What are Wellness Calls?
Providing wellness check calls to people with disabilities is a way to ensure that these individuals are safe, have what they need, are feeling well, and provide a supportive social network and connection. Wellness check calls are a regular direct line of communication to assess individuals with disabilities and to assist them with help if they need it. In addition to providing immediate wellness checks, these calls can provide a variety of other health benefits including mental, physical, social, and cognitive support.
Mental Health Benefits
Individuals with disabilities may experience a variety of mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression, and stress to name a few. It’s important for those with disabilities to recognize these feelings and care for their mental and emotional well-being to prevent mental crises. During wellness calls, experienced practitioners can provide relief and give advice for coping methods/techniques to manage their conditions. Having a voice of emotional support via wellness calls can provide a level of comfort to these individuals. In addition, regular check-ins can allow for monitoring of any noticeable changes that might need more direct or immediate intervention and support.
Physical Health Benefits
Physical exercise can often boost one’s energy level by improving circulation, metabolism, and releasing natural endorphins. Focused exercise and movement are important for those with disabilities to enhance not just their stamina, but to strengthen their muscles and heart function. For many, exercise can feel more like a chore. However, having an enthusiastic and supportive voice on the other end of a wellness call is that connection to understanding how regular physical activity can help them feel healthier and hold them accountable for their physical well-being. With ongoing wellness check calls, individuals can receive advice on how to manage chronic conditions, complete challenging tasks, and maintain regular exercise and healthy habits for the long term.
Social Health Benefits
Individuals with disabilities may experience isolation or feelings of being disconnected from social interaction. A person’s social health can benefit greatly when engaging in regular communication with others by feeling included as part of a collective network. Wellness calls provide social stimulation and reduce the sense of isolation. A wellness call is also an opportunity to discuss topics such as hobbies, family life, current events, or other interests. Engaging in purposeful and regular conversation improves communication skills that can translate into other social skills.
Cognitive Health Benefits
As for anyone, it can be helpful to have another person to talk with regarding decision-making. Hearing advice about important life events and circumstances that are specific to one’s needs is particularly important to individuals with disabilities. These individuals may not always have the cognitive health to be able to understand some of life’s experiences without guidance. Experienced facilitators offer wellness calls that provide an objective sounding board for individuals with disabilities to make informed decisions for themselves.
How do Wellness Calls Work?
When scheduling a wellness call for individuals with disabilities, consider the following: Does the person need a brief check-in call to ensure that they are okay and generally assess how they’re feeling? Or, do they need a longer one to address the items in the check-in call with a more in-depth conversation to encourage social engagement and interaction, advice for decision-making, or health and exercise support? Whichever option is chosen, family members or caregivers scheduling a wellness call will be given a report of the conversation to be apprised of what was discussed.
Scheduling regular wellness calls with an individual is an important part of the process to establish a friendly rapport, a foundation of trust, and develop a routine that is consistent.
Wellness Calls: Socialization, Security, Peace of Mind
While UDS primarily services counties surrounding the South-Central Pennsylvania area, Wellness Calls are conducted remotely and are available to people located throughout the USA.