On a bright sunny day many years ago, I remember leaning in close to my grandpa while we were sitting on the porch & whispering to him, “Papa, it’s your 65th wedding anniversary today with Grandma. What is the greatest advice you could give me to one day do the same?” Papa gently replied, “Pray every day for Gods guidance, make sure they are your best friend & remember, there will be storms & valleys, but the greatest rainbows come after the storms. The sun will always rise & signify a new day, a fresh start. Learn to dance in the rain & enjoy walking through life together.” I remember soaking in his precious words on that sunny afternoon. I will never forget the truth behind his advice that he gave me. From that moment on, I realized how significant, vital & pivotal it is to have Senior Citizens in our lives. The amazing information, advice & experiences they bring to the table are to be extremely valued & greatly treasured. After spending much time with my grandparents growing up, I knew in my heart a career with Seniors was something I was going to pursue. I began to step deeper into health & wellness with Seniors after interning with a neurological therapy clinic, physical therapy, speech therapy & cardiac rehabilitation clinic.
When I received my bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology, I was blessed to plant my feet within the rewarding field of wellness working with Seniors! One treasured component of being a Wellness Director is the opportunity to enrich the quality of life of our Seniors through the diverse wellness programming that we offer at Wellmore of Daniel Island. Each day, we see Seniors who are battling the effects of aging, alongside different challenges such as, decreased gait when walking, Sarcopenia, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, PTSD, Parkinson’s & more. Our goal is to think outside the box & to have a broad, positive mindset. At Wellmore of Daniel Island, when designing a wellness program, we desire to focus on what each resident [can do], instead of what they [can’t do]. Learning to shift our mindset & focus on positivity & potential brings out the best in people. With Sarcopenia (muscle loss) on setting at the age of 30, strength & conditioning exercises are important in conjunction with flexibility & mobility. It is important to remember that at any age, the muscle fibers can be trained or retrained to increase muscle strength.
At Wellmore of Daniel Island, The Wellness Department offers a Strength & Conditioning program that is a one on one session in the weight room where we guide our members through cardiovascular & weight machines. American College of Sports Medicine recommends that older adults participate in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week. We do our best to execute their therapy discharge plans to continue to keep the muscles in motion while building strength. Our goal is to keep the American College of Sports Medicine guidelines within our programming to keep our Seniors conditioned. Next door to our weight room is our exercise room, where resistance band classes & aerobics classes are a favorite for many members. Alongside building physical muscle strength, we are always launching new programs to engage our members in learning a new skill or to relearn a skill, such as golf or pickleball. Research studies show that learning a new skill or component of a sport or hobby will delay/slow down the onset or progression of degenerative diseases. In the month of September, we launched pickleball sessions & a golf conditioning component for our members. I truly believe when our members are participating in a variety of wellness components, the brain will grow stronger & slow the process of physical & cognitive aging. At Wellmore, we have watched many of our Seniors progress from point A to point B, reaching their goals one day at a time. To spread our joy of health & wellness throughout our whole community, we launched a Restorative Exercise Therapy program for our Skilled Nursing Unit that involves the usage of a motorized leg activator machine, a mini strider machine, portable bicycles, free weights & weighted balls. Exercise prescriptions for each member are executed by implementing their therapy discharge plan. Our members in every unit can receive continuum exercise through our wellness programming or Restorative Exercise Therapy program. Alongside our Aquatic Aerobics class, we offer a one on one aquatic program called “WAVES”. WAVES is a guided aquatic exercise time that involves aerobics, strength, flexibility & aquatic walking. WAVES is a nationally recognized, award winning aquatic program. Each session is 30 minutes & involves a collaboration of core, upper & lower extremity exercises. When asked what the best part about teaching a WAVES session, Wellness Associate Anterica Thomas said, “The best part about WAVES is being able to be a part of their wellness journey; one of my favorite memories was watching someone walk again as they progressed from a past stroke.”
At Wellmore of Daniel Island, our motto is, “Living the Weller Life”. It is a complete joy each day to be in the presence of the greatest legends & wellness champions of all time, Seniors!