Gardening is a beautiful way to stay healthy. In the early days of Americans, gardening was a way of life for most. It was commonplace in an Agrarian society for people to grow gardens to sustain large families. There were no grocery stores on every corner. The accessibility to food, that is commonplace for modern society, looked much different a century ago. For many in senior care, being able to grow sustainable food sources as well as ornate flowers is a beneficial therapy that yields positive results.
According to a study by the Journal of Preventive Medicine Reports, growing plants improves mood, lowers anxiety, and increases wellness. Maintaining a garden, or even caring for a single plant, gives one a sense of control. The Alzheimer’s Society’s Garden guide says that nurturing plants helps maintain existing skills that provide pleasure and confidence at a time when memory loss or physical decline can affect people’s self-esteem.
Gardening may also decrease loneliness. According to a study of nursing home residents in Hong Kong published by the Journal of Clinical Nursing, researchers found a significant drop in loneliness among adults in their 80’s who participated in an eight-week indoor gardening program compared with their peers who did not garden.
Indoor gardening for dementia patients provides sensory and cognitive stimulation that improves the quality of life for many. Including a variety of plants and flowers provides the opportunity for these patients to reminisce, as well. Caring for these gardens gives the dementia patient a sense of responsibility and control at a time when most day-to-day tasks are difficult to maintain.
Caring is an accomplishment.
Caring for plants is especially good for seniors who have been caregivers their entire lives and are now experiencing role reversal and need a sense of purpose. Nurturing plants provides similar satisfaction to caring for another human and is a great way to maintain the physical and emotional benefits of nurturing, according to research compiled by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.
Lifetime Wellness Ltd provides our partnerships with resources and staff that will assist in growing vegetable and flower gardens. Many of our partnerships are using gardening to enhance the lives of seniors. Seniors can care for and nurture outdoor and indoor gardening spaces while enjoying the home-grown food sources that it provides. Cooking the food that is harvested can be done through our Chef works resources provided in our monthly resource packets. Gardening is a wellness opportunity that provides a sense of purpose while strengthening the body and mind.
April is Stress Awareness Month. Lifetime Wellness will be actively campaigning throughout our partnerships to promote positive ways to handle stress. Life can be very stressful! Anxiety, depression, and mental health issues are increasing daily for many of all ages and walks of life. Life since the Covid-19 pandemic seems to have made everyday life a bit more complicated.
Life for senior adults can become full of worry and fret. There are many factors that can contribute to this. Complex health issues, loss of a loved one, financial issues, being a caregiver, living alone, and where to spend retirement years are all factors that can increase stress. There are many ways to treat the symptoms and causes of stress. Recognizing symptoms of stress are important.
According to an article by Harvard Health Publishing, there are common signs and symptoms to become aware of.
According to Dr. Ann Webster, a health psychologist at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital, “if these signs go untreated there can be a significant increase in cardiovascular issues. It can also increase insulin resistance in diabetics while increasing hypertensive episodes as well as insomnia.” There is so much at stake if these symptoms remain untreated. Thankfully, there are many methods to improve responses to stress. In an older population, these symptoms can easily mask other complicated health issues. Being aware of these symptoms of stress can help caregivers response to elevated stress levels in seniors.
There are many ways to combat stress in senior care. A recent post by the Harvard Special Health Report gives much needed direction to combat the complications of stress and improve quality of life and decrease the effects of stress.
General stress in adults may be reduced with some of the following ideas, as reported in the Harvard Special Health Report Stress Management:
- Engage in regular physical activity. If you are infirm, ask your doctor whether you might benefit from certain types of exercise, such as tai chi, which enhances balance. Many other kinds of physical activity improve your health, lift your mood, and reduce stress, too.
- Consider whether you might benefit from a course in assertiveness training that would help you state your wishes and handle conflicts.
- Join a support group if you are dealing with bereavement.
- Think about getting a pet—both the pluses and minuses. Several studies support the stress-lowering effects of having a dog, cat, or other animal companion. But don’t forget to take into consideration the physical and financial challenges of pet ownership.
- Attend a mind-body program. These can help at any age. Some are specifically designed for seniors. Others may focus on chronic pain or specific ailments, such as heart disease.
There are many ways that our partnerships address the concerns of elevated stress. There are non pharmacological approaches such as aromatherapy, massage, and relaxation rooms. These have proven to be beneficial and enhance overall quality of life for seniors.
