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8 ways we care holistically for residents

Amy Weiss | Apr 20, 2021

At Walker Methodist, we believe in caring for people as holistic beings, especially the vulnerable. This means we care not only about physical health but also about mental wellbeing, social interaction, and more. We care about meeting needs, and we care about our residents' dreams.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate effect on older adults, and we are committed to following safety procedures from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control. Pandemic or not, though, here are eight ways we provide holistic care for our residents, beyond excellent healthcare and living options:

1. Parkinson's care

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Walker Methodist team members, nurses, and caregivers are trained to not only recognize but also understand the complexities and varieties of Parkinson’s disease. This specialized care leads to improved communication and an enhanced living experience for those who have Parkinson’s. Not only is our care team better prepared to assist those with Parkinson's, they are also able to provide education, resources, and support to residents as well as their family and loved ones. In partnership with the Struthers Parkinson's Center, we are pleased to be able to provide expert, specialized Parkinson’s care, in accordance with individual long term care plans.

2. Safe Care for Seniors

Walker Methodist was recognized on the Safe Care Honor Roll for our system-wide practices of safe care. Safe Care for Seniors is an initiative started by LeadingAge MN to help professionals in the senior living industry be proactive, giving them knowledge and words to prevent and/or stand up to the abuse of older adults. Because we take every opportunity we can to empower our team members to live out our mission, we’re proud to support this program as a Committed Organization. Learn more...

3. Pet therapy

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Snuggling with a furry friend can make any day a little better, but did you know it has actual health benefits? Multiple studies have linked household pets with improved mental health, including helping with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, physical wellbeing, and more. For that reason, it’s no surprise that Walker Methodist incorporates pet therapy into our programs.

4. Robotic animals

Robotic animals are beneficial, too! These pets are well-known and well-loved among residents at Walker Methodist. HomeCare Magazine reported that “interactions with the robotic companion pet decreased feelings of anxiety, increased communication abilities, and/or increased general well-being.” Although Walker Methodist originally invested in robotic animals as a way to soothe residents living with dementia, we quickly discovered these lifelike animals benefit all types of people.

5. Aromatherapy

Our team integrates essential oils into daily routines for some residents. The benefits of aromatherapy can include include increased calmness, reduction of anxiety, more restful sleep, and improved mood.

6. Music & MemoryTM

Where medications have failed, music has succeeded. Music helps not just those with the disease. It helps their families, caregivers, and friends. We are true believers in the Music & Memory program and what it does to bring personalized music to senior living communities across the country. This program introduces a way to bring music into the lives of people, specifically those with Alzheimer's or dementia.

7. Fitness

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Our fitness professionals, instructors, and counselors have come together and developed programs designed specifically to support the needs of older adults. We help residents and community members focus on achieving optimal health and wellbeing, maintaining vitality. Exercise boosts energy, improves balance, and builds strength so our residents can do all the things they like to do.

8. Spiritual life

At Walker Methodist, we are guided by principles given to us by our Methodist founders. Faith always includes a nurturing, social dimension. Our chaplains provide support and services to all, regardless of their religious, non-religious, or spiritual path. We do this as a way of nurturing the whole person in body, mind, and spirit, with the understanding that the three are interwoven.

Here for Life. And all the living that goes with it.

Those acts of kindness that preserve dignity and character of people. The natural path of compassion. That’s the foundation of Walker Methodist and all who work here. We do it because it’s the right thing, and our residents deserve it all. To learn more about making a Walker Methodist community home, please contact us today.

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