According to the World Health Organization, Active Aging is based on four pillars: health, lifelong learning, participation and security.
We must think beyond physical health when working towards wellness in our later years. Wellness includes emotional, intellectual/cognitive, social, spiritual, and environmental components which all help encourage active aging.
We all know how difficult the isolation of the pandemic was for our elders. Many became depressed and even after quarantine rules were lifted, found it difficult to re-engage in everyday life. But that’s not true of one of the clients of Springpoint at Home’s Aging Life Care Advisor™/Care Manager, Bettyann Cramer-Manchin.
“I have a client who was feeling very isolated during Covid, [but] once Covid was over and the groups began meeting again at her CCRC, she joined several. She realized what she needed and wanted was to continue to learn, so she joined a current event group called Great Decisions. This group is offered by many communities and libraries. There is a book that goes with it that offers topic suggestions for discussion and offers members the opportunity to research a topic and present it at a meeting. The topics are usually very timely and there are often lively discussions.”
This is a great example of working on intellectual/cognitive wellness that spills over into emotional and social wellness, all of which are critical components for aging well.
Of course, active aging does also mean being diligent about your health. Exercise and eating well are key to the health pillar. Even with a chronic disease or disability, there are many ways to adopt healthier behaviors, such as chair Tai Chi, chair Yoga, and chair band exercises. Of course, the easiest and most convenient exercise of all is walking, which can almost be done anywhere.
Taking control of both your health and life are important in order to maintain a positive attitude as we age. Wendy Slocombe, RN, BSN, CCM, Home Care Staff Nurse, has a client who takes control of her health and life in positive ways.
“She has explored all areas of support by questioning staff and observing treatments done in the facility, [she] and is aware of how to access these supports. For example, when PT ends, she gets the recommendation of what to do next to strengthen her back in order to walk again. She will ask clarifying questions like, ‘Is that the seated exercise class, the pool, or the gym?’ Because she is afraid of falling, she has a very good approach to keeping up her strength and mobility.
She is on top of her health in other important ways as well. She switched Primary Care Physicians until she found one that she liked. She organizes her medical appointments and has gotten all of the major appointments completed. The best example was taking control of the insertion of a pacemaker.”
Here at Springpoint at Home, our Certified Home Health Aides (CHHAs) and nurses recognize, encourage, and support our clients in all ways to engage in active aging. Our Aging Life Care Advisor™/Care Managers actively support anyone facing obstacles by providing resources to find the best pathway to aging well. A client who struggles to eat healthy may use the services of Chefs for Seniors on their recommendation. A client who struggles to attend water aerobics will utilize their Aging Life Care Advisor™/Care Manager to find a way to class, including having a staff member drive them.
To learn more about Springpoint at Home, please contact us at 844-724-1777.