Lessons in Keeping Life Vibrant During Challenging Times

When it comes to healthy aging, quite honestly, there’s a lot to do. You’re supposed to make sure to keep your body active and your brain engaged all while maintaining your social connections as well. Sure, the benefits to your overall well-being are worth the effort, but retirement is supposed to be a time with less responsibility on your plate, right? Well, it turns out that in senior living you can have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. Here’s how programs like our Vivid Life make keeping active, engaged, and connected easy and fun! 

Benefits of Healthy Aging 

Good things happen when you focus on healthy aging. In addition to feeling better overall, which in and of itself is a win, other benefits of keeping active, engaged, and connected include:  

  • Improved ability to do everyday things ​ 
  • Reduced impact of illness and chronic disease​ 
  • Enhanced mobility, flexibility, and balance
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased energy level
  • Reduced feelings of depression and stress
  • Increased feelings of happiness and self-confidence
  • Reduced risk of cognitive decline 
  • Increased mental adaptability and cognitive reserve 
  • Improved memory recall and problem-solving skills 
  • Improved concentration and attention to detail  

How Senior Living Can Help 

At home, particularly when living alone, it can be hard to stay as active, engaged, and connected as you’d like. From lack of opportunity to lack of motivation to lack of transportation to mobility challenges, and more, it’s tough, we get it! That’s why we created the Vivid Life program in our senior living communities. It’s composed of three parts: Vibrant Body, Vibrant Brain, and Vibrant Connections. Here’s what each entails:  

Vibrant Body We offer amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, a pool, walking trails, gardening opportunities, and even a dog park to help you stay active. A sample of activities includes:  

  • Walking club – Daily walks at different outdoor locations using pedometers to measure steps. 
  • Yoga – At least once per week for gentle yoga, and once per week for mindful breathing. 
  • Fitness classes – At least two times per week using a variety of hand weights, resistance bands, and circuit-type exercises. 
  • Tai Chi – At least once per week with a live instructor. 
  • Non-traditional exercise – Dancing, gardening, etc. at least two times per week. 
  • Physical games and sports – Golf, putting, bowling, croquet, bocce, and ping pong available daily with organized events one to two times per week. 

Vibrant Brain We offer monthly calendars filled with classes, events, creative arts, and enrichment opportunities to help keep you engaged. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Visiting lecture series – Twice per month with topics such as cultural, historical, local interest, career-oriented, etc. 
  • Creative art series – At least one per week with a theme that runs 3-6 weeks, such as poetry writing, storytelling, painting, digital photography, etc. 
  • Learning series – At least three times per month with an emphasis on learning something new such as foreign language, sign language, technology, hobbies, etc. 
  • Games – At least one time per week and may include poker, bridge, Scrabble, etc. 
  • Mindfulness – A meditation class once per week and gratitude discussion group twice monthly. 
  • Church service – At least once a week through visits by local churches. 
  • Stress reduction – At least once per month class that offers deep breathing exercises, nature walks, music appreciation, spa-type treatments, etc. 

 Vibrant Connections We offer resident-led clubs, social events, outings and volunteer opportunities for any interest to help you stay connected. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Outings – At least twice per month and may include going to concerts, art shows, museum visits, theatre productions, etc. 
  • Intergenerational programming – At least once per month and focuses on building relationships between young adults/children and residents. 
  • New resident welcome party – At least once per month to formally introduce all new residents, and includes ice breakers, social games, etc. to encourage connection. 
  • Philanthropic program – At least once per month provide residents the opportunity to give back to the community, such as volunteering for a local food bank or pet shelter. 
  • Resident-led clubs – May include game clubs, professional clubs, common interests, etc. that meet at least monthly.  

What’s more, it’s all right outside your door (or transportation is provided offsite) and all in a supportive environment with home maintenance, housekeeping, and restaurant-style dining freeing your time to make it even easier to stay active, engaged, and connected. 

Learn more about Vitality Living’s Vivid Life programs. Or find a Vitality Living community near you today to schedule a tour. 

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As the COVID-19 pandemic wears on, seniors continue to be advised to stay at home. For those in senior living communities like ours, visitor restrictions remain in place. While these measures are to protect your health and/or that of your loved one, we know how hard it can be to maintain such dramatic lifestyle changes over time. But take heart; life can still be vibrant. Here are some of the lessons we’ve learned on how to keep it that way.

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Take a Step Back

Our mission at Vitality Living is to create vibrant communities where residents, families and team members can be themselves, live purposefully and experience a profound sense of belonging. When the pandemic began we quickly put precautions in place based on CDC guidelines – before they were even required in many cases. And just as quickly we realized that all these precautions could easily dismantle the environment we’ve worked so hard to create – if we let it. That’s why, as we implement guidelines and recommendations from the local, state and federal government, our Leadership Team also makes sure we never lose sight of what our communities are all about.

Lesson: Remember this is a point in time – a challenging one – but we don’t have to let it completely overtake our lives. It’s okay to step back and remember life is still meant to be enjoyed!

Be Creative

Although we’re focusing on small group engagement (6 people or less) and practicing social distancing, our Vitality communities continue to offer a full range of activities throughout each day. How? Through the creativity of our community teams! They are continually looking for new ways to keep our residents engaged and having fun. Some ideas include:

  • Encouraging independent leisure activities by passing out cards with recommended exercises on them as well as games and puzzles.
  • Window visits between residents and loved ones; we even provide fun conversation topics and encourage games like window Tic Tac Toe and Show & Share.
  • Family parades; a huge hit with residents and associates alike with 100s of families participating with signs of love and support.

Check out our community Facebook feeds here to see other creative ways we’re keeping life vibrant while staying safe!Lesson –Think of new, creative ways you can still take part in your favorite activities. It doesn’t have to look the same or be done exactly the same as it always has to be fun and worthwhile!

Use Technology

One of our biggest assets in keeping life vibrant during COVID-19 has been technology.  We’re making use of tech anywhere and everywhere we can. From virtual field trips and concerts with our residents to daily, community live-streams that update families to making computers and/or devices available to connect residents and families through FaceTime.

We’re also sharing websites, apps and tools we’ve found to help keep our residents connected and engaged with each other organization-wide. You can do the same with your family and friends!

Lesson: There are more tools at your disposal to stay connected with those you love and the world around you than you may realize, and it’s a great opportunity to learn something new!

Have Patience

During this challenging time, we’re all having to learn to be more patient, whether we like it or not. That said, we know how incredibly hard it is on our residents and families as they continue to remain apart. Our hearts break for you. Know that we are closely monitoring the pandemic and will adjust policies as set by state and federal officials. We can’t wait to open our doors to visitors again, as soon as it is safe to do so!

In the meantime, we’re taking it day by day across the Vitality organization and in each community as we try our best to take comfort in the knowledge that this too shall pass.

Lesson: With each day that passes we are one day closer to getting life back to a sense of normalcy again.

We’re still welcoming new residents to our communities – safely! To learn more, contact us to schedule a virtual tour.

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