Be The Change at Wellmore of Tega Cay

– Katherine Carrera-Alvarado –

What is your position at Wellmore of Tega Cay?

I am the Wellness Director.

How long have you been at Wellmore of Tega Cay?

I have been at Wellmore of Tega Cay for the last two years.

What excites you the most about this position and this company?

First and foremost, our team. From the leadership team to our team at Home Office. I work with such great people who genuinely have a passion for what they do and that itself is so inspiring. Within this position, I have been blessed to create some great memories and form relationships with Members who have so much to share.

What is your favorite thing about working for Senior Living Communities?

I love what we stand for. Our person-centered care approach goes above and beyond. Among our staff, we truly do make an impact on the lives of our Members.

Describe a time that a Member had a positive impact on your day?

As cliché as it sounds, they have such a positive impact on me daily. From seeing someone try out a new class to challenging themselves each week. I am grateful for the opportunity to talk, share jokes, and overall have fun with them each day.

Have you utilized the Elevate program? If not, do you know someone who has?

I am currently using the ELEVATE program to complete my ACA Senior Fitness Specialist Certification.

How have you grown professionally and personally since joining the Team?

I started at Wellmore of Tega Cay as a Life Enrichment Leader in Reflections working with our Memory Care Members. From a professional standpoint, I feel honored to have my skills and abilities recognized enough to be promoted to a leadership role. It has made me more confident in my abilities to lead and allowed me to work with my team at a higher level. On a personal level, I have grown to be more outgoing and am more comfortable stepping out of my comfort zone to try new things.

What about your position allows you to pursue what makes you feel the most passionate in life?

I have been working with older adults since the age of 18 and I have loved every bit of it. My Master’s Degree is in Gerontology, so this position has allowed me to utilize my education and promote successful aging within the growing community of older adults. I am constantly inspired by our members to challenge themselves to try something new or set fitness goals for themselves. It has reinforced the fact that one is not defined by age and that ultimately, life is what you make of it.

When it comes to your programming, what is the motivation behind specific classes that you do with your Members?

I try to have fun and mix it up while still focusing on three areas: cardio, balance, and strength training. I am also a huge believer in asking the residents what they want to do. We have a monthly activities committee where the social and department get together with our Members and get input and inspiration for future community events.

Your community has a monthly social event called a Signature Experience, how does wellness play a role in these themed days?

I work closely with Holly, our Social Director, to coordinate programming around our themed Signature Experiences. We go all-out throughout the day. Within our team, we work together to promote the Weller Life which encompasses not only exercise but social components as well.

The wellness program has won three Argentum Best of the Best Awards over the last few years. What was that feeling like and how does it motivate you moving forward?

It has motivated me to think outside the box creatively. We have some great programs and I want to be able to showcase their benefits and keep Members interested.

Tell us about WAVES, C.L.I.M.B, or Purpose-Based Wellness. How does it benefit the Members, what does the program look like, and how did it come to be?

As an Life Enrichment Leader in Reflections, the WAVES Program spoke out to me as a resource for the Members who were having difficulty finding a sense of purpose. I started to get a group together and would even get in the pool with them! We had about 1/3 of Reflections participating in WAVES at least once a week! It was so gratifying to see Members swim around and enjoy the warm water. As the program progressed, our team saw a great difference in our Reflections participants. It was a great talking topic for friends and family, and it was fulfilling to see how everyone looked forward to their upcoming WAVES session.

What makes Wellmore of Tega Cay’s Wellness programming stand out compared to others?

There are many facets of Wellness and it truly is a team effort regarding programming. We try to cater our programming to fit the needs and wants of our Members. We have such a unique group of individuals and we like to keep them on their toes! We are always providing new ways to get active!

Talk about the impact your wellness program has had on the Members at your community, big wins, maintaining independence, and more.

I have recently been able to implement more variety in exercise programs from a dynamic stretching class to an open gym, I have been able to cater to the needs of new and current Members alike. I am eager to see what the future will hold!

Personal question: What is your favorite thing to do to maintain your fitness level?

I love to be outdoors. I have a German Shepard named Jericho who requires a lot of exercise. He is my motivation to get outside and get moving!