September is a busy month with national health observances which are geared to bring awareness and resources to individuals or caregivers for issues ranging from childhood obesity to senior independence and just about every chronic health condition in between. For many, the health observance may be one of the only times during the year in which they have access to these additional resources.
If you think about it, older adults who reside in senior living communities have access to these types of resources every single day. As NIFS partners with senior living communities across the country in managing their fitness programs, we see firsthand the impact that the vibrant lifestyle has on enhancing the lives of seniors. The scope of resources from health services to socialization to robust physical activity programs help seniors thrive and are built into the lifestyle 365 days per year opposed to a week or month-long health campaign. It’s not just about increasing awareness, the lifestyle provides the tools and resources for older adults to effectively manage their health and maintain their independence. We witness minds put at ease from the convenient access to exceptional dining, medical care and amenities and lives lived to their fullest.
Let’s look at some examples for September’s health observances that align with the lifestyle that residents in senior living communities have at their fingertips every single day:
- Healthy Aging Month: well that’s a gimme with the month-long focus on the positive aspects of growing older and bringing inspiration to improving the physical, social, mental, and financial well-being of those 45+. These types of enrichment opportunities fill the lifestyle calendars every single month in senior living communities.
- National Yoga Awareness Month: brings awareness to the benefits of yoga and its attributes in living a healthy lifestyle. Yoga classes are a senior living staple on the group fitness calendar as the research behind the gentle poses and stretches bring flexibility, strength and balance gains to the participants as well as enhancing the mind/body connection.
- National Fall Prevention Week: We know that fall prevention is a year-round priority for seniors and NIFS Balance Redefined program brings a comprehensive service model of balance training and fall prevention programming to the communities we serve. Balance classes and rehab departments are commonplace services within senior living.
Just like any industry, some senior living communities have an edge with the scope of amenities and quality of services available to their residents. If you are exploring how a senior living community measures up in fulfilling these lifestyle goals, ask these questions:
- If you are motivated to become more physically active, does the community have a fitness center with professional staffing and a robust service model of classes, appointments, and programs? Most communities have a fitness center, but the staffing makes all the difference!
- If you are interested in gaining more socialization, how do the activities, outings, and dining experiences align with your personal passions and interests? How many new offerings are on the calendar each month to keep things fresh?
- If you are looking for intellectual enrichment, how do the programs engage participants and spark conversation? There is a difference in the lifelong opportunities available between attending “sit and listen lectures” and events that truly foster new life experiences.
Of course we support initiatives that help connect people with additional resources for any health condition they or a loved one might be experiencing and the national health observances do a nice job with that. For more information on other observances, check out this link from the US Department of Health and Human Services. In closing, we’ll consider the lifestyle available to residents within senior living communities a yearlong health observance for the best of both worlds.