As we gracefully age, the concept of ‘home’ evolves. It’s no longer just a place to rest; it becomes a sanctuary of health, wellness, and empowerment. At Wellings, we understand that our 55+ community desires more than just a roof over their heads. They aspire for an epic life — full of opportunities, diverse activities, and minimal responsibilities. But how does this differ from other arrangements like long-term care or retirement living with respect? Let’s dive in.
What is the Active Living Concept?
Peter Attia, MD, and longevity expert says, “Exercise can improve insulin sensitivity, boost metabolism, cardiovascular health, enhance cognitive function, and contribute to overall well-being.”
You are independent, and you want to stay that way. You want to avoid living in retirement, where health care becomes a daily routine. Well, there is an alternative. Active living prioritizes physical activity as part of your daily routine, honoring your goal to keep your mobility and health for as long as possible. The goal is to get people moving more often. Exercise, nutrition, sleep, and mental health are keys to living a well-rounded and healthy lifestyle as we age, according to Dr. Attia. Listening to the goals of our members ( seniors) over 55 years of age has inspired us to create an environment that encourages an active way of life regardless of the mobility levels within the community. As a result, we see fitness levels improve, more social interaction, and better eating habits. Keeping active starts with a goal for your future activity needs. If you want to be able to walk up a hill, carry a grandchild, get in and out of a car, or take a trip somewhere, you need to train for it, and there is always time to start.
What is an Example of Active Living?
Imagine starting your day with a brisk walk. You feel your heartbeat, the fresh air on your face. You feel alive. 30 minutes of fast activity is all you need to improve your cardiovascular health and mood daily. You may only sometimes recognize active living as deliberate, but even parking at the furthest end of the parking lot and walking to the front door naturally increases your activity level. At Wellings, we always look for ways our members can get more active without considering additional exercise. Gardening, yoga, stretching, dancing, lawn bowling, and even billiards keep your blood flowing, improve your balance and exercise the mind. Get active and live life the way you want to.
What is the Definition of Healthy Active Living?
Healthy active living is a lifestyle choice that combines regular physical activity, a balanced nutritious diet, sufficient sleep, stress management, and maintaining social connections outside your Family. It’s a holistic approach to life that has the potential to significantly improve quality of life, especially as we age and for our 55+ community.
What are the ten benefits of an Active Lifestyle?
Peter Attia, MD and author of Outlive, The Science and Art of Longevity, often emphasizes the numerous benefits of an active lifestyle. In his world, prevention is the focus rather than waiting until you need to see a Dr. to treat a disease or ailment. If you have healthy lifestyle goals for aging, an active, healthy lifestyle must be a priority. Most of us want to live a long, healthy life, but to do this, we need to start paying attention to our habits and lifestyle. Does it support our long-term goals, and if not, what can we change now to give us the best chance for a long, healthy way of life? This means that on top of regular exercise, optimizing your good food intake, breathing in the fresh air, de-stressing life, and working hard to ensure your muscles stay strong become a priority. He emphasizes there is always time to start.
Some benefits include:
1. Improved Physical Health: Reduces the risk of chronic diseases and better management of blood sugars.
2. Enhances Mental Health: Boosts mood and alleviates some symptoms of depression.
3. Promotes Social Interaction: Decreases sense of isolation, betters mood, and provides more opportunities to meet and connect with people.
4. Boosts Immunity: Exercise helps improve bodily functions, including the immune system.
5. Enhances Mobility: It keeps your body flexible, maintains balance, reduces the effects of arthritis, and better equips us to handle challenging terrain.
6. Increases Longevity: A healthy lifestyle is directly proportional to a longer life expectancy.
7. Improves Sleep: Physical activities help you reduce stress, fall asleep faster, and make your sleep more profound as long as you raise your heartbeats!
8. Sharpens the Mind: Aids in keeping your cognitive function sharper as exercise and nutrition take center stage,
9. Fosters Independence: Physical well-being allows you to be more self-reliant and independent, especially as we age.
10. Elevates Quality of Life: You’re likely to enjoy life more when you’re physically active and socially engaged.
Active Living vs. Independent Living vs. Long-term Care
Active Living (Wellings): A community inspired by energetic and vibrant 55-plus adults. Usually, health care is not offered, and activities may be community-led. Amenities vary by location but typically include a full kitchen and in-suite laundry.
Independent and Assisted Living: Traditional retirement living offers various care levels, including assisted and memory care. It addresses many levels of care that may require qualified healthcare professionals in its administration. It often comes with three daily meals, housekeeping, and organized activities.
Long-term Care: For those requiring advanced medical care and daily assistance beyond what a traditional retirement home can provide.
How Do You Know What You Need?
If you aren’t sure what the differences are in the various living options for seniors, it is essential to do some research. Get familiar with the industry jargon such as independent vs. assisted living, 55 plus living, memory care, and long-term care. Your doctor and family can help you determine what care you may require in the coming years. Some people are on the cusp of needing some daily care and prefer to choose 55 plus living and accessing their local care association to visit the residence as required, such as a blood pressure check once a month or diabetic foot care. These independent seniors can cook for themselves, may still drive, and can carry on mostly without supervision. Others realize that they don’t want to cook and need minimal care now but don’t want to entertain the idea of moving again shortly and may choose a traditional retirement home. Remember that selecting a conventional retirement home when you don’t truly need care usually results in aging more quickly and paying for health care services you won’t use. Fifty-five plus communities offer activities and meals with a more vibrant and active feel. We see various mobility and mental acuity levels, but people connect with busy people. These communities, such as Wellings, are perfect for transitioning between your large family home and a traditional retirement home with care.
Any good General Manager or community leasing representative should be able to outline the differences and ask the right questions to determine the best fit for you regardless of what community you choose.
You don’t need external care daily?
Active Living at Wellings may be the perfect fit if you don’t require daily medical assistance.
Choosing the right community is crucial for your well-being, and we encourage you to research. Make a list of your goals for yourself as you age. Is the new home you are considering going to get you closer to your goals? If you want to be more social or less isolated, look at the social programs offered. If you’re going to stay active, look for fitness programs, walking trails, or nearby paths.
Visit your top 3 choices. Is everything scheduled, or are you free to choose when and where you eat, when you come and go, and how many visitors you can have? We recommend you watch how the staff interacts, test the food, participate in the activities, and even do a trial stay. You can visit as often as needed to make yourself more comfortable with your final choice. At Wellings, we provide you with the best setting to live an active and fruitful life, where every day is an adventure, an opportunity for continued growth, renewal, and re-energizing. Pick up hobbies you loved and never had time for, and connect with people who love living in retirement and are happy to share their life stories when asked. Fifty-five-plus communities are usually less expensive than traditional retirement homes and are a good choice for adults 55-plus who don’t need care but want to live maintenance-free and be more social.