Started in 2006, B.Fit! is an innovative wellness day program located in the Pavilion at The Boston Home that serves younger adults with Multiple Sclerosis and other progressive neurological diseases. B.Fit! is a wellness and socialization program that offers participants a safe leisure experience that promotes empowerment and independence. Participants live in the community or traditional geriatric nursing homes and attend B.Fit! up to three days each week, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. Participants’ caregivers, whether personal care attendants or family members, also attend B.Fit! activities including specific activities just for them.
Wellness is more than treatment of disease
For a person living with a progressive disease, the road to wellness involves more than treatment of the disease. Equally important are health promotion and prevention strategies, a strong support network of family and friends, satisfying work and leisure activities, a meaningful place in the community and adequate attention to one’s inner self. To help participants achieve wellness, B.Fit! incorporates exercise, nutrition, compensatory cognitive strategy training, health education and community engagement.
Investment brings big returns
At The Boston Home, we believe that individuals who remain active and engaged and whose caregivers experience some respite are more likely to remain living longer in the community than individuals who are isolated and not engaged in their community. B.Fit! participants’ self reporting of physical functioning and mental health using a standardized test shows significant improvement after joining B.Fit! Improvements in quality of life remain stable the longer participants remain active in the program. Funding for B.Fit! has been a collaborative effort between The Boston Home, the Greater New England Chapter, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, private foundations, corporate grants, participants who pay on a sliding fee schedule and generous individual donors.
The B.Fit! model
Participants attend up to four days each week and help develop the calendar of activities. Information and education are offered on topics of importance to the participants, including healthy eating (B.Fit! includes a full lunch), spirituality, update on treatments and medications, assistive technology and empowerment in navigating the health care system. Participants have access to specialized services available at The Boston Home that include seating assessment and rehabilitation services, exercise equipment and access to our adaptive computer center and Wheelchair Enhancement Center. B.Fit! staff organize community outings to various sites such as the Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Science, farmers markets and concerts.
This multidimensional program is staffed by 1.5 full time employees and dedicated volunteers. Currently 35 individuals are members of B.Fit! and there is a waiting list. B.Fit! is not covered by insurance. The fee is $65 per day, and financial aid is available on a case-by-case basis.
To learn more about joining B.Fit! please contact Glory Wideman-Hughes at 617.326.4300.
Thank you to our B.Fit! Community Partners for being welcoming to our group:
Boston Public Library
Franklin Park Zoo
Huntington Theatre Company/BU Theatre
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Museum of Science