Before the pandemic, the world of wellness was largely focused on physical health, mainly exercising and healthy eating. Today, the view on wellness now has changed.
The pandemic forced society to redefine what it meant to be well and began to place more emphasis on holistic wellness. So, wellness, as we know it today, no longer focuses solely on physical health but also includes mental health.
According to Justine Lacy, Clinical Executive at Profmed Medical Scheme, the focus on holistic wellness will continue into 2023 and beyond. “Wellness is and should not be limited to a single wellness pillar but will most likely continue being top of mind for all of us in the foreseeable future.”
Beyond holistic wellness, healthcare is changing at a rapid pace. For Lacy, the below are wellness trends we can expect to see in 2023.
More focus on mental health
According to Lacy, mental health challenges are an epidemic in South Africa. Many South Africans are struggling with their state of mind, and this year, we’ve been flooded with news about the rising suicide rates, especially among South African men. More emphasis will likely be placed on mental health in the media, boardrooms, communities, and homes.
“At Profmed, we offer a 24-hour trauma counselling line for members who have suffered grief, gender-based violence or trauma of any kind. We treat all cases with confidence and encourage our members to utilise this resource if they require support,” Lacy explains.
From flexible and hybrid working to the possible introduction of the four-day workweek, we expect to see more emphasis on workplace wellness. “Organisations are and should be finding better ways to ensure their employees have a better work-life balance. Organisations are expected to introduce employee wellness programmes, if they haven’t already done so and other initiatives to promote workplace wellness,” Lacy adds.
Expansion of digital care from a mental health perspective
Technology has far-reaching implications, infiltrating every sector across the world. From a healthcare perspective, patients can now order medication from the palm of their hands and get it delivered to their doorstep.
“We also notice that our younger members prefer speaking to a professional psychologist digitally instead of having a physical session. They prefer digital solutions when it comes to care, and we expect this trend to continue into the next year and the future of healthcare,” Lacy says.
Lacy says another tech-aided trend we can expect to see in 2023 is home-based care. “Home-based care allows patients to heal in an environment they’re comfortable in and familiar with.”
She says home-based care presents unique benefits to patients. “This treatment system avoids secondary hospital-acquired infections, reducing infection rates.”
She says patients also have family support, which often means that patients recuperate better and faster. A home-based solution provides both physical and mental benefits.
“At Profmed, we have a process that carefully manages requests for home-based care. We have established protocols which require that our members qualify for these benefits. This is to ensure that the benefit is funded appropriately and only in those scenarios when it is safe to do so,” adds Lacy.
Before the new year begins, Lacy says wellness may not have always been a priority for everyone, but now is always the best time to make wellness a priority in your life. “Make sure you prioritise all the wellness pillars so you can live a balanced life,” she concludes.