Throughout the six dimensions of wellness, Lifetime Wellness, Ltd. provides everyday programs that decrease stress. Body works, Chef works, and Mind Works, are just a few of the offerings our clients can take advantage of. This programming addresses the physical, mental, and spiritual needs of seniors. Our partnerships benefit from gold standard activity programming as well as professional staff management.
Celebrate stress awareness month by taking advantage of opportunities to maintain proper self-care. Senior care thrives when stress lowering offerings are implemented. Life can be difficult, but there are creative solutions to manage the stress and improve the quality of life for seniors.
In celebration of Women’s History Month, Lifetime Wellness, Ltd would like to honor women of all ages. President Jimmy Carter instituted the first Women in History week in 1980. An excerpt from his address proclaiming this week applauded women.
From the first settlers who came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked together to build this nation. Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well.
President Jimmy Carter
The theme for the 2023 campaign for Women’s History Month is “Celebrating Women Who Tell Stories“. People of all nations and backgrounds have a “story to tell”. Sharing the history of women is important. There have been significant victories for women in the United States since the inception of this country. There are many women of noteworthy praise that deserve to be highlighted. There are a few women chosen by Lifetime Wellness Ltd., that have contributed in monumental ways across the globe. May young girls catch the vision of these great women and lead the next generation to accomplish much more!
Jeannette Rankin (June 11, 1880 – May 18, 1973)
Member of Congress, Suffragist, Peace Activist. Rankin began her political work in Montana when she led the successful campaign for woman suffrage in 1914. In 1916, running on a pro-suffrage and anti-war platform, she became the first woman elected to the US Congress. She voted against entering WWI and then worked for improved pay and better conditions for women in government. Elected to Congress again in 1940, she voted against entering World War II. In 1967, she led the Jeannette Rankin Brigade in a demonstration against the Vietnam War. nationalwomenshistoryalliance.org
Rosa Parks ( 1913-2005)Rosa Parks helped initiate the civil rights movement in the United States when she refused to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama bus in 1955. Her actions inspired the leaders of the local Black community to organize the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Led by a young Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the boycott lasted more than a year—during which Parks not coincidentally lost her job—and ended only when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that bus segregation was unconstitutional. Over the next half-century, Parks became a nationally recognized symbol of dignity and strength in the struggle to end entrenched racial segregation.
She never reached her fortieth birthday, but in her brief life, Amelia Earhart became a record-breaking female aviator whose international fame improved public acceptance of aviation and paved the way for other women in commercial flight. In 1935, Purdue University hired Earhart as aviation advisor and career counselor for women and purchased the Lockheed plane she dubbed her “flying laboratory.” On June 1, 1937, she left Miami with navigator Fred Noonan, seeking to become the first woman to fly around the world. With 7,000 miles remaining, the plane lost radio contact near the Howland Islands. It was never found, despite an extensive search that continued for decades.https://www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/amelia-earhart
In 2004, the United State Postal Service honored the Olympic champion by featuring her likeness on a 23-cent stamp. https://www.biography.com/athletes/wilma-rudolph
These women are heroes in American history. These historical figures are women worthy of respect and honor. Young and old alike can admire the accomplishments of these women as the history of women is revered and celebrated throughout the month of March!
Lifetime Wellness, Ltd. is an advocate of preserving the legacy of women throughout the world and nation. Our partnerships enable us to help men and women, ” age successfully“, as well as “Live life without limits.” We celebrate women today and everyday!
Life is a constant shift and change. Social media, technology, wellness, nutrition, and educational needs are among the highlights of utmost importance in the majority of senior adults. Wellness is becoming the gold standard among this population. Only a few short years ago, this was considered the caveat for a much younger generation.
Higher engagement with technology is soaring among the aged population. Covid-19 provided the perfect environment to introduce seniors to the benefits of technological advances, that once upon a time was just for those, “young folks”. Telehealth, smart watches, smart lights, personalized fitness training, specialized apps for medical emergencies, and apps that provide data collections for medical providers are just the tip of the iceberg. There has been an uptick in senior educational opportunities. The educational reform that has occurred as a result of the pandemic has developed an interest for seniors taking advantage of a wide variety of courses and webinars provided for online consumption. The accessibility of information has enlightened our seniors to an array of areas for cognitive growth.
The senior care industry is well aware of these trends and is currently striving to meet the needs of the individuals in an innovative way. Lifetime Wellness has been ahead of this curve for several years. Our partnerships know the value of wellness and continually seek to provide the services and care that are current to this generation of adults. In 2018, the International Council on Active Aging surveyed 673 organizations with regard to business models. 60% of respondents said that, by the year 2023, retirement communities will be based in a wellness lifestyle.
