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ACTIVE_AT_60's Photo ACTIVE_AT_60 Posts: 3,043
3/8/09 10:18 P

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Don, consider getting the leadership of your institution involved. You can talk till you are blue in the face - noone will listen, but if you make it an institutional priority and there are prizes to be had ... you may see some feed back.

Have a prize for the most creative team name.
Have a prize for the highest number of steps - one month, the highest weight loss (as a team) another, and minutes worked out...

just some ideas.... the list goes on.

Edited by: ACTIVE_AT_60 at: 3/9/2009 (06:10)


"You are the CEO of your one person company" Chris 'Macca' McCormack three time ironman world champion.
DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 23,987
3/8/09 10:10 P

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I've given a presentation about SparkPeople to my colleagues at work. It didn't garner the interest I would have hoped, however...perhaps I should try this again sometime.

Don

Co-Team Leader for All Health Pros, Binghamton Area Losers & Laid Off But Staying Strong SparkTeams

Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." --- Buddha

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ACTIVE_AT_60's Photo ACTIVE_AT_60 Posts: 3,043
3/8/09 9:57 P

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Hey - I found it. Clearly I think we need to feel comfortable promoting healthy behaviors, and I think it is also important that we also serve as role models for people around us - patients, coworkers etc.

Talking about marathons, half marathons, 100 mile bike rides is counterproductive. Meet people where they are. Tell them little things that can make the difference. I mentioned to someone I worked with that she looked skinnier, and she told me (last summer) that she and her (adult) daughter went for a 1hr walk on the high school track ... and had mother daughter quality time.

If you have a wellness program at your hospital/or place of employment. Create a program where people log there daily weight, exercise time, and steps for 12 weeks. Have teams (or if you are at a small institution - perhaps people can do it individually), and at the end of 12 weeks have a gift certificate to a runners store, a sporting good store, a spa ... be creative to the winner(s). Healthy employee's are happy employee's.

This is just an idea....



"You are the CEO of your one person company" Chris 'Macca' McCormack three time ironman world champion.
DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 23,987
3/8/09 9:47 P

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As a clinical social worker one of my functions is to provide EAP counseling both via phone and face-to-face. VERY often I encourage clients to check out the wonderfully healthy and supportive world of SparkPeople! :-)

Don

Co-Team Leader for All Health Pros, Binghamton Area Losers & Laid Off But Staying Strong SparkTeams

Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." --- Buddha

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KUROSMOM's Photo KUROSMOM SparkPoints: (0)
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3/8/09 8:04 P

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And here we are a year later!
Teaching, I have been teaching patients for many years. Encouraging healthy choices. Having SparkPeople as a resource is incredible. Recently, I was on the phone with a gal that had just been diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I gave SparkPeople as one of the resources. I know I will continue to teach and where appropriate, refer to SparkPeople!

Cath emoticon

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“A GREAT MARRIAGE IS NOT WHEN THE 'PERFECT COUPLE' COMES TOGETHER. IT IS WHEN AN IMPERFECT COUPLE LEARNS TO ENJOY THEIR DIFFERENCES."
¯DAVE MEURER



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CHERYLHURT SparkPoints: (135,232)
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1/10/08 2:49 P

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And always be a good role model!

DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 23,987
1/5/08 8:38 P

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You've got it...absolutely essential skills, agreed!

Don

Co-Team Leader for All Health Pros, Binghamton Area Losers & Laid Off But Staying Strong SparkTeams

Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." --- Buddha

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REBIRTHING Posts: 39
1/5/08 8:28 P

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I agree, to make yourself a good role model for them. Using effective listening skills and a good communication is an important step towards building trust.



DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 23,987
1/5/08 8:17 P

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Just a few more thoughts:

Independence is such an important initiative in working with clients. At times you have to start by building a relationship and rapport which implies some dependence in that they begin to turn to you for advice and information. However case managers such as myself begin to focus on linking our clients toward resources and developing skills leading them toward greater levels of independence. We succeed when our clients "graduate" and can amicably "fire" their case manager as they are doing fine by themselves.

