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Jim Mangol

By: Jim Mangol on February 25th, 2021

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Residents' Thoughts on Thrive Wellness: An Interview With Steering Group Members

Thrive Wellness

As the Thrive Wellness launch continues, we decided to sit down and hear from residents first hand, to hear some of their thoughts and feelings about Thrive.  

Two resident members of the Thrive Wellness Steering Group, Fred from Ware Presbyterian Village and Barb from Westminster Woods at Huntingdon, sat down with Jim Mangol and were interviewed.

Why were you initially interested in being a part of the Thrive Wellness steering group?

Barb – I may very well have been the first person who signed up to be part of the Thrive Wellness steering group. At least I volunteered as soon as I could. I had been very involved with Masterpiece Living because I believed so strongly in the science that it was based on. But I was acutely aware that its approach wasn't working for our community. I wanted to make sure that the new initiative focused on being resident-led and addressed each PSL community's individual needs. It was important to me that we establish a culture throughout our community that was inclusive of all levels of living and staff and supported by the administration. I am pleased to believe that we have accomplished those goals.

Fred - I thought it would be challenging to help create a new "wellness" initiative from the ground up for PSL. And a chance to ensure a Ware resident (me) would have a say in how this would be done so that it might make Ware an even better place in which to have a great life.

As you have been working with the steering group since July 2020, what is a key takeaway or something you learned or enjoyed during the Thrive Wellness development process?

Barb - I think the thing that surprised me the most in working with the steering group—one of my greatest joys—was learning about our sister communities. I have been focused entirely on what was going on here at Westminster Woods, and I really had not taken the opportunity to meet people from our broader family. While we are very different in some ways, we are united in the things that matter. We will each approach Thrive Wellness differently – as we should- but working together, we will make each of our communities better because of our common commitment to its basic principles. 

Fred - I learned that PSL seemed really committed to this idea. I learned about the National Wellness Institute and the International Council on Active Aging, organizations with whom we are partnering, and they have great ideas and resources. I also learned a lot about other PSL CCRCs and their representatives and how they would approach this new initiative.

Along with other steering group members, both of you play a key role in the launch of Thrive Wellness at your community. How has it been going?

Barb - So, at Westminster Woods, we are about halfway into the launch. Our executive board has received a PowerPoint presentation, and their response was positive and supportive. We are scheduled to begin educating the broader community at the March general meeting. I expect that meeting to go equally well. Our bylaws require that residents be given a month to consider any amendments before voting, so it will be April before we are fully launched. But we already have a community committee formed, and that work will begin in March so that we will have made significant progress before we begin officially reporting on Thrive.

Fred - The launch is progressing. We have a core group of residents who feel that we can make Ware a better place in which to live. We have already created our Thrive Wellness Community Committee, made it a standing committee on our Resident Council, and have a chair and eight members. Even though a number of residents still must be convinced that there will be specific benefits for them, we are definitely on our way! 

Do you have a message for PSL residents reading this blog who are learning about Thrive Wellness – or who will soon be learning about Thrive? For residents who may be considering joining their Thrive Wellness Community Committee?

Barb - If I could say one thing to Presbyterian Senior Living residents thinking about joining the Thrive Wellness Community Committees, I would urge them not to hesitate. Do it. I can't think of a more important way to spend my volunteer hours than making a significant contribution to the well-being of the people in my community who I have come to love and consider family. I can't think of another place where a resident voice will have more impact and leave such a lasting legacy.

Fred - There are several important elements of Thrive Wellness for our community:

The most important element is that it will be resident-driven. Resident surveys told us that WE want to determine our future. We do want to work alongside of staff and certainly need their support, but WE want to drive it.

As I previously said, we have already established a Thrive Wellness Community Committee. The Charter specifies that it will function as a part of, and report to, our Community Resident Council. This will give Thrive Wellness a voice at the highest level within the community.

It will only be successful if a good number of residents participate, and residents will only get out of it what they put into it. So, to reiterate, we will need resident participation!

Why Thrive Wellness? What is it about Thrive Wellness's culture that you feel most excited about for residents of PSL communities?

Barb - I think Thrive Wellness's statement says it all. "People who come to Presbyterian Senior Living come for more than just a place to live and work – they come to feel energized, challenged, and fulfilled; they come to Thrive. " 

Fred - Why Thrive Wellness? 

Because we have been given the liberty to create our own initiatives and to focus on the elements which will make life here at Ware the best possible for Wellness and Purposeful Living.

Because WE will be driving the process through the Thrive Wellness Community Committee in ways that best serve our residents as WE define it.

Please stay tuned for next month’s post for Thrive Wellness updates and share this information with your friends. Invite them to subscribe to the PSL blog. Thrive Wellness monthly blogs will post at the end of each month.

People who come to Presbyterian Senior Living come for more than just a place to live– they come to feel energized, challenged, and fulfilled; they come to THRIVE.

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About Jim Mangol

Jim Mangol, Corporate Director of Thrive Wellness, supports PSL’s Thrive Wellness initiative, volunteer programming, and fitness centers. Jim has served in senior living wellness for over 22 years, bringing with him extensive experience in aging services as well as health and wellness at non-profit life plan communities. He is well known to PSL as he has been a consultant since 2016 for our Fitness and Aquatic Center programming. Jim is a graduate of Temple University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology, as well as a 2015 graduate of the Leading Age PA Fellows in the leadership program. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Healthcare Administration degree at Delaware Valley University. Jim is an active member of the International Council on Active Aging and the Senior Exercise Professionals of PA. Jim lives in Hatfield, PA with his wife Shannon, 3 sons: Aiden, Austin, and Anthony, and a three-year-old rescue dog named Nala. He enjoys spending time with his family, spending time outdoors, coaching youth baseball, and teaching CCD/REC.