According to a blog written by Cano Health, “More companies are investing in wellness based infrastructure and classes for clients, making almost a complete shift. Nearly 72% of those surveyed said lifestyle and wellness concerns had become the essential priority. Among those surveyed, 64% found wellness programming to be an absolute must have in senior care. Trends indicate there is a definite need for a stronger commitment to holistic care.”
Lifetime Wellness, Ltd. is ready to help you meet the goals for your upcoming year! Our programming is tailored to serve you. There are a variety of ways in which our team can help you make the wellness needs of your community top priority. Our partnerships are thriving in senior wellness. See how you can make 2023 your best year, EVER!
Successful aging is demonstrated through purposeful engagement with others. According to the research by the Mathers Institute, “Older adults who have a higher sense of purpose live happier, healthier, and longer lives.” Lifetime Wellness offers programming to enhance culture while encouraging senior living residents to build meaningful and lasting relationships through highly engaging activities. Intentional programming that will promote social interactions of senior daily living is often the more successful.
Research proves that the relational quality of the senior adult paves the way for a positive mental and emotional healthy person.
Initiatives driven to engage family and friend interactions are some of the best practices for staff. lifetimewellness.com welcomes the opportunity to serve YOU through a variety of packages designed to meet the needs of YOUR community.
Connect the Dots
Relationships among senior living residents are not unlike other age groups living in community. There are common interests and connections that can be formed through various events and gatherings. This creates bonding experiences that uplift and empower beautiful friendships. However, there will be occasional conflict and negative interactions that can precipitate negative emotions. Monitoring the relationships between staff and resident, as well as resident to resident is crucial to the emotional health of the senior.
The Great Divide
Fractures that can often occur between these relationships can deteriorate well being and overall wellness. An awareness of the mood and emotions of the senior can alert the wellness staff to serve as the advocate for everyone involved. If negative interactions occur, this can disrupt purpose in the lives of seniors. This can lead to an overall lack of joy and happiness in the culture of the environment. A consistent measurement of the pulse of the residents through activity engagement can give valuable insight into the relational joys and strains of community living.
A turnkey approach for wellness staffing made possible through www.lifetimewellness.com team members can lead to positive and healthy relationship building.
The Proof is in the Research
A recent study was conducted with 106 older adults in Zurich, Switzerland, with up to 15 daily measurement occasions per participant. Participants reported on the quality of their most recent social interactions every morning, afternoon, and evening, and on their sense of purpose every evening. They did this for five weekdays. At six and twelve months later, they repeated the process for the same length of time. The researchers then evaluated whether having more positive or negative social interactions each day predicted how purposeful a participant felt on that same day.”
The study offers three primary findings:
- People who had better social interactions generally had a stronger sense of purpose.
- On days in which an individual had worse social interactions than usual, they felt less purposeful than usual, and on days in which they had better social interactions than usual, they felt more purposeful.
- The association between daily positive social interactions and daily sense of purpose differed based on whether an older adult was employed or retired.
- This research proves the validity of excellence in programming for activities within skilled and assisted living communities.
Aging successfully requires more than one component. Holistic wellness has several dimensions. The program offerings through www.lifetimewellness.com are research based. The residents will find purpose and meaning while rediscovering their passion throughout the layers of wellness curriculum. Make an appointment with our team today to help your community be the best version it can be!
Independence Day marks a historical occasion for the United States of America. It is usually celebrated with fireworks, outdoor events, and lots of good food! Vacations and schedules are planned around the historical day. The summer is in full swing and many eagerly await much needed time with family and friends. The wonderful staff of our LifetimeWellness.us partners have planned special events to commemorate this day. Spending time asking our seniors how they spent this holiday as a child will spark conversations that will help them to recall memories. Memory care is a valuable service provided by www.Lifetimewellness.us and is a vital component of our wellness model. This activity is also part of “their story”. We offer a book called, “My Life Story”, that helps seniors share individual life history through written snapshots of events of their lives.
Sharing holiday experiences can create connections with others; helping them to feel valued and loved. Memories from the July 4th holiday may include quotes from past presidents and spokespersons that have placed a premium on personal freedoms. Patrick Henry, the great orator of the American Revolution, has often been quoted for his fiery speeches. You may recall this famous quote, when Henry gave a rousing speech to the Virginia legislature in 1775.
