What it Means to be Wellderly

Posted by in Mind and Spirit, Health and Fitness.

Are you wellderly? At Senior Lifestyle our goal is to be sure that every resident in our senior communities has the opportunity to be wellderly, so we celebrate Wellderly Week starting on Monday, March 19th with events designed to provide activities in which our residents may find a new passion or talent. We at Senior Lifestyle often hear that age is just a number, but what that number signifies varies widely. For seniors, a life filled with purpose and meaning can make all the difference. Age does not have to limit learning, growth, or vitality, and for many seniors, their retirement years present an opportunity to develop interests that were shelved during their working years.

What does it mean to be “wellderly”? There is a big difference between the number of years you live, or life span, and the number of years you live in optimal health, or health span. Researchers are in the process of studying men and women who are at least 85 years of age who have lived long lives devoid of chronic disease. These people have a very long health span and Eric Topol, MD, a Scripps Health geneticist, refers to these extraordinary people as the “wellderly” and is working to find out what makes them so.

Some goals to optimize the aging process and build the foundation for “wellderliness” from Pamela M. Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP, FACSM, an internationally renowned expert in integrative and preventive medicine:

  1. Focus on achieving a long health span. The goal is not to live long—that’s the life span, which is the number of years you live—rather, it’s to focus on living the longest and most joyful health span possible. Health span years are ones characterized by independent, vibrant, joyful, satisfying, and vital living, either devoid of impairment or with minimal impairment as a result of disease or disability. It’s all relative. The key is to live life to the fullest as you define it.
  2. Practice a healthy lifestyle. You know the drill by now. Mental, spiritual, and physical fitness are of paramount importance if you’re going to live long and well. Wherever you are on your journey, from beginner to master, the key is to keep up your daily practice of nourishing mind and body, continuously creating new challenges and seeking new adventures. That’s the essence of thriving, not just surviving.
  3. Get real. No one—not even the Super Wellderly—escapes aches and pains, sagging body parts, creaky joints, fading vision, and diminished energy. The good news is that if you’re taking optimal care of yourself, you’ll more likely experience less of this age-related mind-body impact. Ditch the “antiaging” hype and embrace the realistic, rewarding goal of augmenting and supporting an optimal aging process.

Finally, express gratitude every time you wake up and realize that you’re still here to thrive and continue this awesome adventure of life.

For our purposes at Senior Lifestyle, the word wellderly refers to those seniors who are able to participate in the activities that bring them joy, give them purpose, and keep them active, pursuits that we at Senior Lifestyle believe contribute greatly to the quality of life of our residents. In our senior communities, we tailor our activities, events and outings to the specific wants and needs of our residents, often discovering new favorite activities from the suggestions of residents. For more information about upcoming events and activities at a Senior Lifestyle community near you, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.

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