Wellness and lifestyle activities build resident satisfaction

Residents in independent living, assisted living and continuing care retirement communities* are highly satisfied with the quality of life at their communities in part because of their participation in a wellness program (fitness, activities and recreation), according to a new report. The research also found that these residents tend to stay in their communities for an average two years longer than other residents.

“These benchmark results are consistent with other large-scale studies ProMatura has completed,” said Margaret Wylde, Ph.D., CEO of ProMatura Group, which conducted the study with the International Council on Active Aging. “The data confirm that customers (residents) who continue to actively maintain their fitness, flexibility and interaction with others are happier with their lives and the community in which they live.”

The perceptions of nearly 3,000 residents surveyed about life at their communities in relation to their participation in a wellness program are included in the first ICAA/ProMatura Wellness National Benchmarks Report. Key points:

  • In continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), 77% of the residents who have participated in a wellness program said they are satisfied/very satisfied with the program.
  • 84% of the wellness participants in CCRCs said they are very satisfied/satisfied with their overall quality of life at the community. Forty-five percent of participating residents said that taking part in a wellness program has made them much more satisfied with their overall quality of life at the community.
  • In communities offering independent living or a combination of independent plus assisted living, 84% of residents who participate in a wellness program said they are satisfied/very satisfied with it.
  • 94% of the participating residents in independent living or independent plus assisted living properties said they are satisfied/very satisfied with their overall quality of life at the community, and 44% said that they are much more satisfied with their quality of life because of the community’s wellness program.
  • Forty-eight percent of CCRC participants and 43% of participants in independent living or independent plus assisted living communities said they agree/strongly agree that the wellness program was one of the primary reasons they selected the particular community in which they live.

New data collected by benchmark communities found that wellness participants have lived an average of almost two years longer in independent living and assisted living and one year longer in memory care when compared with the average length of stay of all residents (both participants and nonparticipants).

“Communities that facilitate their customers’ desires to live well through fitness and health programs, equipment, experts and encouragement also engender greater loyalty and an enduring relationship with the customer,” Wylde said.

“Their findings have shown, and continue to support, the need for older adults to remain engaged in all aspects of life,” said Colin Milner, CEO of the ICAA. “Communities that allow their residents to stay engaged are well-positioned to be home for consumers who seek to live their lives, as best they can, no matter their abilities, situation or socioeconomic status.”

The ICAA/ProMatura Wellness Benchmarks National Report results are the aggregate of input from 62 CCRCs and 24 independent living or independent and assisted living communities. Included is a profile of the amenities offered in benchmark communities, average length of stay of wellness participants compared with the entire resident population, staffing ratios, residents’ self-rated health and resident’s perception of the value of the entire community. The 34-page national report is available by contacting the ICAA at (866) 335-9777, (604) 734-4466 or info@icaa.cc.

Eden Prairie LGF Chapter Success

Published on June 26, 2017 by Andy Stavast

Eden Prairie is home to many great civic organizations where residents come together as individuals and as groups to improve the wonderful experience of living here. Certainly, this collective experience of “giving back” contributes to the high quality of life ranking that Eden Prairie regularly enjoys in the national press. This is the story of one such organization that is a shining signature of who we are as residents of Eden Prairie and as Minnesotans.

The Let’s Go Fishing Eden Prairie Chapter touches many lives each summer with a Minnesota tradition, Fishing! As Minnesotans, we celebrate the sport of fishing as a way of life – and as a symbol of who we are. Fishing is a sport – a pastime that embodies our culture, connects us to family and friends, and provides us long lasting memories from early childhood to our senior years. Memories of fishing are personal to each of us bringing back weekends at the cabin, that special time with our grandparent, and for me, the fun experience with my favorite uncle. These are moments and memories never to be forgotten.

The Let’s Go Fishing Eden Prairie Chapter was formed by its Founder, Joe Holm, and his wife Carolyn of Willmar, MN, who presented their organization, its purpose, and potentials to the local Lions Club. Post presentation the Lions were hooked! A Lions board was formed that included Mike Smith, Terry Eggan, Mike Gruidl, Steve Olson, Richard Smith along with Lioness Peggy Muller and Gwen Wildermuth. The plan was devised along with an initial $15,000 donation to get the ball rolling.

