By Dr. Malini Ranat, Associate Partner at MD Senior Living
As a family medicine physician, geriatric health and wellness is a key focus in my practice. Research studies have shown a direct correlation between how an individual takes care of themselves through the years and the quality of life they experience in their Golden years.
It is important to understand that life does not diminish with age! Aging can bring new experiences, knowledge, wisdom and a greater ability to create a positive approach to the aging process.
Based on research by the MacArthur Foundation, MD Senior Living has developed the 4 Keys to Successful Aging which are incorporated into the care and activities at each of our homes. While simple in concept, this important research shows that these 4 Keys to Successful Aging are critical to the health and well being of seniors as they age. As an organization that values quality research from the medical community, we’ve embraced these tenets as a framework in which to keep our residents thriving and happy. They include:
1.) Remain physically active with proper diet and nutrition
2.) Incorporate mental stimulation into your daily life
3.) Maintain a good social network with emotional support
4.) Include a sense of purpose in life
Physical activity – we keep our seniors moving, with not only daily exercises, stretching, yoga, but activities that enrich and entertain such as dance or gardening.
Mental stimulation – by engaging our seniors with games, activities, and senior friendly technology, we strive to keep our residents sharp and alert. Our unique iN2L (it’s Never 2 Late) system is a software based system that has over 1,000 hours of interactive content. Seniors can use this technology to listen to music favorites, play games, explore the world, or simply connect with family and friends no matter where they reside.
Social network – Meaningful relationships and strong social networks improve mental acuity and longevity. We encourage positive interactions between our residents, caregivers, and encourage families to visit now that Covid vaccinations are enabling face to face visits again. Prior to COVID, our residents would take trips out to the grocery store, restaurants, or favorite destinations, and we plan to resume these outings when safe to do so.
Strengthening Your Sense of Purpose – Reflection on one’s life is natural at all stages, but more pronounced in the later years. To that end we strive to provide activity options that foster meaning and purpose. One example is our “Legacy Book” activity – creating a hardcover bound book based on our resident’s life story, memories, and pictures that can be passed down to future generations.
In conclusion, a senior’s ability to age gracefully, stay mentally sharp, and life the rest of their days with a sense of contentment, gratitude, and resilience in large part resides on being active (both mentally and physically), strengthening emotional bonds, and focusing on areas that still bring meaning and purpose to our lives. Our homes at MD Senior Living are carefully designed to make sure each resident achieves this important milestone in their unique and wonderful life!