(Repost from 2019 ‒ as I reflect from home, upon my time @ Extendicare Bayview — Long Term Care.
NOTE: This synopsis has been prepared by the facilitator with input from the participants.
Fortunately, at Extendicare Bayview we have had an enthusiastic Wellness Discussion Group for many years. This is an ongoing weekly meeting facilitated by Liz Pearl and enjoyed by residents, as well as, from time to time, their accompanying family members. This interactive program includes variety of current published resources pertaining to wellness (we love the wellness wheels pictured below) as well as dynamic group dialogue in a supportive small group forum. The diverse group of Extendicare resident‒participants is encouraged to share their wisdom and varied experiences on a range of topics within the broader category of living a healthy lifestyle. That’s a wide umbrella with plenty of room for many subsidiary topics.
In the words of the participants, this peer support group is best described as: intriguing, stimulating, relevant, interesting, caring and supportive. The primary goals of the program are continuing education and personal development and of course, positive group interaction. It’s like a refresher course offered on a casual platform.
The Wellness Discussion Group covers a range of topics including (but not limited to): physical activity and exercise, nutrition and healthy eating, stress management and mental health, and effective communication. The particular topics selected are based on the foundational concepts of integrative and holistic health and wellness including: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. We explore traditional and alternative wellness practices.
How to maximize our physical activity given our limited mobility and aches and pains. How to optimize our nutrition given the menu choices we are offered. How to get along with everyone given the inherent circumstances in LTC living.
When the WiFi in the room is good we check-in with Google every now and again to fact-check our knowledge and unanswered questions. Mostly, we share our own ideas, opinions. and experiences.
Most recently, we have been exploring creative techniques for memory enhancement and also sharing our inspiring personal narratives‒legacies. We indulge in our personal stories but do not pursue personal medical profiles. Our discussion constitutes relevant personal experiences that resonate with one another. We share our challenges and coping strategies. We express our gratitude and compassion for one another. Most definitely, we practice active-listening and respect diversity of points of view.
We look forward to welcoming innovative topics of discussion and new residents to our enlightened group ‒ in the pursuit of maintaining our common goal: continued wellness.
Often we end the meeting with a few moments of breathing and relaxation—essential components of wellness.
To learn more about this thought-provoking program contact Liz Pearl @ PK Press or Pat Butcher @ Extendicare Bayview.
Liz Pearl, M.Ed., is the Founder and Director of PK Press, a member of OAMHP formerly OACCPP and a blogger at WordPress: Pearls of Wisdom. Liz has been a facilitator and educator at Extendicare Inc. for over 20 years.
Everyone has a Story. What’s Yours? Share your Story; Leave a Legacy. —PK Press