An extended hospital stay can mean stress and worry not just for patients but also for their loved ones.

Now, a new program at Bristol Regional Medical Center is offering family members and friends of hospital patients a chance to work through their stress by working out. Through the hospital’s new Wellness Break initiative, family members of patients who have been hospitalized for three days or more can receive free passes to the Wellmont Wellness Center.

“Families are worried, obviously, when someone is sick,” said Linda Legg, Wellmont Bristol Regional’s director of Planetree and volunteer services. “And there sometimes isn’t much a family member can do to help the patient – that creates a great deal of stress and nervous energy.”

That’s where Wellness Break comes in. While at the wellness center, family members can take an aerobics class, work out on state-of-the-art equipment, swim in the pool or enjoy the spa – in other words, take a break from stress, if even just for a few moments.

“This program gives family members a break from being in the hospital all day,” Legg said. “It’s especially helpful for those family members who come in from out of town. This offers them a much-deserved wellness break.”

And the program benefits more than just family members.

“Many times patients become stressed because they feel like they’re stressing someone else by their hospitalization,” Legg said. “Wellness breaks actually relieve stress for both the patient and the family.”


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Jim Wozniak
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