Newsletters are selectively helpful, however more fundamental is basic literacy and attempting to motivate them toward obtaining such skills.

We have a weekly group meeting with our clients in which we discuss practical problems and solutions and encourage the clients to lead the discussion.

The needs of the severe and persistently mentally ill can be a very challenging population with whom to work.

I find that teaching them through being a good role model as one develops a connection with our clients has been very effective in many cases. I can see their ears often turn off if I get into an obvious "teaching" mode.

Don

Edited by: DDOORN at: 1/5/2008 (20:17)
Co-Team Leader for All Health Pros, Binghamton Area Losers & Laid Off But Staying Strong SparkTeams

Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." --- Buddha

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REBIRTHING Posts: 39
1/5/08 7:54 P

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Don,
I find that teaching clients that they are responsible for themselves is a very big step, and by helping them educate themselves to a healthy or healthier lifestyle. You be amazed at how many people dont get this concept of having to take responsibility for themselves, and create a very dependent relationship on their dr. or therapist. I think our role as therapist is to teach them to be independent individuals with choices and that its very self empowering for them to make their own decisions. However I think its our role to teach them and give them the tools to do this. Perhaps a weekly little newsletter with some informative tips into wellness would be a good starting tool for them.
I dont know if you work in with groups, but perhaps you can start a little group where the clients can brainstorm what they think is a healthy lifestyle, and just be there as a guide. Perhaps bring in a nutritionist would be helpful too. An holistic approach to me is the healthiest, body, mind and soul.


TRAINOF4's Photo TRAINOF4 Posts: 2,650
1/3/08 4:59 P

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Wow Don, You're a great therapist! Those are super ideas for helping patients get moving and start thinking about caring for themselves. It's all connected, don't you think? Mental health, physical health? Eating properly & exercising make us feel good - inside & out. . emoticon

I'm not working right now, but I do share information about SP with a lot of people I used to work with.

There's so much misinformation about eating properly and getting sufficient exercise. Even among healthcare providers. I think SP helps put the focus on lifestyle changes, support, and exercise more than just "Only eat X calories a day."

As a respiratory therapist, I spent a lot of time encouraging patients to quit smoking and helping them find ways of quitting. Stop-smoking aids are pricey, even now that generics are available. So willpower is often all my patients had to rely on. But I did a lot of research, reading, and talking to people who were able to quit and shared all those things with potential ex-smokers. I also nagged at the nurses, doctors, other respiratory staff to quit smoking if they were smokers. Dreadful habit & we all know better!

Finally, and sadly, I too often found myself involved in reporting abuse of the elderly. It's something that a lot of staff seemed to overlook or didn't want to acknowledge. I heard a lot of "Older people fall alot" or "They bruise easily" etc. Sometimes the patterns of bruising, the explanations, were just so off.

Stay calm and carry on.
DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 23,987
1/2/08 6:25 P

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Another thing I pass along to many of my clients is the monthly SparkPeople calendar, especially if the theme of the calendar is relevant to my client.

In my private practice I deal with many folks who are depressed and anxious. One of the problems as a mental health professional is that our training has us often looking for "deeper" emotional / cognitive troubles. Since focusing on my own physical health, I've become aware that often my clients are not taking care of basic needs such as:

Air (breathing properly)
Water (proper hydration)
Food (eating too much / too little / poor quality)

Frequently I'll address these basic needs and in the case of phone counseling, which I also do, often clients will begin to speak about their own health. This of course almost across the board leads me to talking about SparkPeople and recommending this site to them for support and learning about actions they can take to improve their physical health, which of course is HIGHLY connected to their EMOTIONAL health. Our bodies and minds work together. Sometimes improvements physically can by osmosis lead to improvements emotionally.

Everyone is bringing up great ideas here!

Keep up the good work! :-)

Don

Co-Team Leader for All Health Pros, Binghamton Area Losers & Laid Off But Staying Strong SparkTeams

Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." --- Buddha

rules4humans.com


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CHERYLHURT SparkPoints: (135,232)
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1/2/08 10:56 A

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Absolutely! I email healthy recipes to friends and people I used to work with and have gotten some great feedback and thanks!

