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.us 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.
Loss is a part of life.
Eventually, we all experience the death of a loved one and the time of grieving that follows. Managing grief is particularly challenging in these pandemic times. As Americans mourn the loss of more than 500,000 lives to the coronavirus in just one year, another pandemic wave is cresting — one of national grief.
Benefits, especially health insurance, are a vital part of employee compensation and satisfaction. Yet getting employees to use all services available, such as wellness programs, can be challenging. Although research has found that daily engagement in wellness programs produces long-lasting behavior change, employers report that participation in wellness programs often falls short of goals.
Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death in the United States, however, in the past decade the picture has significantly improved as the number of seniors afflicted with the disease has decreased significantly.
“Our experience suggests senior care providers may have helped ignite this improvement by initiating heart-focused prevention programs,” says Callie Whitwell, chief operating officer, and founding partner at Lifetime Wellness. “Many believe that heart disease is a fact of life in our senior years. Yet we have plenty of ways to keep our hearts in great shape, at every age. Understanding how to best approach daily health is essential and being in the know about a heart condition can alleviate anxiety,” she continues.
As health systems continue to navigate the global pandemic and plan for beyond it, the need to focus on employee well-being is more critical than ever. A programmatic approach to wellness gives employees the tools and resources to make better choices, develop healthier lifestyle habits, and deliver enhanced patient care in times of unprecedented stress.
With pandemic restrictions, many senior communities continue to prohibit visitation, resulting in no face-to-face interaction between residents and their family and friends. These precautions are needed to keep the virus from harming at-risk seniors but can present many challenges to helping seniors stay “socially well.”