Health and Wellness Programs in Senior Living Communities
There are plenty of important criteria that go into finding the right senior community, and one that shouldn’t be overlooked is how they proactively promote senior wellness. Here are some of the most current trends that retirement communities are embracing to help residents lead fuller, more active and healthier lives, from the team at our CCRC in Sussex County.
Changing from a Care Mindset to a Wellness Mindset
In the past, senior communities focused primarily on care, delivering services that treated health conditions and assisting with the activities of daily living. Today, these communities go much further and take a much more holistic view of what it means for older adults to live abundantly. The senior wellness mindset centers on creating a healthy, full lifestyle that is instrumental to senior independence and healthier, more active residents. Also, care options can be tailored to residents’ needs.
With seniors living longer than ever before and being mentally and physically healthy for longer, industry leading retirement communities transitioned to services and amenities that promote a modern and fulfilling wellness lifestyle.
The Most Popular Wellness Programs at Senior Living Communities
According to a survey conducted by the International Council of Ageing, the most popular senior wellness programs in these communities are:
- Education and lifelong learning programs – Learning new skills, whether it’s a new language, computer programming skills, crafting activities or even taking courses on different academic subjects, is critical to keeping minds active. Cognitive engagement slows dementia, builds social relationships and reduces the risks of depression and isolation.
- Exercise – Physical and mental health are strongly linked to regular exercise, helping older adults stay strong and mobile while boosting the immune system. A spectrum of exercise offerings specifically target seniors at different fitness levels and interests. These include yoga, Pilates, nature walks, water aerobics, tennis, Wii, and dancing.
- Health education and disease management – Senior wellness empowers people to take responsibility for their own health. Health education programs teach seniors about different health conditions, how they can be prevented, the importance of regular screening procedures, and how to monitor their own health as well as medication management.
- Food and nutrition education – Many senior living communities also help educate residents on managing their own nutrition. Health educators, nurses and dieticians can explain how to incorporate or omit different foods to manage a health condition. They can also advise on how to overcome different nutritional challenges that seniors may face.
- Intergenerational programs – Many senior activities are a two-way street that include mentoring programs where seniors can pass on their skills and experiences to younger generations. Older adults possess invaluable skills and knowledge and building relationships with young people through these programs helps both groups gain independence, a sense of purpose and value in their community.
- Technology – Smart technology also plays a key role in creating a senior wellness community. Devices ranging from senior-friendly tablets and smartphones to smart lights that help prevent falls; timed medication dispensers; pre-programmed personalized workout sessions; telehealth services; and wearable tech that tracks steps, heart rate, oxygen levels, and hydration.
This is invaluable in terms of creating ways that seniors can independently monitor and evaluate their own health and take important preventative measures to sustain good health. In addition, alert pendants and motion-sensing devices help ensure peace of mind that if an incident occurs, emergency response will be as rapid as possible.
At Bristol Glen, our focus has always been on creating a community that allows seniors to live a full, independent lifestyle. Senior wellness is foundational to our CCRC in Sussex County where we implement a wide range of physical health programs, mental health activities and cultural experiences that seniors can use to live life to the full. If you’d like to find out a bit more about us, contact us or visit our website.