From the time each peer arrives at Perry Wellness Center, the day is planned for his or her specific needs. After greetings and discussion with staff regarding any potential problems, peers move into various groups, activity programs, and chores.
“Everything that is planned for our peer community happens after dialogue with the peer and responsible staff member,” explains PWC founder and CEO Stuart Perry. “We are proud of this teamwork of planning.”
Each quarter, goals are established or continued for each peer. They are written down and approved only after team and peer collaboration. Staff member Brittany McCumber explains the importance of peer-staff consultation: “It is important that we listen and hear the goals of our peer population. After writing the goals and any discussion, this becomes a lesson plan for meeting these goals and peer improvement.”
Once the goals are established, the real challenge emerges: meeting them! Anyone who has ever created and failed a New Years resolution knows that meeting a goal takes effort. Peers can rely upon their tailor-made groups and other activities to give them the tools they need to meet personal goals. In addition, the center environment is designed to assist, with attention to everything from calm surroundings to nutritious meals.
The Whole Health Action Management (W.H.A.M.) program targets strategies to wellness goals for each peer. It is an integral part of the total wellness program. Each peer’s health and wellness program is customized to address specific personal and health needs. It becomes a framework for communicating healthy habits that can lead to positive changes.
One significant focus of peers’ W.H.A.M. plans is daily diet. To assist peers in maintaining healthy diets, they receive a protein-filled breakfast each morning and a healthy, wholesome lunch. Modifications are made to address individual diet issues; e.g., hypertension. Rudy’s Happy Patch Market now takes EBT cards, so it is easier for peers to pick up healthy produce and other grocery items for meal preparation at home as well. Finally, peers are provided with information on proper nutrition and meal preparation.
Maintaining a proper diet is just one example of the ways in which peers and staff work together to meet goals. With peer and W.H.A.M. coach teamwork, as well as the efforts of all staff, solutions for each peer’s wellness issues can be thoroughly addressed.
In the photo above, Brittany McCumber, left, leads new peer James Beatie in an introduction to weight and cardio betterment.