ARMATTHAEI's Photo ARMATTHAEI Posts: 1,960
1/1/08 1:50 P

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Great Job Don!

I have not really done anything with my clients based on stuff that I have learned through this site, but I have shared some of the recipes with my coworkers and share with some of them my sucesses and info about the site.

As for on my journey to a healthier lifestyle, I do share with my clients and the staff some of the things I have learned through some of my counseling in how to take care of their mental health as well as their physical health. (My former assistant manager was not very impressed with this, as she requested me not to share such experiences with the clients.

I feel it is very important to provide wholistic health care for my clients and provide support for the staff I am working with. As Don said, without maintaining a persons mental health, we can't expect them to take care of their physical health.

Blessings,
Amanda, RN

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BESTILLANDHEAR's Photo BESTILLANDHEAR Posts: 443
12/31/07 4:19 P

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I work with college age students. They usually have fast food and cafeteria diets, poor sleep habits and are (without exception) too short on time to exercise.
Needless to say, I see a lot of depressed and anxious people who are having a hard time making adjustments to independence.
One thing I love is that Spark is free (college students are ALWAYS broke).
Anyway, if my clients mention weight/mood/sleep/health, I ask them if it is okay if I send them an invitation. I show them what my page looks like as I have developed it, and then I send them an invitation to look at the Spark site at their own computers.
They can look and decide for themselves, which works best for college age people.
One of the best parts of Spark for young people is learning how to set long range goals and then partialize them into medium and short range goals. This is an invaluable life tool in all areas of life.

I love that Spark is adamant about keeping a minimum number of calories. College campuses are treacherous grounds for so many men and women who want to look better and don't know how other than disordered eating and thinking. They can use this site and I don't have to worry that I am recommending something that will end up teaching "how to" on eating disorder as so many other web sites become. GOTTA LOVE SPARK!!!

Edited by: BESTILLANDHEAR at: 1/1/2008 (14:13)
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CAP0824's Photo CAP0824 SparkPoints: (6,498)
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12/31/07 1:06 P

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Don,
What a great idea! Sounds like you are doing a great job at helping your clients. My patients are newborns, so they are on the best diet already, but I can influence their parents. I do try to discuss healthy eating choices with breastfeeding mothers when I am working at the bedside. However, most of my time is spent in my office or at meetings. I have lately been trying to spread the Spark to my co-workers, telling them about this great site and encouraging them to check it out. I think so far I have had one or two people tell me they have joined. I think this site is great and love telling people about it! Keep up the great work, Don, and what a hard job that must be!
Cathy
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GLADI5D's Photo GLADI5D SparkPoints: (0)
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12/31/07 10:42 A

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It sounds like you are doing a fantastic job of helping your clients.

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DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 23,987
12/31/07 9:38 A

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As an intensive case manager for the mentally ill I have been finding the vast majority of my clients have horrible (or shall I say nonexistent!) health habits. One of the changes I've made in my habits is to keep a stash of healthy snacks in my car, which is where I spend much of my time with my clients. I'll share them with my clients who are often taken aback...red peppers for a snack? Baby spinach? However they become curious and I freely give them whatever I'm snacking on and for probably the first time in some of their lives they are eating raw veggies. That's a subtle way I find I can influence their food choices. I have one client who is elderly and always calling me to say "I'm having yogurt for lunch, do you think that's okay...?" and checking in with me regarding her food. She has no weight problem, but she has other health problems and wants to take better care of herself.

With some clients who are interested in improving their health (one of mine is pre-diabetic), we've made an agreement to always go for a walk during our sessions...which I've dubbed our "walk 'n talk" sessions.

I'm wondering what kind of things others on this Team do to nudge the folks with whom they work into healthier directions?

Don

Co-Team Leader for All Health Pros, Binghamton Area Losers & Laid Off But Staying Strong SparkTeams

Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." --- Buddha

rules4humans.com


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