Carolina Meadows is a non-profit CCRC located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Listen to the podcast below as Michelle Marino, Wellness Coordinator, speaks on many of the engaging opportunities this community is offering residents to promote healthy aging and high mobility.
Carolina Meadows’ wellness opportunities are truly exceptional, providing a diverse selection of activities that meet residents where they are. With over 25 wellness classes on the calendar each week, residents can easily take initiative toward better mobility through activities that challenge their strength, balance, and flexibility. Some residents may choose to go golfing or play tennis, while others prefer tai chi or a relaxing walk through the labyrinth at Carolina Meadows.
One thing that sets Carolina Meadows apart is their Early Advantage Program. Because the community has a long waitlist, they offer an opportunity for older adults living in the surrounding area who, while they wait for a spot to open, can use the amenities such as the wellness programs, exercise classes, access to trainers, and can even receive short term stay in the higher levels of care if needed.
One wellness benefit that has become especially popular among residents, as well as Early Advantage participants, is VSTBalance, a fall-risk assessment system that measures residents' mobility in real-time. This community makes the system available for residents to use whenever they want to, so with a re-screen every few months, fall-risk improvement tracking becomes simple. Residents can take ownership of their own mobility and see their progress over time.
"The re-screens have been really popular...because even if they’ve been small incremental differences, it has really made a difference to the resident that they feel they’re on the right track.” Michelle Marino says.
Carolina Meadows’ care staff will start with a Gait Assessment to use as a baseline during the residents’ annual wellness exam, then throughout the year residents can track their scores to see improvement. Marino says VSTBalance promotes honesty. The residents trust their community leaders, which makes them more trusting of the system.
"We’re having real conversations about what they (the residents) can be doing to help prevent falls. I think that's really the take-home message—that [the system provides] a visual, [the data] is very cut-and-dry, they’ve been open with their families about how it's going.”
The ability for families to be involved in resident screenings using VSTBalance is the “feather in the cap for the department” Marino says.
VSTBalance also promotes better relationships between residents and the community. Residents tend to be more open to intervention when they can see their results right in front of them—not to mention, the system is fun to use. “The VSTBalance class fills up every time we offer it. I can’t offer it enough. I can't offer enough things for fall prevention.” says Marino.
The staff also appreciate using VSTBalance because it takes an interdisciplinary approach to fall prevention and makes record-keeping and transcript writing simple. Marino appreciates the analytics dashboards on VSTBalance, as well. AL and IL reporting must be done separately, and the VSTBalance dashboard keeps these reports organized and easy to pull. Overall, Carolina Meadows values VSTBalance for its real-time reporting, quick data pictures, and prime customer service offered by VirtuSense’s Client Excellence Center.
This community is driven to offer the very best care to their residents, which is proven through their exceptional wellness initiatives, including cutting-edge technology that provides peace of mind to families, and motivation for their residents.