Aging is often met with trepidation – black balloons, “over the hill” jokes and longing for time gone by don’t paint a rosy picture of getting older. But what if we could change the narrative? Aging successfully, rather than just marking the passing of years, should be something we strive for, and there’s lots of research on the topic to help us along. The “Seven Dimensions of Wellness” offer a great framework to help retirees – and those looking forward to an active, engaged lifestyle after retirement – not only age, but age well.
The key elements to successful aging – low risk of serious illness, high physical and cognitive function, and participation in an active and engaged lifestyle – are all part of the seven dimensions of wellness. The sooner an individual begins to consider them as part of their life goals, the more successful their aging process has the potential to be. How prepared are you to age successfully through these seven dimensions of wellness?
Dimension 1: Emotional – Successful aging requires careful consideration of your emotions. Are you surrounded by people with whom you can share your emotional challenges? Is your emotional well-being supported by frequent face-to-face interactions?
Dimension 2: Intellectual – Keeping your mind active and challenged is key to successful aging. Do you have the opportunity to engage in creative pursuits and intellectually stimulating activities, including those you can share with others?
Dimension 3: Physical – Regular exercise is a foundation to the physical dimension of wellness. In addition, access to help or care as you age, when needed, is key. Do you have a plan in place?
Dimension 4: Professional – Keeping busy, even after retirement, contributes to wellness and successful aging. Maintaining or improving skills, and having a purpose, helps people live longer. Will you continue to work, or have opportunities to volunteer, as you age?
Dimension 5: Social – Socialization keeps us healthy. The pandemic is a recent reminder that, as humans, we need social interaction to thrive. Do you have easy access to social activities and friends, even if you can’t drive to them?
Dimension 6: Spiritual – Not strictly religious, spiritual wellness means you are living with purpose and meaning in your life. Whether it’s religious services, mindful exercise like yoga or experiencing nature, do you have opportunities to nurture your spiritual wellness?
Dimension 7: Environmental – Our total living environment can help us feel well, including our home, the surrounding natural area, and access to additional locations regardless of the weather or time of day. What does your environment do for your wellness?
Life Plan Communities are communities for people 62 or older who want to achieve successful aging. They are putting a plan in place to address each dimension of wellness, and will have support in order to achieve success. Fountaingate Gardens is Long Island’s newest Life Plan Community, currently under construction in Commack on the campus of the Gurwin Healthcare System. Future residents are already looking forward to financial security and predictable monthly expenses, all while having access to dining, clubs and activities, exercise, an indoor salt water pool, and healthcare if they should ever need it. Putting a plan in place to move to a Life Plan Community contributes to successful aging by addressing all the dimensions of wellness all in one place.
Want to learn more? Get your free copy of “The Seven Dimensions of Wellness: Your Key to Aging Successfully” by emailing FountaingateGardens@gurwin.org, by downloading here or, by calling one of our knowledgeable Senior Lifestyle Consultants at (631) 715-2693.