Building on Innovation: 4 Ways Meth-Wick Commits to Wellness

Building on Innovation: 4 Ways Meth-Wick Commits to Wellness

Eryn Cronbaugh, Director of Wellness and Recreation

Wellness is more than a buzzword at Meth-Wick Community. We’re not just another care center with a few activity and exercise programs. We’re a wellness campus with options for care. Wellness means something different to every resident and we’ve built our programs to reflect that very fact.

This week we’re talking to Eryn Cronbaugh, Director of Wellness and Recreation, about how Meth-Wick doesn’t just talk the talk but walks the walk when it comes to wellness.

1. Have a Clear Philosophy

At Meth-Wick, there’s no one size fits all. Every older adult has a different vision for what the next chapter in their lives will look like. That’s why Meth-Wick’s philosophy for campus programming is a whole-person wellness model. It includes six dimensions of wellness: Spiritual, Physical, Vocational, Emotional, Social, and Intellectual wellness.

“Some programming touches just one of these dimensions of wellness, while other programs include several,” said Cronbaugh. “Our goal is for all areas of wellness to be represented regularly in our programming options.”

2. Create Actionable Plans

Every resident’s wellness journey begins with WelTracs®. WelTracs® is a proprietary health and wellness program developed by Meth-Wick staff to match residents with the programs that will help them achieve their wellness goals. Every resident completes an in-depth interview when they move to campus with the Successful Aging Coordinator to set up their successful aging plan. This interview is repeated annually to update the plan and revisit goals as residents’ needs change.

“The interview process gives our Successful Aging Coordinator the opportunity to act as a concierge,” said Cronbaugh. “If you have an interest in a particular area, she can help guide you in finding ways to be involved in those interests.”

3. Develop Smart Programming

The data collected by WelTracs allows the Meth-Wick team to target programs toward the areas of highest interest or respond when a new interest spikes. Eryn shared how she recently wanted to know if there might be resident interest in a nutrition program.  “We were able to run a report through WelTracs to learn over eighty residents had indicated an interest in that type of program. That gives us the opportunity to reach out directly and invite them,” she said.

Eryn highlighted some of her favorite programs from different dimensions of wellness:

Warm-Water Therapy Pools  Residents can take aquatic aerobics or participate in water walking or running for fitness classes. They can also use the pools through our therapy and restorative services for more specific, targeted therapy and healing in certain areas.

M&M Scholars  This is a unique partnership with Mount Mercy University and Meth-Wick. We partner with the university to bring educational programming to our residents monthly throughout the academic year.

Fitness and Sports Leagues  Our fitness classes are always fun and challenging, but I think our most innovative programming comes from our Sports Leagues. These have included: Chair Volleyball, Noodle Hockey, Office Chair Basketball, The Mini Meth-Wick Open Cross-Campus Pro Golf Tour, and more. They are fun, competitive fitness challenges that are competitive, active, and full of laughter and fun.

Music and Memory  We participate in the national program of Music and Memory, which provides support for us to be able to give our residents at The Woodlands digital music devices with personalized playlists to listen to whenever they’d like.

4. Invest in the Staff

Meth-Wick’s commitment to wellness is most evident in their hiring decisions. The Wellness and Recreation team boasts a robust staff. There are seven certified recreation specialists, three full-time fitness staff members leading land and aquatic classes and two part-time chaplains, which is unusual for organizations this size.

The whole person wellness model at Meth-Wick inspires innovative programs that set older adults up for success. This level of commitment is a result of Meth-Wick’s tenure in the senior living space. After 60 years of working with older adults, we’ve learned what it takes to live well during this chapter of life.

This article is part of the “Building on Innovation” series celebrating Meth-Wick Community’s 60th Anniversary serving older adults in Cedar Rapids. From 1961 to today, Meth-Wick has been an innovative leader in the senior living market. We will be exploring this theme throughout the year on our blog.