Wellness Drives Quality Outcomes for Senior Living Communities

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The major trend in senior living now is encompassed in three keywords: living better and longer. Whereas senior living has a bad reputation in some corners, particularly after Covid, where the cynical say it’s where the elderly are warehoused, nothing could be further from the truth. Senior living communities today are obsessively committed to wellness. High quality senior living communities are uniquely qualified to address the full range of emotional and spiritual human needs that comprise true wellness.

Wellness means individuals fully acting on their capacity to live a meaningful and engaged life. Senior living must deliver excellent wellness programs in order to drive better outcomes for residents at senior living facilities. Wellness helps in sustaining the new senior living model.

Key Dimensions of Wellness and How their Inclusion Can Make Residents Happier and Healthier:

  • Emotional wellness: Taking care of older people’s emotional needs makes them self-aware. This could be achieved through programs such as facilitated conversations, peer counseling etc.
  • Intellectual wellness: Incorporating activities that stimulate the mind of seniors make them stronger. Examples such as continuing education, puzzles, trivia challenges, games and painting will help. 
  • Physical wellness: Programs for strength, joint function, balance, cardio result in better mental health. Senior living can implement this through flexibility exercises, aerobics, dance, yoga, bowling, tennis and swimming. 
  • Environmental wellness: Physical environments in which seniors reside are equally important and can be improved with programs such as walking, gardening and natural history education. 
  • Professional wellness: Seniors will find renewed purpose when given the chance to apply their skills throughout their professional careers and into retirement. Some ways to do this include peer teaching, mentoring, volunteering and so on.
  • Social Wellness: Social relationships are also important, in terms of resident health and overall happiness. Social activities such as parties, travel photo sharing and special interest clubs could help build this form of wellness. 
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Incorporating These Dimensions Within Senior living Programs

1.) First, senior living communities must have a good understanding of their residents and their needs. To do this, they need to have complete resident profiles that fully reflect on their different needs, hobbies, goals and interests that are updated from time to time. 

2.) The next step for senior living facilities is to establish a “wellness program” that has activities across all the various dimensions of wellness that align with their residents’ interests.

3.) REPEAT! Continuously improving the process through analytics assures that resident interests are constantly considered and wellness programs are designed to meet those needs and interests. Measures such as attendance, engagement level, satisfaction scores and other benchmarks are key to staying on the right path. This will keep staff updated on residents evolving care needs and how to address those needs more effectively. 

Living Healthier: Some Useful Tips for Wellness Strategies

In order to lead a healthier life, one does not require a complicated plan or an equally long, daily 

to-do list. All one needs to do is make healthy informed decisions, develop better habits and take part in activities that make the mind and body feel good. Fortunately, all of these wellness opportunities are things that senior living communities are uniquely positioned to provide better than the alternative of living alone:

Eliminating unhealthy habits. We can always replace unhealthy habits with a better and healthier habit, so snacking could be replaced with something like walking or enjoying a warm cup of tea. 

Prioritizing a balanced diet. This does not mean we stop eating the foods we love. It simply means adding healthier foods to one’s diet such fruits, vegetables, healthy proteins and so on. 

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Staying socially active: Relationships are key and in fact, are very much what we live for. They help us in relieving stress, improving ourselves and in many ways inspiring us to adopt healthier lifestyles. 

Keeping the mind astute. It’s important that seniors keep themselves busy with the things they enjoy doing. This could be reading a good book or debating over politics. 

Exercise is key. Levels of stress need to be brought under control. Exercise, therapy and support from loved ones can help with that. Exercise for example helps nourish both physical and mental health by making you feel better about your body. 

The Growing Importance of “Wellness Programs” in Senior Living across the U.S

Over the past decade, wellness programs for seniors seem to be rising in popularity. Senior wellness programs are an excellent way for senior living facilities to nourish resident well-being, health, happiness and overall engagement. 

Seniors stand to benefit in a number of ways from a well-rounded wellness program. Those include improved self-esteem, confidence, the chance to acquire new skills, better emotional health and greater independence. Wellness should lie at the core of any health strategy aimed at improving the lives of seniors. 

Healthy habits adopted through a well-rounded senior wellness program can reduce the risk of diabetes, cancer, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, high blood pressure and mental health disorders. Perhaps, the greatest benefit of a senior wellness program is its “holistic approach” to a person’s overall wellness. Seniors work on different aspects of leading better and healthier lives through these programs. Regular exercise for one stands to benefit seniors in so many ways. It reduces blood pressure levels, controls blood sugar levels and lowers cholesterol levels, thereby limiting the risk of stroke and heart attack. 

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Senior wellness programs offer seniors the chance to take part in a number of different activities. It can be some activity you are already familiar with or something you have never tried or experienced before!

Senior living wellness programs provide seniors the opportunity to meet new people, forge friendships and have meaningful interactions.

This will limit feelings of isolation among the senior population and help bring them together as one community. It will also help deal with the behavioral health crisis among the aging population. Wellness programs and the social interactions they offer through various activities will prevent depression and other mental health complications among the senior population. 

Become more independent

Senior wellness initiatives enable seniors to stay more independent and proactive in terms of their overall health. A good wellness program for seniors will provide them with sufficient resources to help them with medical conditions common in this population. There are endless benefits to senior wellness programs and the things they can do for seniors and their overall well-being. 

Sources

Why senior living communities must know about the seven dimensions of wellness. 

The Importance of Holistic Health and Wellness for Seniors

Why Wellness Programs are important for seniors.

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