Posted: June 5, 2023
We’ve all heard the phrase, “you’re only as old as you feel.” Like most clichés, it contains a grain of truth. If we define aging as gaining momentum, rather than managing decline, it’s easy to see how we can all have rich social, intellectual, and spiritual lives and remain full of vim and vigor no matter our age. As we age, maintaining our physical and mental health becomes increasingly important. In recent years, a growing body of research has demonstrated the many health benefits of community living for seniors.
Most of us are aware of the risks to our physical health such as high blood pressure, but we may not realize that our mental health is just as important and can significantly affect our overall health. In fact, a recent study suggests that loneliness rivals smoking and obesity as a health risk. That’s why life at Cappella of Pueblo West is built around the Rhythms Life Enrichment Program, five pillars of successful aging: Social, Intellectual, Physical, Purposeful and Spiritual. Through our Pillars of Wellness we incorporate each member of the community’s voices, passions and gifts and welcome collaboration to give everyone an opportunity to be heard.
Recently at Cappella of Pueblo West, several of our residents perfectly demonstrated how living in a community can be a big boost for everyone. A new resident needed to walk around the community as part of her physical therapy. She was determined to build up her strength, but she had no idea that she would inspire others to do the same. Before long, seven other ladies were joining her on her walks – all increasing their physical movement every day. The walking turned into a social gathering as well. You can see the group meeting up after breakfast and lunch to walk together and often stopping in community lounge areas to talk about their past or how their day is going while they take a short rest.
This group is accomplishing nearly all the five pillars of aging well organically as a result of living in community with others with like energy and ability. Our five pillars of aging well can be seen in many everyday happenings just like the walking group. Here’s why they are important:
Socialization is an important aspect of life at Cappella Pueblo West. We offer a variety of social activities, such as game nights, movie screenings, and exercise classes, to help our residents stay engaged and connected with their peers. We also have common areas, such as our community room and outdoor patio, where residents can gather and socialize at their leisure.
We know that social engagement can support our residents in many ways including lowering risk of developing cognitive impairment and providing a sense of belonging and social support, which can help ward off feelings of loneliness and depression.
Intellectual wellness is an important pillar of wellness for our older adults as well. From art and creative niches where you can work on your watercolors or writing skills, to language classes and handouts listing the latest crossword apps, our communities give you opportunities to engage your brain. We encourage our residents to learn new skills and participate in educational activities that can help to improve cognitive function and maintain brain health.
Spiritual wellness is often overlooked and can be an important part of a holistic approach to wellness. But it doesn’t have to mean attending church service (though it could), it can be as simple as time alone or gardening – whatever practices can help older adults find a sense of purpose and meaning in their lives. This can be especially important for those who may be struggling with illness or loss.
We believe that physical wellness through regular exercise, a nutritious diet, and good sleep habits is crucial for maintaining overall health and reducing the risk of chronic illness. You’ll find state-of-the-art fitness centers at our communities, but engaging the body doesn’t have to mean hitting the treadmill. Taking a stroll on a paved path, taking a group exercise class or even spending time gardening can leave you feeling energized and refreshed. In addition to the physical benefits, movement and activity can also help to improve their mood and reduce stress contributing to our other pillars as well.
Most of us have made important contributions to our families and communities in our lives. Continuing to participate in making decisions in the things that matter most to each of us provides us a sense of purpose. Our philosophy at Cappella of Pueblo West is to be collaborative and include each resident in their own care and in the community. We encourage each resident to take advantage of volunteer opportunities because being of service, feeling valued, and sharing our gifts with others keeps our lives full of purpose and meaning.
Each of our five pillars of aging well contribute to the overall health and wellbeing of our cherished residents and living in a community can enhance the ability to provide for many of them. Socialization, safety, access to amenities, and reduced maintenance responsibilities are just a few of the ways that community living can support seniors’ physical and mental health. As more seniors consider their living options, community living may be a wise choice for those who want to support their health and well-being.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or would like to schedule a tour. We look forward to meeting you and your loved one!