Top Strategies to Support Senior Care Staff Wellness
From managing pandemic safety to compliance to resident safety, it’s easy for staff wellness to go overlooked in senior care settings. May is Global Employee Health and Fitness Month, an international event designed to highlight the importance of health and fitness in the workplace.
Given the physical nature of many senior care roles, staff health is particularly important within this industry. Fortunately, there are many ways that senior care organizations can support staff health and fitness.
Supporting Staff Wellness in Senior Care
Senior care staff naturally face several challenges that can make getting and staying fit and healthy difficult. DJ Mazzoni, M.S., medical reviewer at Illuminate Health, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist. Mazzoni explains that the long hours senior care staff often work can make it challenging to go to the gym. It can be difficult for staff to find the time and energy to work out on their own time.
Additionally, working long hours can increase an employee’s cravings for processed, salty foods like pizza and chips, making it difficult to eat healthy.
Mazzoni notes that many staff wellness programs pay for a gym membership for members. These wellness programs also often provide comprehensive health insurance, which might allow staff to access prescription medications that can improve their overall wellbeing.
In addition to providing staff wellness programs, he suggests that senior care organizations focus on ensuring that staff get enough breaks while working. “Regular breaks are important for both physical and mental health, and will both improve employee productivity and reduce employee churn. It’s a win-win for patients and providers,” Mazzoni says.
Ways to Get Involved with Global Employee Health and Fitness Month
Organizations can register for the Global Employee Health and Fitness Month online. Registration is just $20 for the organization, and that membership fee will give organizations access to the toolkits and resources available to guide them through the month.
Once registered, organizations can invite employees to track their activity throughout the month. Employees can track multiple elements:
- Healthy moments, like healthy eating or physical activity that they do to improve their health
- Healthy groups, where small groups of employees gather to do an activity, like attending a yoga class
- A culminating project, which may be an event or series of events that is designed to support wellbeing through the whole organization
As employees exercise and complete the above activities, they can record those activities in their logs. Employees accumulate points that they can use to earn awards and prizes that each organization offers.
According to the Global Employee Health & Fitness Month website, 28,875 people across 38 states are participating. There are 6,620 companies and organizations participating in the month, and they’re located in 81 cities.
The event is hosted by the National Association for Health and Fitness, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving quality of life through physical fitness, sports, and healthy lifestyles. The event runs through May 31, 2022, and offers senior care organizations a chance to actively support staff fitness in an engaging and fun way.
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