This will be a three-part series on Wellness in Senior Communities by Kelly Stranburg, VP of Member Services at Senior Living Communities. Please look in next month’s Splash for the second of three articles. Visit www.cwpvconnections.com to view the series as they become available. If you have any questions, please contact Rick Rickets at 425-356-9600 or Sue Schwartz 480-529-8088.
Q: Beyond the obvious, why is wellness important to seniors?
In large part, it relates to independence. The detrimental impacts that follow from loss of mental and physical acuity, no matter the cause, are significant. With today’s older adults living longer than ever, it is vital they retain a level of overall fitness so they can safely and autonomously handle the everyday activities of life for as long as possible and to lower the risk and impacts of disease and disability.
At best, this means they are able to take care of themselves, continue favorite activities and maintain a positive outlook on life. At a minimum, this may mean staying active and motivated to offset and push through a range of challenges and limitations.
Q: What contributes to health and wellness for seniors?
Health issues aside, many seniors decline simply due to inactivity and isolation. This makes a regular schedule of physical, as well as mentally and socially stimulating, activities an important step in avoiding the consequences of a sedentary and solitary lifestyle. And maintaining independence often translates to mobility and related physical abilities such as balance, flexibility, strength and endurance. It also includes brain health and mental agility that enables individuals to engage with others and to competently manage their own affairs.
Good physical and mental health goes a long way toward fall prevention, boosting post-surgery or illness rehabilitation, building confidence, facilitating positive social interactions and support networks, weight management and maintaining brain function. Individuals transitioning to a senior living environment should consider how the various aspects of wellness are supported in any new situation.