“Give me liberty or give me death!”—Patrick Henry
His influence is still reverberating to this very day. Personal freedoms are valued and highly revered by all. This is the gold standard for the American way of life. Yet, there is often a tendency to forget the significance of the origins of this day. The significance of freedom’s cry on this holiday is often lost in the excitement of the fireworks and barbeque. Frances Scott Key penned the words that sum it up best. “ America, the land of the free and the home of the brave.” He wrote this in 1814, and these words have resonated powerfully through the singing of our national anthem.
Famous quotes and musical lyrics capture the essence of our independence. It is a hard fight! Self efficacy and the struggle to preserve one’s core values strikes at the heart of the senior population. Men and women that have experienced the Great Depression, World World II, Vietnam, and other battles of the last century are well acquainted with the hard fought struggle for independence. Moreover, the battle for many seniors is fought on a different front. Often the battle is to overcome the obstacles in day to day struggles. The ability to make their own decisions. The intense daily conflict to recall memories and the ability to care for themselves. Preservation of independence is something that everyone will go to battle for. Independence is what we strive for. Depending on others is something most want to avoid. It is the American way to “pull ourselves up from our bootstraps.” Longevity of life can bring an interdependence on others and a lack of personal decision making.
Aging well is vital to overcoming the potential factors that deter quality of life. There are many parallels that can be drawn from the subject of freedom. Freedom is hard wired in the DNA of a human being. In the midst of reflections of freedom on July 4th, think of those that are fighting battles of a different kind. Some are fighting to maintain the ability to think, move, or simply tend to a beautiful flower garden. Memory is not often embraced as a freedom when you are young. Most will not understand this until memories begins to fade. It is important to remember what this nations stands for, to remember those brave men and women who fought tirelessly to rise above tyranny. It creates thankfulness to remember those in our communities and families that have given so much to our country and to remember those that have given their lives, so you may prosper. Take some time to reflect and be thankful for this special holiday, and think of those that are fighting daily to remain independent. The fight for freedom remains alive in all of us. Independence is worth the FIGHT!
Relationships are vital to societal well being. Can you imagine life without close friends and family? Connections are vital to the components of overall wellness. There is a plethora of research to be consumed in this arena. A recent article summed up social wellness in a simplistic, yet powerful way.
“It is the ability to make meaningful connections with others – as a family, as a society, and as a community. Social wellness is the ability to care for others while we take good care of ourselves. Relationships we form with those around us can greatly impact the quality of our lives. https://lifecares.org/life-cares/social-wellness
The recent effects of isolation in senior living care centers have caused a surge in the concern for overall wellness. Seniors often experience the detrimental effects of diminished social wellness. Several studies have indicated that mortality rates are linked to positive social connectedness. A component of www.lifetimewellness.com is to provide resources that uplift and encourage our seniors. Aging successfully is accomplished through a variety of social wellness initiatives that are threaded throughout our outstanding curriculum. These resources are created by professionals that understand the need for complete wellness programming.
Did You Know?
- 1 in 4 adults age 65 and older are socially isolated? A lack of regular interaction with others can affect your health and well-being.
- Feeling lonely and being isolated can be bad for your health.
- Loneliness and social isolation have been associated with higher rates of depression, a weakened immune system, heart disease, and dementia.
- Older adults are at higher risk for social isolation and loneliness due to changes in health and social connections, such as memory loss and/or the loss of family and friends. http://bit.ly/3qiBQ4J.
Social isolation can have devastating effects on all ages. Intentional steps to build the social and emotional dimensions of health are critical to combatting the ill effects of social disconnect. There are many helpful tips that will increase connections with others. The following are just a few, among many!
- Treating everyone with dignity and respect
- Being self-aware
- Taking good care of oneself both physically and mentally
- Nurturing one’s relationships
- Empathizing with others and their situations
- Eating healthy
- Doing what is necessary to stay fit
- Being able to ask for help when needed
- Spending quality time with your loved ones
- Belonging to a community
- Maintaining a healthy work-home-life balance
- Creating a good network of supportive friends
- Checking in with your friends and family as often as possible
- Being able to invest in yourself as much as you invest in others
- Being kind to yourself
The quality of our lives can be maintained with purposeful focus on health and wellness. Pharmacological methods are necessary for many areas of improved health. However, social wellness can improve cardiovascular health, by maintaining proper levels of blood pressure. Stressors from poor social health can increase hypertensive responses. Seniors who build and maintain relationships are often at less risk for depression, as social isolation tends to be one of the key factors leading to depression in older adults. Chronic conditions and diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease and even some cancers are noticeably reduced in seniors who participate in social activities. Studies reveal that seniors who are lonely tend to have elevated levels of proteins associated with inflammation and poor immune systems, while the immune system tends to be stronger in seniors who have strong social connections.
