Memories are the substance of a life well-lived. Memories are portrayed through musical lyrics, movies, short stories, and many biographical sketches. It is an important part of life. Memories are stored through images, pictures, and digital devices. They are powerful reminders of highlights and struggles; as well as significant reflections of the past and often predictors of the future. Memory is an important function for proper cognitive function. Seniors may often find themselves frustrated at the decline in memory that keeps them from being able to interact at peak social levels. This frustration can lead to isolation and withdrawal from others. Many studies have been done to determine the physiological and psychological effects of cognitive decline on overall health and wellness.
According to the National Library of Medicine, The research results showed that both social isolation and loneliness were associated with poor cognition in ageing, with depression as a possible mediator between loneliness and poor cognition.
The research indicates a correlation between cognitive decline and poor overall health. According to Cacioppo and Hawkley,”health, life and genetic legacy of members of social species are threatened when they find themselves isolated (see Cacioppo and Hawkley, 2009 for a review). During the COVID-19 lockdown, for example, we experienced social isolation, and many people suffered the consequences of loneliness. ” Long lasting effects from lockdowns are still being felt in the senior living industry. However, evidence shows that the human spirit is very resilient. Wellness directors are the agents that can offer hope and healing through the services they provide.
Many residents of senior care living facilities thrive in activity settings that are vibrant and diverse. Wellness programs built on physical, social, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, and occupational dimensions supply a plethora of activities that are beneficial to combat isolation and promote well-being. This stimulates memories from the past and connects to present and future feelings of joy and satisfaction. Often times physical and emotional discomfort bring the natural tendency to isolate and avoid social relationships. The benefits of Lifetime Wellness, Ltd. are far reaching in a community of seniors that are experiencing decline in cognitive capacity and function.
The more immersed in a community—with social connections—the happier, and healthier, people are. Friends tend to act as our social support and are conditional indicators for health quality.
Wellness is a lifestyle that many seniors desire to continue enjoying. Memories made today or from the past are worth celebrating! Lifetime Wellness, Ltd. would be happy to help you continue to grow and thrive in each season of life. We exist to help you age successfully! Let’s get started with a thriving activity culture in your senior living facility today! Precious memories are waiting to be made!
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!
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!
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!