Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) Master of Occupational Therapy students are facilitating a six session wellness program at PACE GNO’s Shirley Landry Benson Center at St. Cecilia.
The program is based on Life Style Redesign, an innovative approach developed by the University of Southern California that has been shown to improve health and wellness by preventing and managing chronic conditions by building healthier lifestyles.
Trisha Ventura, a long-term member of PACE’s Occupational Therapy team, has been coordinating this effort in conjunction with Shannon Mangum, MPS, LOTR, Assistant Professor and five LSU students: Kristen Bienvenu, Kaitlyn Foret, Sally Richardson, Maggie Smith and Kaleb Spencer.
The group works with PACE participants to enhance their mentality and spirituality and encourage an active lifestyle through open discussions and storytelling. These classes focus on older adults living in the community and apply a strategy that promotes social interaction among the participants and their peers.
The program provides a safe environment for participants to talk amongst themselves rather than engage in one-on-one conversations with program directors.
“This encourages each participant to help each other. Peers are thereby able to set the direction of the activity while keeping the abilities of the group in mind,” said Sally Richardson.