Group of seniors exercising together outdoors.

What Is Wellness in a Senior Living Community?

When you think about retiring to a senior living community in Charleston, WV., do you see yourself choosing a wellness-focused lifestyle with options for senior care, or would it be the other way around — a lifestyle focused on care and supplemented with wellness offerings?

As our generation of seniors reaches retirement, we’re living longer and are more likely to remain healthy and active, and we’re less likely to need care. Senior living communities are evolving to meet this shift in our demographic. They’re moving away from a purely care-based model and are prioritizing programs that foster wellness and successful aging for active adults. Senior Housing News reported on a survey that estimated 60% of senior living communities are expected to be wellness focused by 2023.

What can you expect from a wellness-focused lifestyle?

It’s commonly acknowledged that there’s more to wellness than simply physical health. While definitions vary, a holistic approach to wellness includes your physical, intellectual, social and spiritual health. The senior living community you choose should match your needs at every age. It should include updated, research-based programs intentionally designed for seniors, and design them in a way that you want to use them. You should expect their programs to target all-around health to keep illness and injuries at bay, and to offer optimum quality of life at every level of health: independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation.

What are the benefits of a wellness program in senior living?

Wellness programs in a senior living community are geared toward a better quality of life and continued independence as you age. The setting should encourage positive health outcomes through fitness classes in a group or one-on-one instruction. It should have easily accessible amenities like a swimming pool, and outdoor areas for recreation or walking. Assistance with activities of daily living should be available if you ever need it.

The community should support your intellectual health with a variety of on-campus and off-campus classes and events. It should be easy for residents to participate in lifelong learning classes if those are offered at a learning institution nearby. You should find support for your brain health, with stimulating activities and nutritious meals, and a setting that minimizes stress, noise, and other risk factors for dementia. And to enhance your social health, there should be ample opportunities to interact and build meaningful relationships with residents and staff members.

What are some ways senior living communities support wellness?

A study by the MacArthur Foundation found that 70% of physical aging and 50% of mental aging is determined by our lifestyle choices. An integrated wellness lifestyle you would find in senior living would support multiple dimensions of health:

Physical Fitness.

Communities typically offer activities ranging from light to vigorous that increase muscle strength, stamina and flexibility. At Edgewood Summit, residents enjoy exercise classes such as yoga, seated exercise and balance training. Amenities such as a fully equipped fitness center and beautiful walking paths make it easy to keep to a daily exercise routine.

Intellectual Fitness.

Taking part in lifelong learning is a chance to get better at skills and interests you already have or explore new ones. Residents in a senior living community like ours participate in book clubs to arts and crafts to music. We also bring in guest speakers and host other events to spark lively conversations.

Spiritual Fitness.

Whether you follow organized religion or your own spiritual practice, it’s important to have a healthy set of values to guide your path in life. From volunteerism to devotional services and support groups, our residents explore ways to connect to a purpose greater than themselves.

Social Fitness.

Maintaining a healthy social life is easier in a senior living community due to the calendar of planned activities and outings. Residents are encouraged to build friendships and a close-knit community feeling.

How will you design your wellness future?

Which dimensions of wellness are your strongest? Which would you like to work on? Setting goals for yourself will help you achieve lasting confidence in retirement. But it’s necessary to be proactive and pursue a balance of opportunities for recreation, education, socialization and spirituality. At Edgewood Summit, we make this easy for you. Our wellness philosophy is at the center of an empowering lifestyle that also offers a full continuum of care. Learn more here, and contact us to find out how our wellness programs can benefit you.