When Molly Zwelling, a SOME staff member in our adult housing program, was tasked with developing a health and wellness initiative for our residents, she began by running focus groups, asking them what barriers there are to making healthy choices. Out of those focus groups came guest speakers, activities and resources on topics like self-care, healthy cooking, giving back, physical activity and more.
“Giving our residents health education information is key to helping them change unhealthy behaviors to healthy ones,” says Molly. “This allows them to manage chronic diseases, like diabetes or heart disease, and improve their general quality of life.”
The Health and Wellness Initiative is already having success. Thanks to support from healthy activities at SOME’s Marian House, a resident suffering from a condition that causes significant back pain lost 20 pounds, leaving her with less pain and more energy.
The initiative’s signature event is the annual health fair, which is 2017 will be held in collaboration with SOME’s family services. In 2016, the 75 residents who visited the fair were offered guided meditation, an exercise class, tips on how to shop for healthier foods on a budget and the opportunity to talk with various healthcare providers. Arcadia Farms, Hungry Harvest and the Franciscan Monastery Garden Guild donated 500 pounds of fresh produce to help our residents get started on eating healthy!
Molly is also working with SOME’s non-monetary donations and dining room teams to create new, healthier guidelines for meals we serve and the food pantry items we distribute. Download our Healthy Pantry food drive flyer.