Healthy Aging: Five Key Strategies To Aging Well
Jonathan Perlman, founder of Tradition Senior Living in Houston & Dallas, TX.
Jonathan Perlman
December 13, 2018

Overall wellness consists of much more than physical health or freedom from illness or disease. Achieving the highest degree of wellness is a multi-dimensional, ongoing process involving several critical components, which include:

  • Physical health
  • Mental health
  • Intellectual health
  • Spiritual health
  • Social health
  • Environmental health
  • Financial health

It is important to keep these critical factors in mind when planning your future. Here are five key strategies to aging well that we have gathered from our many years of working with seniors. They are sure to help you create a happy life and maintain independence and wellness: 

1. PHYSICAL & MENTAL HEALTH 

Physical wellness can be defined as: the ability to maintain a healthy quality of life through good nutrition, regular exercise, avoiding harmful lifestyle choices, and seeking medical assistance when necessary.

Some quick and simple “self-evaluation” questions in this arena include:

  • Do I eat properly?
  • Do I exercise regularly?
  • Do I get regular physical check-ups?

Good nutrition is self-explanatory, and living in an excellent senior living community can help. Two nutritious, delicious meals a day should be included for Independent Living residents, and three meals a day should also be included for Assisted Living and Memory Care residents.

A study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine indicated that community-based physical activities effectively reduced heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. At an extraordinary senior living community, state-of-the-art onsite fitness centers and regular exercise classes will mean that you will always have many healthy options.

Exercise may even help decrease depression and stress, improve mood and self-esteem, and postpone age-related cognitive decline – meaning that it affects several areas of wellness.

Of course, if you suffer from chronic depression, it’s important to seek professional help. For those who struggle at times with anxiety or loneliness, living in a senior living community can provide built-in activities, support, and a welcoming community of friends.

2. INTELLECTUAL & SPIRITUAL HEALTH

Keeping the mind active is critical for cognitive health as we age and can help prevent the early onset of dementia or memory loss. Unfortunately, as people get older, they often tend to become less active physically and mentally. One of the benefits of choosing a senior living community is the wide range of interesting activities that are available 365 days a year. Seniors can increase memory function, reduce boredom and boost creativity.

For some older adults, spiritual health can include attending church, celebrating religious holidays that have been important since childhood, reading spiritual texts, and praying. It is important that you choose a community that encourages people of faith within a welcoming environment.

3. SOCIAL HEALTH

Social wellness can be defined as: the ability to connect with others and maintain positive relationships.

Some “self-evaluation” questions include:

  • Do I schedule time to be with friends?
  • Do I actively seek out and develop new friendships?

Numerous research studies have shown that extreme loneliness as we age can be devastating to our health. A new Health and Retirement Study found that feeling lonely and isolated from others can lead to less restful, restorative sleep; raise blood pressure; cause increases in the stress hormone cortisol; increase depression; and lower the overall satisfaction associated with living a meaningful life.

Maintaining a strong network of social connections is a key predictor of healthy longevity.  For residents who are widowed or who have a limited circle of local family and friends, a senior living community provides a wonderful opportunity to cultivate new friendships and activities.

4. ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH

Some “self-evaluation” questions include:

  • Do you live in a safe place?
  • Are you aware of your surroundings at all times?
  • Does maintaining your home environment place undue strain on your health?

Sometimes as we age, we may no longer enjoy some of the tasks required to maintain our family home. At a senior living community, you can have peace of mind knowing that staff is on hand 24/7.

You will also be freed from a myriad of responsibilities associated with maintaining a home, such as mowing the lawn, cleaning out roof gutters, or dealing with plumbing issues – all of which add to your stress levels! Let someone else take care of it for you now – you’ve earned it!

5. FINANCIAL HEALTH

Here are some self-evaluation questions to ask about your financial health:

  • Do you have a long-term plan for financial security?
  • Are utilities, maintenance costs, upkeep costs, property taxes and homeowner insurance premiums consuming a significant amount of your income?

You may be surprised to discover the savings achieved by selling the family home and moving to an active senior living community instead. Choosing a rental senior living community that doesn’t require an upfront, expensive, six-figure entrance fee will ensure that your hard-earned money is yours to re-invest as you see fit.

For all of the reasons above, moving to a superlative senior living community can help you improve your physical, mental, intellectual, spiritual, social, environmental and/or financial health.

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