To create a holistic lifestyle, many senior communities are embracing health and wellness programs. With nutritious meal plans, engaging social programs, and a variety of physical activities, seniors can now live well in a safe environment.
There are hundreds of studies that highlight the long-term benefits associated with healthy living, and it becomes more important as we age. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 80 percent of all cases related to heart disease, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes could be prevented if people ate healthier, were active, and stopped using tobacco.
Below, we take a closer look at how senior communities support health and wellness initiatives to improve the lives of their residents.
Why Is Health & Wellness Important?
Health and wellness are essential to every aspect of our lives. If you’re eating the right foods and exercising regularly, then your mind, body, and spirit will remain strong throughout your lifespan. Maintaining healthy habits can also help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as:
- Cystic fibrosis
- High blood pressure
- Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Mood disorders like bipolar, schizophrenia, and depression
Benefits of Wellness Programs In Senior Communities
One reason why many seniors choose retirement communities is to focus on health and wellness. With on-site amenities like fitness centers, pools, and weekly religious services, residents have more ways to be more engaged in their community.
Here are a few benefits of health and wellness programs in senior living communities.
- Improves quality of life
- Prevents social isolation
- Boosts cognitive function
- Encourages independence
- Promotes emotional health
Trends In Senior Wellness
With the help of technology and science, today’s seniors are living longer than ever before. Based on studies from WHO, the global population for people aged 60 years and older is expected to total up to 2 billion by 2050.
From community outings to lifelong learning courses, senior living groups are doing more to ensure residents get the best possible care. Below are seven examples of how health and wellness trends in senior living are moving beyond traditional practices, to include research-driven programs.
1. Fitness Programs
Whether you decide to sign up for chair yoga or water aerobics, fitness is essential to the daily programming offered in senior living communities. These activities are proven to reduce depression and stress, muscle loss, and help fight loneliness within older adults. Most retirement communities encourage residents to join both formal and informal groups, making it easier to exercise in any setting.
2. Healthy Meal Plans
Eating well-balanced meals is important for living healthy and well. But for many seniors, maintaining good eating habits can be challenging. Lack of transportation, meal management, and malnutrition are a few common causes of a poor diet. Seniors who live in retirement communities can enjoy the benefit of receiving their daily nutrients. Culinary experts may also provide menus that cater to the dietary needs and limitations.
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3. Planned Social Activities
In senior living communities, you’re never too old to discover new hobbies. Retirement communities give residents a full calendar of planned social activities and group outings. Active, independent residents can participate in various activities that are designed to support engagement, connection, and fellowship. Additionally, specialty programs for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients help to boost self-esteem and brain stimulation.
4. Lifelong Learning Courses
There’s always something new to learn every day, at any age. Lifelong learning gives people a chance to explore new skills and interests outside the classroom. It also helps seniors keep their minds active by creating more ways to inspire curiosity. The classes offered at retirement communities often cover literature, creative writing, history, art, as well as chess and book clubs. Above all, lifelong learning enables seniors to develop a better understanding of the world around them, enhancing their quality of life.
5. Volunteer Opportunities
If you’ve ever served meals at a soup kitchen or donated clothes to charity, then you know the rewards of volunteering are fulfilling. People enjoy doing things that help make the world a better place, as it adds more meaning and purpose to their lives. And senior living communities are no different. In fact, a wide range of volunteer opportunities are available for exploration. This could mean helping new residents adjust to the community, mentoring young students, or managing arts and craft programs.
6. Wellness Education Workshops
Although diet and exercise are key drivers behind wellness, there is so much more to learn about its philosophy. Research shows that seniors who incorporate health and wellness into their routine receive lasting benefits. Senior living communities often hold wellness group sessions to inform residents about the importance of healthy aging. The workshops aim to provide educational resources about the eight dimensions of wellness, which include:
Since retirement communities are continually evolving to meet the needs of their residents, wellness education stands as a leading incentive that guides seniors to live longer, healthier lives.
7. Worship Services
According to the National Wellness Institute, spiritual wellness involves finding a connection that is greater than yourself and having a set of values that guide your faith. Putting spiritual practices into retirement facilities ensures residents have spiritual support 24/7, helping them age well in a relaxed atmosphere. Community programs like pet therapy, meditation gatherings, and worship services allow a sense of emotional expression and promote greater happiness.
More seniors are choosing to live in retirement communities for a variety of programming, opportunities for exercise, and the close-knit community feeling. Connect with a Senior Lifestyle community near you to find out more about the health & wellness programs that are just a few clicks away.