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Promoting Health & Wellness in Seniors

As we age, our bodies and minds experience many natural changes. Some signs of aging are obvious, like gray hair and hearing loss. Other changes are more subtle, such as loss of height and organ mass. Senior wellness plays a pivotal role in mitigating the effects of these changes and helping older adults stay active and healthy throughout their retirement. 

Senior wellness refers to activities and practices that promote emotional, mental, physical, and social well-being in older adults. These holistic approaches often affect multiple aspects of health simultaneously. For example, yoga sessions help seniors increase their quality of life and stay mobile, while art therapy reduces loneliness and increases fulfillment. 

Senior living communities offer numerous opportunities to improve your overall well-being. This article explores the many benefits of senior living and how these communities enrich senior health and wellness. 

How Can Senior Living Communities Promote Health and Wellness? 

People often assume that senior living communities are only meant for older adults with serious illnesses or disabilities. But that’s far from the truth. These communities promote wellness for all seniors so residents lead more meaningful and healthier lives. 

One of the most significant ways these communities foster well-being is by providing maintenance-free living. Dedicated staff handle monotonous tasks like cleaning, laundry, and landscaping. Instead of vacuuming and mowing the lawn, you’ll spend your days learning new hobbies and staying active. As a result, you’ll enjoy a higher quality of life and get to prioritize your health. 

Senior living communities also offer abundant wellness amenities and programs to engage older adults mentally, physically, and emotionally. Most older adults who age in place can access only a few activities, but senior communities let you enjoy many amenities in one convenient location. For example, you can get your heart pumping during a morning spin class and then head to a meditation session for well-deserved mental relaxation. 

Additionally, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to socialize and receive support for better health. Your social network will widen as you attend gatherings like happy hours and book clubs. And staff are on hand if you need additional assistance, such as medication reminders and surgery aftercare. 

Physical Health and Exercise

Some people believe they can stop exercising as they age, but don’t race to throw away your workout gear. Regular physical activity is a crucial part of healthy aging.

Exercise provides many health benefits for older adults, such as: 

  • Decreased frailty 
  • Fewer visits to the doctor 
  • Greater muscle power and strength
  • Improved balance 
  • Increased cell turnover 
  • Lower risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes 
  • Reduced inflammation 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that older adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise weekly. Examples of moderate exercises include a fast walk, ballroom dancing, and gardening. Alternatively, seniors can spend 75 minutes weekly engaged in vigorous-intensity activities, like jogging or biking in a hilly location. 

Spending that much time exercising might sound like a drag, but senior living communities allow you to stay fit and have fun at the same time. You can enjoy various physical activities, such as hiking, water aerobics, gardening, and Zumba. Incorporating diverse exercises into your routine prevents boredom and lets you work out different muscles. 

Plus, many senior living communities have skilled physical trainers to help you develop a personalized wellness plan. They’ll consider your interests, prescription regimen, and health needs to create the perfect program. 

Mental and Cognitive Well-Being

Many older adults worry about maintaining their mental sharpness and memory as they age. It’s a valid concern. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, approximately 11% of people 65 and older have Alzheimer’s dementia. Even people who don’t develop this serious condition can experience age-related memory loss. 

Take steps to protect your mental and cognitive health by participating in novel activities and brain exercises. Research shows that encountering novel stimuli fights cognitive decline and improves memory.

Senior living communities let you enrich your life and mind with novel experiences. For example, you can gain new skills by participating in lifelong learning seminars. These programs allow you to take college-level courses and lectures on various subjects, including history, music, and science. 

Health and wellness programs for seniors also enable you to stimulate your brain and stay sharp. Discover new recipes by taking a cooking class, or learn how to care for plants at a gardening group. With so many options, you’ll have plenty of ways to keep your mind in tip-top shape. 

Nutritional Balance

A balanced diet helps you stay healthy, energized, and lean as you age. Additionally, quality nutrition reduces the risk of certain diseases that often affect older adults, such as: 

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Certain cancers
  • High blood pressure
  • Osteoporosis 
  • Type 2 diabetes

However, nutritional needs typically evolve with age, making it more challenging to maintain an appropriate diet. For instance, many seniors need fewer calories but more liquids to stay healthy. 

Senior living communities offer comprehensive nutritional support. A staff nutritionist can develop personalized meal plans based on your exercise regime, medications, and other factors. This convenient service takes the guesswork and stress out of nutrition. 

Also, senior living communities have onsite restaurants where you can have all your meals prepared by talented executive chefs. You can choose meals from a rotating menu or request custom dishes. You’ll get top-quality nutrition without sacrificing taste — and without washing dishes or grocery shopping.  

Preventive Care and Regular Checkups for Seniors

Researchers estimate that only 8% of Americans receive regular preventative screenings from healthcare providers. However, routine checkups offer numerous benefits for seniors. During these appointments, your primary care physician can: 

  • Adjust medication as needed
  • Administer immunizations 
  • Diagnose and manage health conditions 
  • Help you create a nutrition and exercise plan 
  • Monitor for signs of confusion and cognitive decline 
  • Recommend lifestyle changes to enhance health

Senior living communities provide convenient onsite health services, so you don’t need to worry about traveling long distances or waiting months for an appointment. 

This comprehensive approach to senior wellness makes it easy to monitor your health and catch developing conditions in the early stages.

Social Connections and Emotional Well-Being

If you feel lonelier and more depressed as you age, you’re not alone. Approximately 34% of seniors report feeling isolated from others, and 37% feel like they’re missing companionship. In addition, 33% of older adults interact with people outside their household once a week or less. 

Senior living communities combat isolation and loneliness by helping seniors develop robust social networks. You’ll meet new friends and bond over shared interests as you attend community activities like laughter yoga, cooking demonstrations, and music therapy. These connections enhance social well-being and overall life satisfaction. 

Staying socially active also benefits your cognitive health. Interacting with others stimulates attention, memory, and other brain functions. As a result, you’re less likely to develop dementia and other mental disorders. 

Unleash Wellness With Senior Living 

Senior wellness allows older adults to stay engaged, healthy, and mentally sharp as they age. Moving to a retirement community will enable you to enjoy comprehensive wellness programs in one convenient location. Activities like book clubs and fitness classes promote health and allow you to enjoy your retirement fully. 

Senior Resource Group’s Zest Wellness program includes many rewarding experiences to keep you energized, fit, and fulfilled. Contact us today to learn how we can help you embrace healthy aging.