Reliance Medical Center

A Medical Center with a Complimentary Wellness Club for Seniors

Tasha Saca ran the Reliance Wellness Club with the support of Debbie Freeze, Activity Coach in Lakeland. In this interview with Tasha, I find out what the Reliance Wellness Club is and how it benefits patients.

Q: “Can you tell me what the Reliance Wellness Club is?”

A: “We created the Reliance Wellness Club so that we can take care of our patients outside of the exam room. We provide our patients with a range of enriching and invigorating activities designed to improve their overall quality of life, wellness, and health outcomes. The Wellness Club allows us to see patients in a more natural setting than an exam room. This environment also enables us to make a broader assessment of our patients’ overall health. Our goal was to create a program that is holistic and preventative founded on evidence-based practices.”

Q: “How much does it cost to be a member of the Wellness Club?”

A: “It’s complimentary to all Reliance Medical Centers members. It is a part of the service we offer as a value-based healthcare provider.”

Q: “What does the Wellness Center offer patients?”

A: “The Wellness Center is made up of three components: The Wellness Spa, Activity Center, and Fitness Club. The Wellness Spa incorporates a hair and nail salon, massage therapy, and coming soon, medical acupuncture.  The Activity Center offers a range of activities from cooking classes and tabletop gardening to creative writing courses and more. The Fitness Club provides a variety of physical activities in a safe, controlled environment. The Wellness Club programs we offer are designed to give patients the tools they need to successfully lead a healthier, more fulfilled life, as recommended by the Seven Dimensions of Wellness.”

Q: “What are the ‘Seven Dimensions of Wellness’?”

A: “The ‘Seven Dimensions of Wellness’ is an ideology from the International Council of Active Aging that has been well researched and is well-respected among the healthcare community. It puts forward the proposition that a person fulfilled in each of the dimensions will live a healthier, happier life. The seven dimensions are Intellectual, Physical, Social, Environmental, Vocational, Spiritual, Emotional, and Intellectual. We ensure that all our programs incorporate each of these dimensions.”

Q: “Can you give me an example of the activities and how they benefit patients?”

A: “One example is our cooking class, specially designed for older adults. In this class, we show the preparation, recipe, and tasting of dishes that are healthy, easy to cook, affordable, and most importantly, delicious. We also talk about the impact of diet in the prevention or management of certain chronic conditions such as diabetes. It’s a very social and fun activity, getting very hands-on during the class ensures engagement and a great time.

Another example is our Bone-Builders fitness class. During each class, we complete a range of exercises that are great for building bone strength, which in turn decreases fall risk and improves balance. Our hair and nail salon helps patients maintain positive self-esteem as well as a one-on-one social connection. Our creative writing class gets the brain working, providing patients with intellectual stimulation in a fun way. Every day we strive to provide a well-rounded, holistic array of activities and services. We have a variety of core daily activities mixed in with special events or activities that will benefit our patients.”

Q: “Can you give me an idea of the ways you have seen patients benefit from the Wellness Center?”

A: “Sure, one of our wheelchair-bound patients was quite lonely and isolated. He also experienced regular falls, frequently visiting hospital for his injuries. Since he has been coming to Bone Builders, he has become more sociable, made friends with the other participants, and has not had a single fall! We also had a couple whose health was noticeably on the decline due to lack of activity and poor diet. Both are retired, and both spent much of their day just watching TV. Their weight was an issue, and they were struggling to manage multiple chronic conditions. Now that they are participating in a few of the classes, they have started to lose weight, socialize and are practicing healthier habits at home. The wife even took me to the side today, just after she had her hair done in the salon and told me that her relationship with her husband has improved and they enjoy participating in activities together!”

Q: “How can Reliance Medical Centers afford to offer the Wellness Club at no cost to patients?”

A: “Reliance Medical Centers is a value-based healthcare service. That means we get rewarded for keeping our patients healthy and supporting them. The more preventative and holistic the services we provide to our patients, the healthier they become and stay. In turn, this gives our patients a better quality of life while benefitting Reliance Medical Centers and finally benefitting society and improving public health.”

Having a medical center with a complimentary Wellness Club for patients is a real eye-opener for me. Listening to Tasha passionately present the case for Reliance Medical Centers going beyond being a traditional primary care office to include an extensive, holistic health and wellness program makes perfect sense. It provides patients with all the medical facilities you expect from a top clinic, with additional health and wellness facilities that improve health outcomes and contributes to successful aging. Where do I sign up!

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