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.
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!
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.