by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

You've probably experienced the frustration of attending a presentation or class where the first half covers things you already know before you get to the new material. If so, you know how valuable the triage principle can be.

In medicine, triage is a system designed to produce the greatest benefit from limited treatment resources. In wellness, a triage system focuses resources — so those who need the most help get it, and those who need less receive less. The stages of change model outlined by Prochaska and DeClemente in the early '80s offers a framework for health promotion triage by identifying stages of readiness:

by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

Is it national health statistics? Health risk appraisal results? Health benefit costs? Workers compensation claims? 

For years, wellness managers have been using data like this to determine where to direct resources. And for good reason — each can be tied directly to costs. There’s only one problem with this approach: In most instances, the people who create the costs don’t care. 

That’s a hard thing to accept. We think if we simply identify the high-cost/high-risk users, approach them with information, support what’s good for them — all while reducing the organization’s expense — they’ll naturally modify their lifestyle and we’ll all live happily ever after. Not so much.

We use 2 reality phrases when consulting with organizations about how to invest health promotion resources:

by Beth Shepard   Beth's profile on LinkedIn  

50 Is the New 40: How Well-Being Programs Can Better Serve Middle-Aged Workers

Have you noticed a shift in your workforce vibe? Gen-X employees are heading over the hill on the heels of their Baby Boomer coworkers, and neither group is retiring anytime soon. Graying of the labor market is in progress; how will your workplace well-being program adapt to better serve this snowballing demographic?

By the Numbers

It’s easy to assume older workers are on their way out the office door, but experts say the opposite is true; the 50+ crowd is participating in the labor force at significantly higher rates than in 2000. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates 30% of people ages 65-74 will remain in the workforce by 2022, compared to 20% in 2002.
Health, finances, family circumstances, job satisfaction, and social well-being all factor into a decision to keep working well into the traditional golden years. A lot of middle-agers have multiple jobs and struggle just to get by; some want to retire, but can’t; others choose to work because they enjoy their jobs and coworkers.
Whatever the case, the workplace may offer rewards that go beyond the paycheck: