18 Tower Lane • New Haven, Connecticut

A new approach to programming at The Towers is helping our seniors live healthier and more active lives. Programming is run by Dean Tinari, Healthy Living Coordinator, who has a background in exercise science and physical fitness. This special background gives him the perfect eye to catch any developing physical limitations among our seniors. Working in partnership with HealthPro Heritage, Dean can refer those in need to our Occupational/Physical Therapy Manager, Darcy Rzepka. While everyday programming such as exercise, talks, trips and film are happening regularly, Dean is always working hard to watch for changes in our residents’ gait, posture and mobility.  Dean explained, “The benefit of observing our residents in this way is that we are proactively addressing issues before they become problems. We are ahead of emerging challenges faced by our residents. Our regular exercise program also enables us to track progression and regression so that we are always evaluating shifting needs.” “Knowing that function is related to longevity and to living well, I am so happy to contribute to our residents’ improved quality of life. It’s so rewarding.”

HealthPro Heritage’s RISE Senior Living Division, which provides outpatient therapy services, has been a strong partner of The Towers for several years. Like The Towers, HealthPro Heritage values compassion, dedication, responsibility, innovation, and growth. The support and trust between the two organizations creates an atmosphere in which professional recommendations and clinical input is valued greatly from both entities. A unity between the Towers and HealthPro Heritage teams is seamless with one goal in mind: making the greatest impact in each resident’s life so our residents can live their best lives.

Darcy Rzepka, HealthPro Heritage Program Manager at The Towers, shared the benefits of such a strong partnership: “My work has evolved tremendously over the past three years as a result of this partnership. Programming has grown substantially. We initially offered two to three programs focused on falls and balance, pain management, and home environmental modifications, but have now expanded and evolved in so many ways thanks to the strong leadership at The Towers. We are delighted to be a part of an exciting and innovative model for the delivery of services, The Towers’ new Proactive Partner Model, which is data driven and outcomes-based. Our collaborative partnership continues to develop with the interdisciplinary team every day to ensure each resident receives the highest quality person-centered care.”

The outcomes of this model are incredibly impactful and include pain reduction, improved balance and walking, falls reduction, improved confidence, restoration of function and strength, improved safety, and restored independence. The clinical outcome measures also include improving self-care and mobility abilities.

Some beneficial unexpected outcomes include pushing past boundaries the residents never thought they would. This is all due to the synergy between programming and physical therapy/occupational therapy. Constant communication and the ongoing relationship between The Towers team and the HealthPro team is what makes the difference. From teaching someone to walk who has not walked in years, to getting someone more involved in our community to reduce isolation, the benefits of our collaboration on the Proactive Partner Model are endless.