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couple practicing senior health and wellnessPerhaps one of the most important areas of retirement to educate yourself and your family about is senior health and wellness. The fact that your physical needs change as you age is no surprise to anyone. However, many of us resist accepting the fact that our body’s capabilities may not match up to what we imagine. For some, this is because of illness, either severe or mild. For others, it’s due to failing to live a healthy and active lifestyle. There’s a danger in retirement of individuals believing they don’t need to attend to their health and wellness or that their senior years will be filled with only dealing with health issues. Both of these extremes miss the mark. Senior health and wellness are important to living the full, active lifestyle you expect as you age. 

Health and Wellness for Seniors

There are usually seven aspects to maintaining and improving senior health and wellness. These include the following:

  • Physical wellness: This is what many think of when they hear the phrase ‘health and wellness.’ It involves physical activities and exercise planned and directed by fitness professionals in the senior living community.
  • Emotional wellness: It’s important to learn how to cope with and adapt to life’s changes. Emotional wellness can range from grief and mental health counseling to regularly interacting with peers.
  • Spiritual wellness: A strong spiritual sense can offer hope, strength, and peace. In the community, seniors might nurture their spiritual selves through on-site worship services, meditation, religious studies, music performances, and more.
  • Social wellness: Socializing as a senior is vital to health. It’s all too tempting for seniors to isolate themselves or resist engagement with the community around them. Doing so can lead to significant health issues whereas socializing, exploring, talking, and activities all improve mood and memory.
  • Intellectual wellness: Intellectual activities boost cognitive function and stimulate the brain. Participating in lifelong learning allows seniors to stay sharp, stave off dementia, and stay connected with those they care about.
  • Vocational wellness: Seniors have valuable work and life skills that not only benefit their community but also give them a sense of purpose and accomplishment.
  • Environmental wellness: Often, our mental state is a reflection of our environment. Many senior living communities create warm, comfortable, and inviting spaces so that residents and their visitors feel good about themselves.

Understanding Your Options

 Wellness is often the mental side of wellbeing whereas regular exercise and physical activity are the health side of it. There are several ways to encourage exercise and develop it into a good habit:

  • Regular physical activity is essential for healthy aging as it increases endurance, strength, and flexibility lowering the risk of falls or injuries.
  • Create realistic goals and develop an exercise plan that is as specific as possible including type, frequency, intensity, and time.
  • Find community resources and peer groups to participate in to make exercising a social occasion.

But health isn’t just exercise. It is also eating right and adjusting one’s diet as one ages. Our energy needs change as we age as does our need for certain vitamins and minerals, including calcium, vitamin D, and vitamins B6 and B12. After age 50, we need more of these vitamins and minerals in our diets than before. Good nutrition can have an impact on well-being and independence. Nutritional supplements and multivitamins are a good means to support a healthy diet. But keep in mind, supplements aren’t a replacement for eating well or eating regularly.

Discover More Through SeniorSmart

SeniorSmart offers seniors and their families some of the best options for improving as well as maintaining senior health and wellness. Whether it’s finding the right programs while part of an active, independent living community or just entering retirement and wanting to maintain the lifestyle one enjoys, we provide tips and resources. 

Individuals looking to retire, those already in retirement, and their families can learn more about their options by exploring our services. At SeniorSmart, we provide:

Find out more by reaching out to us at 205.460.1124 and learn about our concierge services offering personalized guidance.

For more information please download this guide: