Hilary Johnson will oversee department as Wellness Director
Marsh’s Edge, a retirement community located on St. Simons Island, Ga., announced today that the community is expanding to add a fully integrated Wellness Department. Hilary Johnson has been promoted to the position of Wellness Director and will oversee the newly created department which houses the community’s nationally recognized wellness program.
Executive Director Jennifer Stratton says the community will hire an additional wellness associate and add new programs for Members into the existing schedule to boost participation during the week and on weekends. She says the expansion is the result of a growing demand for solutions to high-cost clinical care which older adults may need later in life.
“We have found that by using tailored wellness programs we can substantially improve the quality and length of our Members’ lives,” Stratton said. “Our goal is to offer Members an environment where they can improve their health and independence while potentially preventing a move to skilled nursing in the future.”
Although Marsh’s Edge offers skilled nursing, assisted living, and Alzheimer’s care services as well as independent living options, Stratton says the community’s Wellness Department houses programs that are appropriate for older adults with a varying degree of needs.
“One example is our aquatic therapy program, ‘Back to Water,’ which has been shown to greatly reduce chronic back pain among participants,” says Stratton. “We’re not saying clinical solutions aren’t needed – we’re just saying there may be a way to combine clinical and wellness solutions so that our residents achieve better outcomes.”
In addition to the aquatic therapy program, Wellness Director Johnson will oversee the expansion of additional targeted wellness programs in healthcare including interventions focused on improving outcomes associated with fractures or orthopedic replacements, heart failure, C.O.P.D., diabetes, arthritis and Parkinson’s disease, to name a few.
Johnson will continue to emphasize and create prevention-oriented programming for the community’s independent living members who want to improve their health while also reducing their chances of suffering a negative health event in the future.
In 2010 and 2011, the Assisted Living Federation of America named the community’s wellness program the best Clinical Wellness program in the country.