How Seniors Can Focus on Wellness in the New Year

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It is practically a rite of passage.  New Year’s Day is the most popular time of the year for people to hit the proverbial “reset button.” Some resolve to lose weight, while others hope to spend more time with family and friends.

Whether you love to set goals or scoff at the idea of resolutions, the flip of the calendar year is a great time to shift your focus to wellness.

A concept whose defining characteristics include building upon individual strengths and optimizing potential, a small mindset shift can help people live happier and healthier throughout the years.

Why Is Wellness Important?

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines wellness as “the optimal state of health of individuals and groups,” and is expressed as “a positive approach to living.” Multidimensional and holistic, it incorporates the whole person and various dimensions of wellness. Further, wellness is an active process that involves a shift from unconscious living to actively making healthy choices.

Wellness for Older Adults

People often think about wellness simply in terms of physical health — nutrition, exercise, weight management, etc. Rather, it is an integration of physical, mental, and spiritual well-being, fueling the body, engaging the mind, and nurturing the spirit. Although wellness always includes health goals, it’s more about living life fully in a way that optimizes your lifestyle.

So, how can older adults shift their mindset towards a more holistic approach to quality of life? It starts with goal setting.

Set SMART Goals, Not Resolutions

Older senior in burgundy sweater and white collar shirt holding a margarita cocktail, happy birthday placemat in front of him.Striving for wellness and a focus on making healthier decisions doesn’t have to involve ambitious resolutions, restrictive diets, or elaborate workout regimens. Sometimes, small changes can be the most sustainable and have the greatest impact on your overall well-being.

To that end, try setting SMART goals this year, not resolutions. SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound.  Reflect over all areas of your life to determine where you are, and what you would like to achieve.

Make goals specific.

To motivate you, your goals must be clear, well-defined, and aligned with your values. Vague goals lack specific direction.

Measure your progress.

Quantify your goals in a way that puts you in the driver’s seat. Incorporating some form of measurement helps you keep an eye on your progress and celebrate your successes.

Be sure goals are achievable.

Don’t set the bar too high. The idea is to build self-esteem with every accomplishment. This sometimes means breaking goals down into smaller, more manageable steps. For example, you might want to walk a kilometer a day, but it might be more achievable to focus on building the stamina to walk for 10 minutes. Then 20 …, etc. It all starts with a single step.

Determine relevance.

Why is this important to you now? Your goals should answer the questions of what you want to accomplish and why. By keeping goals aligned with your values, you’ll develop the focus you need to achieve them.

Create time-bound goals.

This means setting a specific deadline for accomplishment. A deadline creates a sense of urgency and motivates us to act.

Write them down.

In a study led by professor Dr. Gail Matthews, the success rate for achieving goals was 76% when study participants wrote down their goals, developed a plan, told a friend, and kept the friend in the loop. Writing your goals out helps you see them in black and white. This added layer makes you think out your goals more clearly. Put your goals somewhere where you can see them and be sure to reward yourself for your successes!

Retirement Communities Built on a Wellness Lifestyle

Today’s seniors are living longer than ever, and their wellness routines are evolving to ensure each new year brings not only physical health, but also purpose and life satisfaction.

In Canada, it is traditional for conversations about health to focus primarily problems rather than health promotion and disease prevention. At All Seniors Care, we believe in taking a multifaceted approach to wellness.

By looking at a person’s history, and learning what is meaningful to them, we help individuals continue to live in a fulfilling way. All the amenities and services at our residences can be adapted to fit each individual’s wants and needs.

As soon as you become a resident, we work with you to identify strengths and goals. That way our dedicated staff can work with you to create a plan that incorporates your wellness goals, prioritizing a plan aligned with your needs. What does this look like?

  • Healthy eating every day
  • Exercise and movement
  • Education and lifelong learning
  • Disease prevention seminars
  • Intergenerational programing
  • Regular health screening

With on-site amenities like fitness centers, pools, and chapels, residents are encouraged to stay active and build on their strengths. It’s all about having the right environment and enabling residents to thrive within their community.

Here are a few benefits of health and wellness programs in our residences:

  • Improves quality of life
  • Promotes emotional health
  • Prevents social isolation
  • Boosts cognitive function
  • Encourages independence

Trends in Senior Wellness

In recent years, senior living communities have been trending towards wellness-oriented lifestyles for their residents.  A leader in the industry, living in an All Seniors Care Living Centres means choosing how you spend your day—there are paint classes, yoga and fitness sessions, theatres, bistros, We Can Build It workshops, and community gardens where older adults can enjoy life together.

All our Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care communities across the country have multi-purpose or game rooms where residents can challenge their neighbors or visitors to a friendly competition. Some, like Beacon Heights in Ottawa even have an indoor mini-putt course!

If you are looking for a retirement residence in Canada that offers amenities designed to help you realize your wellness goals, take a tour and learn about our other locations, like College Park senior living Regina, SK or La Gappe senior homes in Gatineau, Quebec.

Connect with a Lifestyle Coordinator near you to find out more about the health & wellness programs that are just a few clicks away.

 

Writer  – Julianna McLeod

Julianna is a health and wellness expert at All Seniors Care. Her mission is to create content that empowers seniors to form sustainable solutions for lasting health and happiness. She is an experienced writer, editor, and Recreational Therapist living in Toronto.

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