Read the full story at http://www.edenprairielifestyle.com/2017/06/26/lets-go-fishing/

Outdoor Elderly Activities

As written by Elder OneStop — People ask about the outdoors when we have nice weather, and no matter what season. Whether playing outdoor games, gardening, trying metal detecting, or visiting a park, there is always an activity to do outdoors, for almost anyone. Some ideas here are group outdoor activities, but some can be done solo as well.And many senior activities that were done inside during challenging weather can now simply be brought outside, such as clubs and crafts. You can get kids involved in several of these activities as well.

Boat rides – The water makes a great backdrop for outdoor elderly activities. Do you, or does anyone in your church or organization have a pontoon boat? If they are willing to assist for an afternoon, this is the manner of boating for seniors. Pontoons can also be rented. With a proper plank, even those in wheelchairs can access this type of boat. It would ideally have a covering. But there are also mini yachts and a variety of motor boats too.

Just about anything can be rented. Including a river boat excursion. Boats rides are wonderful outdoor elderly activities. All participants should also wear sunglasses and sunscreen, appropriate attire, and perhaps bring a water bottle. Snacks and beverages can be included. Depending on the size of the boat, other activities can be included, as well as…

Fishing – So many seniors enjoy and perhaps are skilled at fishing. And they love to share their fishing tips (and stories). Whether on a pier or pontoon, fishing boat, or from shore, this is a relaxing way to get outdoors and socialize. Bring along some food and drink. And make sure there is someone who knows how to handle the gear, hooks, and fish! And what about a fish fry afterwards? Bring your picnic gear too! Or get all the details, crafts, decor, activities for one of our most popular parties — a Gone Fishing party! (You can have it indoors too, in cold or gloomy weather).

We have lots more things to do outdoors on our pages for Spring Senior Activities, and also Summer Senior Activities — with special events and specific calendar dates too.

Read the full article at… ElderOneStop.com

 

Reeling in good health

LGF seeing first hand the benefits of a boat ride

Studies have shown that nature has beneficial effects on mental and physical health.

And Let’s Go Fishing’s many chapters in Minnesota are stressing the importance of those outdoor attributes in its mission statement: “Bringing Nature’s Healing and Well-Being to Seniors, Veterans and the Disabled.”

Let’s Go Fishing is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that was established by Executive Director Joe Holm and his wife Carolyn, of Willmar, in 2002.

“LGF liberates people from isolation, loneliness and depression – by giving them boating day trips, and sometimes even fish to catch,” said Holm. “Healthier and happier people are the result.”

Let’s Go Fishing now has 25 chapters throughout Minnesota, as well as one in Wisconsin. Read the full article at Senior Perspective…

Let’s Go Fishing – Building partnerships within the communities it serves

By Tom Cherveny – West Central Tribune – SPICER – Linda Dilley knows how to make life fun for the residents of Bethesda Pleasant View in Willmar, where she is the activities assistant.

But she will admit that residents enjoy some of their best times outside the comfort of their Pleasant View home. By all measures, one of their favorite activities is Let’s Go Fishing outings on the waters of Green Lake. The excitement and good vibes continue when they return and tell others of their adventures, according to Dilley.

She will admit this, too. “Sometimes I’m just as giddy when I take them out and see the joy on their faces,’’ said Dilley. “To me,’’ she said of Let’s Go Fishing, “it’s the best organization around.’’

Let’s Go Fishing will continue to get around and touch lives on the water in more places than ever as it enters its 15th year, according to Joe Holm, its founder and executive director. Holm said the Spicer-based, nonprofit has continued to see steady growth since its start. Read the full story at www.wctrib.com

Let’s Go Fishing honors veterans for duty

Many people in the Alexandria area take for granted a day out on the boat on one of the many nearby lakes. For the participants in the annual Let’s Go Fishing Veteran’s Special Day, however, that could not be further from the truth. Fergus Falls native and current Alexandria resident Warren Gundberg went out for his third year at the event, and despite vision difficulties, appreciates the trip. Read the full story here…

 

Everyday Access to Nature Improves Quality of Life in Older Adults

Natural environments are known to promote physical, mental, and spiritual healing. People can attain health benefits by spending time outside, often in remote places to “get away from it all.” Now research conducted by a University of Minnesota graduate student with a team in Vancouver, B.C., shows that green and “blue” spaces (environments with running or still water) are especially beneficial for healthy aging in seniors.

