We all view wellness differently. It makes perfect sense considering that we’re each unique individuals. I witness how these differences show up in students that I teach at Golden Gate University. During the first class, I invite them to brainstorm workplace wellness options that they’ve experienced, or would like to experience. Depending on each student’s stage in life, their responses differ about what appeals to them. This is a technique in design strategy that I’ve employed working with employers to create wellness strategies that are attractive, interesting, and effective for all of the employer’s population.
There is an explosion in the number of options available to support the wellness needs of employees. Some characteristics that we know about the boomer generation (of which I’m a member) is that we appreciate healthy options that are convenient, of high quality, also known as stress-free and still effective.
As I look over this quickly evolving landscape, there are 3 workplace wellness trends that this population is strongly adopting.
Alternative Primary Care Clinics
Primary Care is certainly not new, however the options for us to access care are expanding. There are two age groups who tend to be highly focused on understanding their health, 20 year olds and 50 year olds. Older employees are most likely to appreciate care that blends functional medicine, data, and health coaching.
If you’re wondering what that looks like, it includes more comprehensive test results, access to your physician as often as you’d like through various media, interpretation and strategy related to your genomes, even having access to a health coach or nutritionist to improve health status before being prescribed drugs.
You may find this being offered in different ways at your workplace:
- Onsite or near-site clinics specialize in supporting employees by offering services on or near your employer’s physical location. These services may be specialized in that they are catered to the needs of the employees that it serves.
- Membership models that provide very broad and ongoing access for the patient. They are generally not a part of your health plan however your employer may cover part or all of your annual membership. Examples include Forward Health or Cleveland Clinic.
- Annual in depth physicals which are generally titled “Executive Physicals.” These are offered by many of the larger health clinics such as UCLA Medical or Mayo Clinic.
Food – Delivery and Farmer’s Markets
Healthy food is one of the primary wellness options that gets our attention. To satisfy our need for convenience, we can get most of our food through deliveries and farmer’s markets. Wouldn’t it be great to have those sources brought to you? I think so.
These deliveries can include fruits, vegetables, and meats or fish (all organic and free range, of course). Although these items can be delivered to our homes, many retailers also are happy to drop them off at our work locations, where we can grab it on our way home.
Expanding this to an onsite farmer’s market gives us broader access to delivery retailers, it also allows us to do some healthy food shopping in the middle of our work day. As a bonus we can get some healthy snacks for our work week.
Care for Our Parents
It came as a complete surprise to me when my totally independent 77 year old father needed to have a surgery that required a six-month recovery and 24×7 care. I didn’t live in the same city as him and wasn’t quite sure how I was going to get him the support he needed.
Finding quality care for aging parents can beone of our primary work distractions. There is personal stress, loss of time at work, and general overwhelm resulting in an estimated 25% of employees leaving the workforce early to care for a parent. This is where elder care concierge services can help us. Their services ranges from coordinating rides to a doctor appointment to finding full-time live-in care.
Each January, we see an increase in the number of people looking for this help because we’ve just spent the holidays with our parents and observe the level of assistance that they need. Eldercare concierge companies step in and facilitate finding quality and affordable care, even for those unexpected, same day needs.
If any of the above interest you and you’re not seeing them in your employer offerings, explore if there is an opportunity to make them available. After all, better health and less stress is a wonderful compliment to our work lives. Stay Well.
Sylvia Doss is a health expert and strategic advisor with extensive experience working with employers to improve health outcomes for their employees. She currently advises digital health technology companies and can be found via her consulting practice Open Circles.