Seniors today live longer lives than ever before, and a big part of that is a focus on wellness trends that help bring excellent physical health as well as a better sense of purpose and fulfillment to individuals across the nation.
What are some of the senior wellness trends that are driving that change? Take a look.
Engagement With Technology
Smart technology has been of great innovative help on every front and that trend hasn’t escaped the focus of those within the senior wellness industry. Today’s seniors can promote their own wellness by engaging with new technology.
From equipping their home with smart lights, medication reminders, and aids, as well as fitness equipment that offers personalized workouts to utilizing services like telehealth and smartwatches to monitor ongoing conditions – seniors have many options within the world of technology.
Technology can also bring peace to families with specialized apps that can contact emergency services if a wearer is found to be unresponsive at any time. All of this technology makes life easier for today’s seniors while keeping them informed and able to make the best decisions about their health.
These new advances allow data from Smart Wellness tech (Smart Watches, bands, etc.) to be collected and, if the patient chooses, can be shared with doctors – allowing healthcare workers to see day-to-day activities and creating a more personalized visit.
A Focus on Education
Studies have shown that slowing cognitive decline is best accomplished when people stimulate the growth of new brain cells by learning new information and skills. Continuing education is a must to slow the cognitive decline that so often comes with aging. As a result, many higher education institutions are offering programs geared toward seniors.
Some offer added technology, access to larger print materials, and professors who wear microphones during lectures so students can hear better. Some states even offer discounts at colleges and universities to seniors who wish to attend.
However, these spaces aren’t the only ones catering to the needs of seniors who want to learn more. Retirement communities are also focusing on education by bringing in guest lecturers or offering access to other on-site educational opportunities. Some even work through online education spaces like MasterClass to provide video access to courses in a group format.
Whether it’s taking up a skill like woodworking or learning a new language – one key to senior wellness today is to continually expand the breadth of knowledge and it may help stop the forgetfulness that often comes with aging.
Clear Exercise and Nutrition Goals
What you eat and when you move has a real impact on your ability to fight disease and feel good, and a focus on those two factors is a big trend in senior wellness today. Seniors who want to be well don’t just think about calories.
Instead, they think about the nutrients necessary to promote a healthier body. As research continues into superfoods that can combat problematic conditions like dementia and diabetes, seniors are watching to understand what they should eat. Some are even taking a farm-to-table approach, growing these superfoods, then learning new preparation methods so they can get more out of life.
Eating is only part of the equation, though. Exercise is the other half, and wellness trends focus as much here as they do anywhere else. From low-impact exercises like water aerobics to strength training options that make it easier to do everyday tasks like carrying in the groceries, there are lots of exercise plans that are geared specifically toward the senior population.
Finding the right one isn’t difficult, as many gyms and retirement communities offer senior-specific classes. Even if seniors don’t want to get out to move, though, it’s still possible to work exercise into your daily routine.
Just a quick walk around the block is all it takes to feel a bit better and lifting everyday items like water jugs is the perfect strength routine for those who don’t have access to a health facility.
A Trend Within the Industry
It’s not just seniors who are focused on these goals, there’s a trend within the senior care industry to focus more on wellness than on healthcare. In 2018, the International Council on Active Aging surveyed 673 organizations about their own expectations with regard to business models.
Nearly 60% said that wellness was the focus rather than a care-based approach. As a result, more companies are investing in wellness-based infrastructures and classes for clients, making almost a complete shift. Nearly 72% of those surveyed said lifestyle and wellness concerns had become their essential priority, and 64% of those in the survey found wellness programming to be an absolute must-have in senior care.
One thing today is clear – whether seniors themselves focus on wellness or the care homes and communities in which they live focus on this priority, the need for a stronger commitment to holistic care is here to stay.