of our centers has support groups to connect participants and allow them to share their story and encourage one another.
As an example, the Forever Friends support group consists of participants and one WelbeHealth staff facilitator. The purpose of the group is for participants to support their peers as through life transitions.
In addition to support groups, WelbeHealth offers mental health services. Combined, support groups and counseling can provide the mental and emotional support seniors need to navigate loss and grief.
Join in the Fun at WelbeHealth
As you can see, there are a lot of activities for seniors at the WelbeHealth centers. An activities calendar is available to participants and their families, so they can see all that is offered. Our activities directors are open to suggestions too!
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