Whole Person Wellness
We take a broad and integrated approach when it comes to health and wellness, known as whole person wellness. Whole person wellness involves not only physical health – but the emotional, mental, social and spiritual wellness of our residents.
In every Oxford community, our goal is to help residents improve and maintain wellness across all dimensions, with the goal of optimizing quality of life and, encouraging autonomy and independence.
Whole person wellness doesn’t begin and end with the resident, it is a product of the complete physical and human environment that surrounds them. At Oxford, we work to ensure that physical spaces; amenities and programs are all aligned with residents’ needs and preferences. Optimizing the human environment is equally if not more important to a residents’ health and wellness and its something we take seriously.
Emotional and Mental Wellness: Wellness Begins with Brain Health
Brain health is a major component of emotional and mental wellness for seniors and an important component of life in Oxford’s communities. We aim to promote nutrition, activity, exercise, sufficient sleep and socialization amongst residents, as all are critically-important to brain health.
- Better Nutrition is instrumental in fighting oxidation, a harmful stressor to aging brains.
- Exercise improves circulation and memory by stimulating chemical changes that enhance learning, mood and thinking.
- A number of strategies are standard in improving medical health at Oxford communities. For example, medication management by nursing and care staff as well as routine checkups help residents follow physicians’ orders and ensure pharmacological compliance.
- Sleep and relaxation can enhance mood and optimize immune systems while reducing build up of harmful hormones in the body.
- Mental exercise and stimulation have been established as equally important to physical exercise in maintaining and promoting brain health.
- An active social life can protect against memory loss. Staying connected and engaged with family and friends is good for mental and brain health. Each day we organize social activities and encourage residents to interact with staff and each other.
The Body: Wellness Through Physical Activity
Oxford Living’s physical activity programming follows the Canadian Physical Guidelines for Older Adults, encompassing cardiovascular exercise, strength, balance and flexibility training. All while considering residents’ varying functional capacities, health conditions and fitness levels.
The goals of Oxford’s physical activity programs include; maintaining and improving cardiovascular endurance, improving muscular strength, improving balance and mobility. Exercise programming provides a comfortable and encouraging environment, promotes social interaction, increases confidence, self-esteem and overall quality of life while making exercise fun.
Social: The Importance of A Robust Social Life
Healthy relationships are necessary at every age but their importance to seniors is critical. Consistent social interactions help to keep seniors emotionally, mentally and physically fit. Taking part in activities and engaging conversations helps guard against the difficulties inherit to isolation and increase resident’s sense of purpose and meaning. Socialization offers the following benefits to older adults:
- Reduced stress: Older adults who are socially active handle stress better. This leads to important increases in cardiovascular health and an improved immune system.
- Longer lifespan: High levels of socialization in seniors helps to increase longevity.
- More likely to exercise: Older adults with diverse social supports are more likely to exercise regularly, which leads to a host of physical, mental and cognitive benefits.
- Reduced risk of depression and anxiety: Consistent socialization reduces the likelihood that seniors will experience depression caused by isolation and loneliness. Similarly, socialization amongst elders can help to reduce anxiety.
- Greater self-esteem: Socialization helps seniors maintain their self-esteem and sense of worth.
Spiritual Health: A Focus On The Soul
While we encourage residents to practice religion at their wish – we promote spirituality as an important dimension of wellness. In Oxford communities, we define spirituality in its more general sense, as the thoughts, feelings and experiences relating to the soul or a search for the sacred.
Oxford Living communities facilitate spirituality because it is well document that people who use spiritual coping mechanism (praying, trusting in God, etc.) are less likely to develop anxiety or depression. Furthermore a number of psychological effects such as; positive and hopefully attitude, a sense of meaning and purpose and a greater ability to cope with illness and disability have been linked to practicing spirituality.
If you’d like to learn move about Oxford’s approach to whole person wellness at any of our communities, please contact us today.