Promoting Independence and Wellness as You Age
In a recent study from the National Institute on Aging 67% of seniors considering a move to a senior living community listed a loss of independence and control over their routine as a primary concern.
The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened concerns of isolation as media reports of visitation restrictions at nursing homes and assisted living communities made many older adults believe that they could be ‘locked down’ if they moved to a senior living community now. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Independent living residents at Asbury communities have enjoyed the freedom to come and go during the pandemic, following the same state mandates as everyone else.
Says Asbury Methodist Village resident Barbara Harbison, “This was the best place I could have been. I felt very safe because I knew the people around me were all wearing masks, they were all being very careful about where they went, we were maintaining our distancing. We were perfectly free to walk around the campus, to visit each other. I wasn’t isolated here. I still had community.”
Getting creative with online, in-person senior wellness
For many seniors who are not part of a community or who live alone, safety concerns have severely impacted interpersonal relationships and their ability to stay active. Meanwhile, Asbury residents continue to enjoy social connections, join their community’s online classes and events, and take part in distanced in-person events. Prior to the COVID 19 crisis, Asbury’s wellness teams and residents oﬀered a wide range of programs, clubs, and events fostering emotional, physical, and intellectual wellness. By utilizing technology and CDC guidelines for safely gathering, Asbury has continued to create normalcy in these uncertain times.
“Early on, we mobilized to bring our wellness programs to residents in the comfort of their own homes by streaming fitness classes on our campus TV station and using email to share brain games and fun activities to maintain that connection we crave,” explains Asbury Wellness Director, Justin Margut. “Now, we are continuing to use these channels even as we work to safely reopen some in-person oﬀerings.”
“I know I’m much more involved than I would be if I had stayed where I was living home, alone,” says Bethany Village resident Laura Dotterer. “Asbury has an Ambassador Program that really does smooth the way, although they don’t push. They really just show you what’s available and leave it up to you.”
How are emotional and physical well-being connected?
According to the Society of Behavioral Medicine, mood is improved by physical and cognitive stimulation. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends these activities to support senior well- being in times of isolation.
- Physical exercise that also focuses on mental health like yoga or tai chi and relaxation exercises like meditation and mindfulness.
- Cognitive exercises such as word search , Sudoku, and crossword
- Learning a new skill, language, or recipe
- Reading books and listening to music
- Reducing the time spent watching negative TV
- Reducing news gathering to 1-2 times per day
Want to learn more about independent living at our senior living communities? Contact us today to schedule a tour of our campuses or receive more senior living information.