Our senior health program continues to offer consultation, memory disorder evaluation, hearing screening and meal assistance. We met with participants and conducted focus groups in community-based facilities to determine if there were other initiatives that might be helpful. Based upon responses, we supplemented the program with an outreach initiative we named Vitality to capture those who do not yet describe themselves as “senior.” Our target population is now those 50 and older.
We developed opportunities for health promotion by creating the Breakfast Club, a group that meets the second Thursday of each month. During breakfast, we encourage socialization and solicit seniors’ concerns and ideas. Breakfast is followed by an exercise session to improve balance and strength and a guest speaker addresses health topics selected by the club. While we expected 35 persons per Breakfast Club, we have had a turnout of 75-100 culturally diverse registrants. Without baseline and scheduled reassessment of balance and strength or cognitive ability, we have not developed outcome measures. On the first Wednesday of the month the Breakfast Club joins other community residents for Mind Games, which are intended to maintain memory and stimulate cognitive functioning through recall and problem solving.
In collaboration with the Westchester County Department of Senior Programs and services, we offered Living Well, a six-week workshop to help those with chronic conditions learn self-management. Because participants are not a consistent captive audience, we have not been able to evaluate health outcomes of these participants. We are presently working on a method to measure self-reported modification of health behaviors.
To promote exercise, community residents and Phelps employees are invited to participate in a number of Phelps-sponsored walks and runs (American Heart Association annual Heart Walk, the Sleepy Hollow 10K, Sleepy Hollow Half Marathon, Sleepy Hollow Sprint Triathlon, Strides against Breast Cancer Walk and exercise activities in Senior Steps and Breakfast Club programs).
In addition, Phelps physicians and other healthcare professionals give health-related presentations at the hospital, at community events and wellness fairs, and attend local street fairs.
The Phelps Farmers Market has been operational since 2012. It offers a variety of healthy foods including fruits, vegetables, natural Greek yogurt, and gluten-free items. The market attracts employees, residents of a nearby senior living community, corporate neighbors and the community at large.