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The 8 Dimensions of Wellness
Senior Wellness and Healthy Aging
Wellness is defined as the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as the result of a deliberate effort, or an approach to healthcare that emphasizes preventing illness and prolonging life, as opposed to treating diseases. In other words, wellness is the act of making healthy choices that lead to a fulfilling lifestyle. Maintaining a high level of wellness in all aspects is crucial to enjoying the best quality of life — especially for seniors.
Thanks in part to advances in modern medicine and the knowledge of the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle, the Social Security Administration estimates the average life expectancy for a male aged 65 is 84.3 years, while a 65-year-old female can expect to live to age 86.6. However, about one out of four of today’s 65-year-olds can actually expect to live past age 90!
8 Dimensions of Wellness: Achieving Optimal Health in all Dimensions
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is about so much more than simply diet and exercise — although these are two very important components! It’s vital to have a balance in all the dimensions of wellness throughout the aging process, which means focusing on your overall health and wellbeing as one interconnected system. Remember, wellness is not simply about the absence of disease, disability or stress; wellness affects the entire mind, body and soul.
The eight dimensions of wellness, and how maintaining optimal levels of each dimension affects seniors’ wellbeing, include:
- Emotional: Feeling well emotionally is an important part of staying healthy. Plus, keeping a positive outlook on life has even been known to lower certain health risks. It’s important to find activities that boost your mood and keep you connected to your peers.
- Physical: Exercise has been known to be an effective treatment for many of the chronic conditions seniors suffer from. When you exercise, you strengthen your muscles and improve your mobility, flexibility and balance, all of which aid in reducing the risk of a debilitating fall.
- Social: Developing a support system and meeting new people who share your interests is vital to healthy aging. In fact, social wellness can be just as effective as physical activity for helping improve your mood, your memory and your physical health.
- Spiritual: Finding a sense of purpose in your existence while connecting to your inner values provides more meaning to your days, making it easier for you to get through any of those more difficult times.
- Intellectual: Keeping your mind healthy and fit through lifelong learning opportunities improves brain function and can reduce the risk of memory issues and cognitive decline.
- Occupational: Enjoying a career that is fulfilling, stimulating and rewarding leads to a much more satisfying life. Even after you’ve retired, you can consider sharing the knowledge you’ve learned throughout your career with others through consulting or tutoring. Or, consider volunteering to stay connected and give back to your community.
- Environmental: Your surroundings help you feel comfortable and inspired, and preserving our natural resources is vital for the future of our world. Engage in activities like gardening, recycling, and making the community as safe and as “green” as possible.
- Financial: Feeling satisfied about your financial situation and secure in your financial future leads to a more fulfilling and enjoyable retirement. It’s never too late to start making the healthy choices that will ensure wellness in all eight dimensions! Start employing strategies to exercise regularly, eat a nutritious diet, manage your stress, and abstain from bad habits like smoking.
A Focus on Senior Wellness at Advent Christian Village
Find a variety of opportunities to improve your overall health and wellness at Advent Christian Village. Members enjoy an enriching lifestyle with numerous opportunities for personal growth, physical improvement and spiritual development, plus ongoing cultural and social events. We invite you to contact us to schedule a personal, guided tour so you can see all that ACV has to offer.