The Importance of Wellness Programs in Senior Living

Over nearly a century, Asbury Communities has created new opportunities, enhanced the aging experience, and brought peace of mind for tens of thousands of older adults and their families. And with retirement communities in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee, Asbury has learned a thing or two about well-being and aging.

Here are some key ways that Asbury senior living supports aging better through a focus on well-being.

  1. Brain Health and WellnessAsbury is committed to becoming the leading brain health and wellness provider in senior living. Our new Kinnections Brain Health program was developed by an occupational therapist specializing in dementia in consultation with neurologists. Sue Paul, Asbury’s Senior Director of Well-Being, built Kinnections around five strategies for keeping your brain at its best – including novel experiences and staying social. Participants receive a five-part neurocognitive assessment that examines multiple cognitive domains and movement and an individualized engagement plan with specific exercise, activity, and lifestyle recommendations tailored to your specific strengths and weaknesses.The Kinnections Super Seven Brain Health Program is offered across Asbury’s continuing care retirement communities. This paper-based, self-guided program targets neurocognitive domains using multi-modal cognitive exercises which increase in complexity over a six-week period. Exercises focus on sensory-motor, attention, memory, executive function, language, processing speed, and social cognition.Asbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg, Md., recently opened the Rosborough Wellness & Brain Health Center for Excellence, which uses cutting-edge, science-based brain health practices and tools. Asbury’s focus on physical health includes well-equipped fitness centers that offer personal training, group classes, nutrition counseling and individualized attention to fitness goals and the best way to achieve them. Residents at Normandie Ridge in York, Pa., take part in daily fitness and aquatics classes and have the new four-acre Happy Trails Nature Park on their campus, a wooded walking trail designed specifically for seniors. All of Asbury’s campuses provide plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature in solitude or with a friend through walking paths, bike trails, butterfly gardens, nature preserves – even kayaking and paddleboarding at Asbury Solomons, our resort-style waterfront community in Solomons, Md.
  2. Lifelong Learning and EngagementClubs, committees, and resident events engage and challenge new thinking with unique programs and opportunities.The Art Committee at Bethany Village in Mechanicsburg, Pa., not only regularly changes out a permanent collection of more than 1,500 pieces of donated resident art, but they also curated a one-of-a-kind collection of pieces by a local artists’ group that is open to the public. Resident and painter Marcia Marsh, who coordinated the show with another member of the committee, finds joy in the variety of music and arts available to her. “We’re not professionals, but there’s a vibrant arts community here,” says Marcia.At Asbury Methodist Village’s resident-run Keese School of Continuing Education, dozens of lectures and tours in history, science, art and music, and current events take place over the course of two semesters each year. The Spring 2022 schedule included classes ranging from Nature’s Pharmacy: A Source of Medicines for the Millennia to The Secrets Behind Jane Austen’s Popularity to Rosie the Riveter.Retired pathologist Bob Richmond at Asbury Place Maryville has combined a love of horticulture with a passion for photography into a daily Flower of the Day email he sends to hundreds of people at the senior living community, including its garden club members, and around the world. Since 2020 when he began his labor of love, Bob has taken and shared more than 500 photos of flowers, ‘weeds’, wildflowers, flowering shrubs, and trees primarily taken around the Asbury Place Maryville campus. The emails share the common and botanical names of each plant, along with interesting facts he researches. “I like to keep it short and interesting,” says Bob.
  3. Creating Opportunities to Give BackHelping others creates a sense of belonging, reduces isolation, and just feels good. Living at an Asbury community provides so many opportunities to volunteer on and off campus. And without the drudgery and time commitment of home maintenance, you’ll have more time and bandwidth to make a difference.“Living here gives me the freedom to do this,” says Judith Clovsky, a retired nurse and Bethany Village resident who’s traveled to both Uganda and Malawi on Rotary medical missions since moving to the community in 2017. “The support of the people who live here and the services provided by this community make it possible for me to support others.”At RiverWoods Senior Living Community in Lewisburg, Pa., residents assist with preparing, packing, and delivering fresh, healthy meals through the local Meals on Wheels program. Food insecurity is also the focus of Anna Tillack’s volunteer efforts. A resident of Asbury Solomons, located on the Patuxent River in Southern Maryland, Anna is the co-coordinator for SMILE, or Service Makes Individual Lives Exciting, a Calvert County food pantry and thrift store that is a partnership of 12 area churches. “There’s joy in being able to give back to somebody who is in need,” says Anna.The Gaithersburg Beloved Community Initiative (GBCI), created and managed by residents of Asbury Methodist Village, is a collaboration of community partners and individuals committed to supporting youth and working toward a more just and equitable community. More than 100 volunteers participate in GBCI each year by tutoring, mentoring, and more. GBCI has won a Program of Distinction award from Generations United and numerous other awards.
  4. Social Connections a Key to Aging WellYou may have heard of ‘Blue Zones’, regions around the world with high rates of longevity. What researchers found in those regions included healthy diets and high activity levels but also  strong connections between family and friends – a community-living model, essentially. Continuing care retirement communities like Asbury’s foster connection and friendship, which becomes especially important as we age into our 80s and 90s and mobility may be limited and friend circles shrink.“Residents are incredibly supportive of each other, and particularly those in need of help,” says Lowell Starling, a resident of Bethany Village in Mechanicsburg, Pa. “Nowhere else that we have lived even remotely compares to the love, mutual sharing, and support we encounter here.”Marilyn Camillo, a resident of Springhill Senior Living in Erie, Pa., describes her experience this way: “A life here is full of energy! The pool, cornhole, bocce, the trails to walk, transportation services, a supervised gym! Most and not least, are all the friendships to be made. It’s a new lease on life!”It’s a sentiment expressed by many who move to an Asbury senior living community – all of which are purposely designed for well-being through a wide range of programs, clubs, and events; increased opportunities for social interaction; and physical design. Adding to that is the feeling of connection that comes from joining a community of caring neighbors.

Want to learn more about the benefits of senior living?

Asbury continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) are more than a place for seniors to call home. They’re a place for new friendships to blossom, and where new experiences and new opportunities you never anticipated are just around the corner.

And while we can’t promise you’ll be ziplining at 103 like Asbury Place Kingsport resident Dr. Bob Miller, we can confidently say based on thousands of residents’ feedback that you’ll be happy you made the move.

Learn more about How CCRCs Work in this short video. Interested in learning more? Schedule a tour today!


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