21 Sep Senior Care – Health & Wellness is a Team Journey
WHAT ARE THE 5 KEY COMPONENTS EVERY RAL HOME NEEDS TO HAVE IN PLACE TO PROVIDE A QUALITY HEALTH AND WELLNESS PLAN FOR SENIORS?
A 77-year-old senior recently said, “I am scared to go to sleep at night.” She says watching so many peers pass away weighs heavy on the mind. What could be more important than taking good care of your health, especially for seniors? Senior health care requires the coordinated support of caregivers, doctors, specialists, and family members.
Key information is ciphered through multiple channels and caregivers must use written communication. It is important to outline a written wellness plan in order to process health information successfully. Providing quality care plans attracts families to your assisted living home. A quality wellness plan should contain characteristics that caregivers and seniors can actually follow. Write a wellness plan outline for each resident in your RAL home that consists of key components for quality care.
5 PART QUALITY WELLNESS PLAN
II. Emotional and Mental
III. Self-care and Me Time
IV. Building New Habits
V. Having Fun
There is nothing more important than taking good care of your health. According to Statista Research Department, Americans collectively spend nearly $4 trillion annually on wellness programs. Health and wellness do not require spending lots of money, all seniors need is help with planning and a sense of willpower. People often set new health goals at the beginning of each year, but fail to follow through. RAL home caregivers are able to help residents make these goals realistic. In order to provide quality care, apply the S.M.A.R.T. method to each part of your wellness plans.
This method means you must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. Under each part, evaluate the main goals you’d like to accomplish by measuring your expectations using this method.
I. PHYSICAL HEALTH
Indicate previous improvements in the physical health of the residents. Afterward, list the most important aspect of health the resident would like to improve. Write down the steps needed to reach each goal. What services do your RAL home offer to support the health goals of your seniors? Start small. This will help residents stay on track, without feeling the urge to give up midstream. Be sure to involve the input of doctors, dentists, and family members in this process. Highlight any underlying health issues that need attention.
II. EMOTIONAL AND MENTAL HEALTH
Life perspectives are a crucial part of well-being. In fact, emotions trigger thoughts, and consequently, actions. Health and wellness is a chain reaction of negative and positive responses to situations and events. Better emotional well-being for seniors in assisted living requires allowing residents to create their own definition of success. Dedicating time in meditation is a simple and proven strategy to calm the mind, reduce stress and help promote happiness.
III. SELF-CARE AND “ME” TIME
Self-care is about meeting your core needs, taking a break, and getting rid of toxic relationships. It is important to write down what truly makes each resident happy. How can your RAL home provide more pleasing activities that accommodate the lifestyle of each assisted living senior? Another way to improve your mental well-being is to motivate yourself. Listen to TED talks, inspirational music, attending church services, reading and use other motivational methods. Afterward, write down personal achievements in each resident’s wellness plan. Be sure to analyze and write down things that disturb each senior as well. An assisted living residence should feel like home for seniors. Creating a functional social setting is critical to self-care.
IV. BUILDING NEW HABITS
Especially as seniors, the brain needs to learn new patterns of behavior. Successful new habits must be reinforced with repetition. In each wellness plan, write new desired habits and old habits that seniors are seeking to replace. Start each habit with a trial period of 10-15 days and revisit the wellness plan routinely. A 30-day challenge is best for creating lasting habits. Challenges are also great for boosting a sense of achievement amongst seniors.
V. HAVING FUN
What is life without laughter? Seniors need adventure, fun, and visitors. A quality wellness plan must include what each resident finds most enjoyable. Write down destinations, activities, and events that lend a sense of enjoyment for residents. Encourage seniors to get out of their comfort zone and do new things. Whatever their idea of fun is, encourage seniors to do it more and do it often.
These steps should always be included in a quality wellness plan. The more information caregivers can gather from doctors, dentists, family members, and residents, the more useful each wellness plan becomes. Creating the ultimate wellness plan takes time, dedication and a genuine desire to improve the well-being of seniors in assisted living.
Care-driven RAL homes are identified based on how they approach to care planning, advocating, and suggestions when developing health and wellness plans:
I. Care Planning
Care planning is vital for residents in assisted living homes. Caregivers are required to maintain a written care plan for every resident. Itemized care plans must be reviewed based on a routine schedule, and changes must be indicated based on hospitalizations. During care plan meetings, it is important to annotate notes, prepare questions, discuss concerns and review solutions. Care plans should include content ranging from mental and physical health, dietary plans, smoking habits, and medication management.
Understanding the rules and regulations of the residential assisted living home enables caregivers, family members, and residents to advocate for healthy choices. It is important for RAL homes to know the rights of residents. Advocating is one of the greatest advantages of effectively collaborating care.
Always approach senior care with suggestions. Solutions for the best senior care often start with compromise or creativity. Caregivers can help improve situations with suggestions based on daily interactions.
The benefits of building a wellness plan based on caregiver relationships with residents include the following:
- Reduced resident turnover
- More satisfied residents and families
- Reduced ambulance transports
- Reduced ER trips
- Reduced hospitalizations
- Reduced overall healthcare costs
- Happier assisted living residents
- Lower costs for family members
WHY DOES RALNA PROVIDE THE MOST RELIABLE ASSISTED LIVING RESEARCH?
RALNA is advancing the industry with information that best serves the needs of senior care. Health and wellness is a vital part of the senior care journey and many RAL caregivers need resources to sharpen their skills. The landscape of residential assisted living is rapidly growing, and RALNA helps RAL businesses stay ahead of the game. Content at www.RALNA.com includes topics ranging from legislation, innovative products, unique services, marketing resources, employee retention tips and so much more. RALNA is preparing industry owners and operators with the resources needed to serve the oncoming silver tsunami of retiring baby boomers with the best care possible.
What strategies does your RAL home put in place to provide the best wellness and health plans for senior care?