By Jackie Halbin
Lakeview Village Wellness Manager
Lakeview Village’s unique wellness philosophy—long a cornerstone of the lifestyle and culture here—now has an official name: AgeStrong!
AgeStrong! represents a lot of wellness elements familiar to Lakeview residents, and the “picture” of Lakeview’s whole-person wellness philosophy now has a “frame” that highlights its intrinsic value and raises its visibility, both for long-time residents and newer arrivals.
Our wellness philosophy has always been based on whole-person wellness. We hear buzzwords about health and wellness in the news all the time, but the volume can be overwhelming and confusing. I think it’s important that we explain and clarify whole-person wellness, and why it’s unique at Lakeview.
Lakeview stands out because our culture considers the ‘whole’ person of every individual, and concentrates on his or her strengths. Our culture is a critical piece of the Lakeview picture, and it’s something that affects every resident, no matter the age. It’s a holistic approach that breathes positive energy into our environment; it lives with a strong sense of optimism, not despair. Wellness engenders purpose in one’s life, and we all know these are factors leading to a full and happy life.
Most residents are familiar with the six dimensions of whole-person wellness: Intellectual, spiritual, emotional, physical, vocational and social—these dimensions create and promote a balance in life. In addition to these dimensions, there are certain “drivers” toward achieving personal wellness: Self-responsibility, optimism, self-direction, self-efficacy and choices. These drivers help guide us and help us assume responsibility for staying well, being optimistic and avoiding negativity. We do have a say in our lives, and we do have the self-confidence and ‘can-do’ attitude to make the choices that keep us healthy, alert and well.
As residents explore and take part in each dimension, they experience learning and growth in many, if not all, of the others. Does that mean everyone has to run out and do six different activities every day? No—whole-person wellness isn’t a specific program, class or activity—it’s within each and every one of you! You create your own path, and when you do, you’ll find that the dimensions often overlap all of your activities. That’s a good example of whole-person wellness working at its best.
Ken Higdon (Ken and Mary moved to Lakeview in September 2006), is a good example of whole-person wellness in action.Ken thinks bringing Lakeview’s wellness philosophy is a great idea.
“It’s interesting how it all works,” Ken said. “For example, so many of our activities start in our minds. Exercise enlivens the mind, and when your mind is fresh, your sense of well-being improves . . . your attitude is better, you’re more adventuresome and ready for new experiences – socially, intellectually, spiritually, and so on. An even bigger benefit is that a better attitude helps us do a better job of dealing with physical ailments, or issues that might come up and need solving. Like Jackie says, it’s all connected. And with her great charm and wonderful sense of humor, she adds an especially key element to the program: she makes it fun!”
Ken exercises regularly, at least three times a week, and tries to walk for 20 minutes about once a week. In good weather, he likes to take a bike ride. All that may be what keeps Ken mentally sharp and involved in the Lakeview lifestyle. He serves on the Lakeview Foundation Board, and conducts a prayer group once a week.
TWO KEY FINDINGS
Jamie Frazier, Lakeview Village president and CEO, points out that several years ago a study was conducted by the Macarthur Foundation, with the results published in a book, “Successful Aging: How The Lifestyle Choices You Make Now–More Than Heredity–Determine Your Health and Vitality”.
“The key findings boiled down to two things more than anything else, both over which we have control,” Jamie said. “They are social interaction or connectedness, and reduction of stress. Getting adequate sleep and eating a good nutritious diet are extremely important, but the best way to reduce stress is through exercise and having control over your daily choices, both of which promote a positive attitude and extended life.
“The thing about both connectedness and reduction of stress is that no matter when you begin to improve these in your life, the benefits can be immediate and life-sustaining,” he continued. “AgeStrong! is the perfect expression for the opportunities Lakeview Village presents our residents. There are daily, numerous opportunities to develop meaningful relationships in our community through programs, socials, outings, meals, recreation, worship, hobbies, volunteering, philanthropy, etc. And the independent lifestyle affords choice at every turn, without the stress or concern of future financial or healthcare worries because of the LifeCare we provide. Our community is replete with options to exercise our minds and bodies in all dimensions. There is virtually no better place to AgeStrong! and live better and longer!”
THE LAKEVIEW WELLNESS BRAND
This philosophy has led to a sort of ‘branding’ to our culture; that’s why we’re introducing the new logo. The logo was inspired by the whole-person wellness concept. Each dimension has its own color, and we plan to use the colors to tie dimensions to our various events, programs and activities in the coming new year.
AgeStrong! is unique to Lakeview and helps point our community toward new experiences, growth, challenge, purpose and comfort. It’s your time to engage, become your best self, and live well!