The benefits of social wellness are far reaching. We were made for relationships! Reach out and make connections. Today is a great day to make a new friend, or have lunch with an old friend. Seek out those opportunities to give to others. It truly will make a difference in a life! Lifetime Wellness strives to enhance the capacity to age well in every area of whole person wellness.
National Senior Health and Fitness Day is a day to celebrate fitness and aging well. It is a great day set aside to honor and celebrate life with those we love and care about. Take time to visit with your parents, grandparents, and special loved ones on this day. Take a walk, have a healthy meal, and enjoy making special memories while taking time to reflect on healthy living. According to research from www.nationaltoday.com and the National Institute on Aging,
the world is aging rapidly and people of 60 years and older will rise in numbers from, 900 million to 2 billion between 2015 and 2050.
Exercise and physical activity are good for just about everyone, including older adults. No matter your health and physical abilities, you can gain a lot by staying active. In fact, studies show that “taking it easy” is risky. Often, inactivity is more to blame than age when older people lose the ability to do things on their own. Lack of physical activity also can lead to more visits to the doctor, more hospitalizations, and more use of medicines for a variety of illnesses.
This research shows a significant increase in older adults 65 and above in our society. This leads to a growing need for greater knowledge concerning the obstacles and challenges that are faced by an expanding population of 65 years and older. There are substantial and positive impacts seniors can make on society and we must be intentional to give honor and respect to our senior population. We owe tremendous gratitude to those that have made life rich and meaningful for younger generations. One way to show our appreciation is by celebrating National Senior Fitness Day. You can visit their website at fitnessday.com for information and news from seniors across the nation commemorating this wonderful day. This day brings awareness to the value that must be placed on health and fitness in seniors.
Lifetime Wellness, Ltd. serves as an excellent partner in the “aging successfully” process. This is the mantra of our company. There are a variety of ways to integrate a healthy lifestyle for the senior adult that is intentional about health and wellness. Please take some time to visit our website, www.lifetimewellness or checkout our Facebook, Linked In, or Twitter pages to review the services offered to our partners. Our company welcomes the opportunity to serve you!
The National Institute on Aging has produced a video that will encourage and inform adults 65 and over regarding the start and maintenance phases of exercise regimens. Education about your health can optimize your overall wellness. Empowering this generation of aging adults will promote the effects of aging successfully.
Did you know…
The number one health problem is….
Heart disease. Every 43 seconds someone has a heart attack.
The most prevalent health problem of persons over the age of 65…
Heart disease and cancer. Over the past two decades, heart disease and cancer hold the leading positions for the cause of death in this age group.
These statistics place a premium on the importance of overall health. Exercise and a healthy diet, combined with the importance of mental health and a wellness plan have proven to decrease the effects of these prevalent dangers to seniors. Celebrate National Senior Health and Fitness Day. A life well lived should be celebrated today and every day! Happy Senior Health and Fitness Day!
It’s been called the silent epidemic: Diabetes afflicts more than 10 percent of Americans, with the numbers growing exponentially. Simply stated, it’s a condition in which the body does not make enough insulin—a hormone that removes sugar from the blood and puts it to work as energy. High blood sugar over time can lead to heart disease, kidney failure, vision loss, and other serious health problems, each year claiming 4.2 million lives around the world and ranking as the seventh-leading cause of death in the U.S.
Who says aging is a time of decline? With renewed perspective, it can be a time of activity, vitality, and ongoing wellness.
“Aging successfully is much more than looking after our physical health,” says Callie Whitwell, chief operating officer and founding partner at Lifetime Wellness. “It’s about engaging our minds, nurturing our spirits, and developing satisfying relationships.” Whitwell’s company provides whole-person wellness solutions, along with life enrichment and recreational programming, to independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing and rehabilitation, and memory care facilities.
Once upon a time, activity and recreational programs in senior communities were typically low priority. Yet as the senior population continues to surge, many senior living communities have gone back to the drawing board on ways to enhance senior wellness and promote life enrichment.
In expanding their focus, many are finding they can’t go it alone. They’re looking for trusted partners to extend in-house resources and design an engaging, person-centered experience.
As senior health care providers continue to expand their wellness offerings, the time-honored practice of Tai Chi has attracted a new audience. This gentle, meditative movement program has been a mainstay of traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. In recent years, it has gained popularity among older adults, as it is low-impact, self-paced, senior-friendly – and a safe and easy way to improve balance and flexibility. In fact, studies have found that more than half of those who practice this exercise begin after age 50.