Building on Innovation: The Physical Tools of Aging

Building on Innovation: The Physical Tools of Aging

Amber Jedlicka,
Director of
Post-Acute Care

Amber Jedlicka is the director of post-acute care at Meth-Wick Community. She runs The Woodlands, Meth-Wick’s five-star rated skilled nursing home, which cares for residents who can no longer live independently for a variety of reasons.

Much of Amber’s work  at The Woodlands is focused on the physical tools that assist in aging. Her team uses a variety of innovative tools to ensure residents can live life to the fullest, even with unique health needs.

Therapy Pools

The Rejuvenate Center is the home for physical therapy and rehabilitation at Meth-Wick. The 5,000 square foot addition to The Woodlands was constructed in 2015. It includes a therapy gym and the two HydroWorx therapy pools. The therapy pools allow residents with decreased mobility to exercise or receive physical therapy in a weightless warm-water environment, which reduces stress on their joints. The therapy pool is used to:

    • Decrease pain by reducing joint pressure
    • Increase range of motion
    • Improve balance or stamina while standing
    • Relieve stress or anxiety
    • Provide opportunities for exercise classes

Tools like the therapy center are helpful in respecting resident’s limitations while also providing an outlet to pursue their interests.

Neighborhood Living Concept

Residents at The Woodlands live in one of three neighborhoods, centered around a full-size kitchen, living room, den, and craft room. The neighborhood concept creates a home-like environment. The building’s layout allows for smaller, more intimate communities that promote a feeling of belonging. This concept also helps staff to individualize the care they provide. Each neighborhood has a Household Coordinator who focuses their time on fully getting to know each resident and training the caregivers on those individual preferences.

Specialty Suites

There is a lack of care options in Linn County for those who are non-weight bearing or need bariatric care. In response to this need, Meth-Wick’s donors provided for new specialty suites in The Woodlands. These four suites are cutting-edge with personal showers, large comfortable beds, and state of the art equipment to provide dignified care for persons with restricted mobility.

Outdoor Spaces & Activities

Two beautifully designed courtyards within The Woodlands provide a safe and relaxing place to experience the outdoors. Residents enjoy grilling with staff and visiting family, planting flowers and tomatoes in the raised garden beds, and taking part in a variety of outdoor programs.

Staff coordinates regular outings like fishing trips, barbecues, happy hours, and baking sessions with residents to ensure they can continue to enjoy favorite hobbies. Even residents who aren’t physically able to ride a bike any longer get to hit the road with an innovative tool. Meth-Wick purchased several motorized bikes specifically designed for the geriatric population. The resident sits side by side with a staff member as they cruise around campus and the surrounding neighborhoods.

The Woodlands maintains a person-directed philosophy of care. Each resident is treated as a unique individual and receives personalized care and services. The Woodlands team ensures a meaningful life for each resident where their individual voices are heard, and their individual choices are respected. These innovative tools help them fulfill this mission.

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.