Many look at healthcare as just procedures and check-ups; but what if healthcare also included making positive social connections? In this month’s Iora Primary Care patient story spotlight, we’re focusing on the importance of developing positive relationships and how they make for a better quality of life overall:
One of the Iora Primary Care Health Coaches runs a weekly group at the practice and encourages all members to come by and develop relationships with both their care team and other group participants. Through this group, two Iora patients met and formed a friendship. Both ladies are in their 80’s and were struggling with difficult times; in particular, one of them felt isolated after dealing with a difficult tragedy and was reluctant to even leave her home some days.
Iora worked with these ladies to help them regain their freedom by coordinating transportation to-and-from the practice to attend their appointments/Health Coaching sessions and participate in educational health events/classes. Overall, these ladies started bonding most in the group setting, expressing that Iora has been “the best thing for them” during these difficult times.
Together, they started to attend other classes beyond the social group, including chair yoga and stress management. One day, in between the two classes the ladies planned to attend, they decided to walk to a local store together to get some shopping done. When it was time for the next class to start, the ladies were nowhere to be found. The Iora Primary Care team was concerned because one of the ladies used a walker, it was a particularly warm day, and they had coordinated their transportation to the practice, so they knew the ladies hadn’t gone home.
As the Iora team started formulating a plan to head out on foot to search for them, the ladies were spotted walking back to the clinic, laughing like they had been friends for decades. They told the team that they had a great afternoon filled with a lunch date and shopping trip. They attended the stress management class and then went home, but as they were leaving they said to each other “See ya tomorrow!”
This shows that hosting classes in a doctor’s office setting provides valuable information to patients for improving their health, but also offers so much more; it provides a safe space for friendships to form and blossom.
If you are interested in learning more about classes that are free and open to the public, it’s recommended you check out your local library, senior center or doctor’s office to see if they can help.