Keeping Butterfield Seniors Healthy is a Team Sport

Benefits are boundless for a senior community when staff members actively seek new ways to work across departmental functions. A growing spirit of collaboration among members of Butterfield’s wellness, physical therapy and dining services teams is resulting in numerous benefits for residents – and is continuously inspiring staff to think and work more creatively. The team members from these three departments are excited to unveil an array of fresh opportunities this summer and fall, and they’re encouraging BTV residents to watch for and participate in new healthy, fun initiatives.

Wellness and Physical Therapy

Having both a wellness department and physical therapy services on the Butterfield campus provides a unique avenue to offer comprehensive, individualized care. When professional team members from both disciplines join forces, the result is an outstanding continuum of care and support for residents. Those undergoing physical or occupational therapy sessions at BTV have the option to work directly with the wellness staff to find techniques and exercises to maintain progress – as well as participate in relevant fitness classes to reinforce movements beneficial to recovery. 

The help doesn’t conclude once physical therapy sessions end, however. By prioritizing ongoing communication across departments, the physical therapists and wellness experts stay abreast of specific needs residents may still have. Staff can advocate for the addition of tailored exercises or more classes to further assist individuals according to their needs, helping residents to grow stronger and even experience a better quality of life.

Physical therapist Sara Perkins and Director of Wellness Jennifer Neill recently attended a workshop with the Institute of Clinical Excellence called Modern Management of the Older Adult. Focused on enhancing functional fitness, the course explores myths and misconceptions of aging and teaches how to enable seniors to thrive, not just survive. Based upon their new learnings, the therapy and fitness teams are now even better equipped to implement fall prevention techniques, share essential skills such as getting up off the floor safely – and are even able to employ strategies to help reduce fears associated with physical aging. Starting in May, a series of two-hour resident workshops will share excellent information of benefit to everyone. The first workshop will teach how to get back up after a fall and proactive measures for maintaining this critical ability, as well as insights into the many potential benefits of physical therapy.

Future workshop topics will be announced at a later date.

Wellness and Dining

A key opportunity for cross-departmental collaboration is unfolding between Butterfield’s wellness and dining services teams. Director of Dining Services Memo Vaca and Jennifer Neill have begun meeting weekly to establish methods to integrate more wellness principles into campus dining. Exciting developments are already underway, such as plans for a hydration station to be located alongside fitness classes. Exercisers will be encouraged to sample and learn about nutritious herbal teas and other beverages that support a healthy living journey. Additionally, residents may begin seeing the introduction of healthy post-workout snacks along with new, nutritious options that will be found within the dining services condiment area. These two projects represent just the beginning of a growing potential for shared ideas and projects – and BTV residents are sure to both enjoy and reap daily benefits from future innovations.