Published in the journal Health and Place, the study – Therapeutic landscapes and wellbeing in later life: Impacts of blue and green spaces for older adults – demonstrates that by incorporating smaller features, such as a koi pond or a bench with a view of flowers, public health and urban development strategies can optimize nature as a health resource for older adults. Throughout the research, green and blue spaces promoted feelings of renewal, restoration, and spiritual connectedness. They also provided places for multi-generational social interactions and engagement, including planned activities with friends and families, and impromptu gatherings with neighbors.

“We zoomed in to everyday life for seniors between the ages of 65 and 86. We discovered how a relatively mundane experience, such as hearing the sound of water or a bee buzzing among flowers, can have a tremendous impact on overall health,” says Jessica Finlay, a former research assistant on the project and lead author of the paper. Finlay is now a doctoral candidate in geography and gerontology at the University of Minnesota, where she continues to investigate influences of the built environment on health and well-being in later life. “Accessibility to everyday green and blue spaces encourages seniors to simply get out the door. This in turn motivates them to be active physically, spiritually and socially, which can offset chronic illness, disability and isolation.”

Read the full article at… University of Minnesota

20 Facts about Senior Isolation That Will Stun You

Feelings of loneliness and isolation can lead to serious consequences for senior health. Understanding the causes and risk factors for senior isolation can help us prevent it.20 Facts about Senior Isolation That Will Stun You

Nobody relishes the prospect of aging without a spouse or family member at their side, without friends to help them laugh at the ridiculous parts and support them through the difficult times. Yet, that is just what many North American seniors face. As the baby boomer generation crosses the over-65 threshold, it grows; but many of our aging loved ones are still feeling alone in the crowd.

Statistics on Senior Isolation

According to the U.S. Census Bureau 11 million, or 28% of people aged 65 and older, lived alone at the time of the census. As people get older, their likelihood of living alone only increases. Additionally, more and more older adults do not have children, reports the AARP, and that means fewer family members to provide company and care as those adults become seniors.

While living alone does not inevitably lead to social isolation, it is certainly a predisposing factor. Yet another important consideration is how often seniors engage in social activities.

Statistics Canada reports that 80% of Canadian seniors participate in one or more social activities on a frequent basis (at least monthly) — but that leaves fully one-fifth of seniors not participating in weekly or even monthly activities.

Social contacts tend to decrease as we age for a variety of reasons, including retirement, the death of friends and family, or lack of mobility. Regardless of the causes of senior isolation, the consequences can be alarming and even harmful. Even perceived social isolation — the feeling that you are lonely — is a struggle for many older people. Fortunately, the past couple of decades have seen increasing research into the risks, causes, and prevention of loneliness in seniors.

Here are 20 facts about senior isolation to help you stay informed:

1. Senior isolation increases the risk of mortality.

According to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, both social isolation and loneliness are associated with a higher risk of mortality in adults aged 52 and older.

One possible explanation: “People who live alone or lack social contacts may be at increased risk of death if acute symptoms develop, because there is less of a network of confidantes to prompt medical attention.” Efforts to reduce isolation are the key to addressing the issue of mortality, said the study’s authors.

2. Feelings of loneliness can negatively affect both physical and mental health.

Regardless of the facts of a person’s isolation, seniors who feel lonely and isolated are more likely to report also having poor physical and/or mental health, as reported in a study using data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project.

Connecting seniors with social resources, such as senior centers and meal delivery programs, is one way to combat subjective feelings of isolation.

3. Perceived loneliness contributes to cognitive decline and risk of dementia.

Dr. John Cacioppo, a neuroscientist and psychologist at the University of Chicago, has been studying social isolation for 30 years. One frightening finding is that feelings of loneliness are linked to poor cognitive performance and quicker cognitive decline.

We evolved to be a social species, says Dr. Cacioppo — it’s hard-wired into our brains, and when we don’t meet that need, it can have physical and neurological effects.

Read the full article at http://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/10-17-14-facts-about-senior-isolation/