“Holistic” is a buzzword we’re hearing a lot these days. It’s used for everything from business strategies to sustainability to wellness and everything in-between. But what does “holistic” mean for you, and what does it mean when we use it as an approach to healthy aging?
“The word “holistic” comes from the Greek word holism, which roughly translated means total,” says Greg Lazzaro, Life Enrichment Director of Waterstone at the Circle. “A holistic wellness philosophy, then, is an approach that takes into consideration the health of the whole person – mind, body and soul.”
The ultimate philosophy, says Greg, is that every aspect of our bodies has an effect on our lifestyle as a whole. “This is an approach we take at Waterstone at the Circle each and every day,” says Greg. “Our luxury community has been designed to help our residents care for every dimension of their well-being. From delicious, chef-prepared dining, to our on-site fitness center staffed by Train Boston, our partnership with area specialists to deliver on-site supportive services, our prime central location in Cleveland Circle and our endless social opportunities and activities, senior adults in the Boston area will be able to keep their minds sharp, their bodies fit and their souls fulfilled.”
What Holistic, Healthy Aging Means
According to the International Council on Active Aging®, wellness is… “...derived from our ability to understand, accept and act upon our capacity to lead a purpose-filled and engaged life. In doing so, we can embrace our potential (physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, social, environmental, vocational) to pursue and optimize life’s possibilities.”
These seven dimensions of wellness overlap and coordinate to provide a fulfilling, enriching lifestyle. They provide a framework that helps a person identify their wants and needs and give each aspect appropriate attention. By bringing all the dimensions into balance, an aging individual can live a healthy, well-rounded and functional life.
“A holistic approach can flip the script on the aging process,” says Greg. “It really helps you reframe getting older to focus on making the process as fulfilling and enjoyable as possible. In other words, it’s not all about how long you live – it’s about how well you live.”
Tips for Aging Well
Stay social. It is vital to create and maintain relationships that are important to you. Humans are social creatures by nature, and staying active and involved with others helps us feel like we’re “part of something.” When we aren’t socially active, we become anxious, stressed and depressed – all which contribute negatively to our health. As we get older, it can become harder to stay involved in the social scene, which is ironic since this is the time when we need the most connection for our well-being. Here are some ways for seniors to remain connected with others, forge friendships and nurture meaningful relationships:
- Take advantage of opportunities to be social, whether that’s through your place of worship, a club you’re already a part of, or a hobby that you’ve been wanting to do. Think about things that you’ve always been interested in, and look for opportunities to connect with others who have similar interests – there’s nothing that can help form a fast bond like a shared interest!
- Reach out to friends and family members and nurture existing relationships.
- Volunteer your time to a cause that’s meaningful to you.
Stay physically healthy. Your physical health is incredibly important, because when you feel good, it’s much easier to care for your whole-body needs. Here are just some of the things you should be doing in order to make sure your body is in prime form.
- See your physician on a regular basis. As we get older, our risk for a variety of diseases and health issues increase, which means it’s more important than ever to visit the doctor when you need to (and even when you don’t). Make sure you’re meeting annually for a wellness visit, yes, but also check in regularly to make sure your medications are working well for your conditions. It’s also important to visit your doctor regularly in order to catch little things that could escalate to big issues in the future.
- Practice self-care. This means making yourself a priority, being conscious about your needs and taking time for yourself. If you are a parent or grandparent, you probably are used to putting other people’s needs ahead of yours. While this is admirable, it can get exhausting. Take some time every day to do something that recharges you, fills you up or simply makes you feel good – whether that's meditating, reading a book or even watching an episode of your favorite TV show.
- Eat a healthy diet. What you eat makes a huge difference for your health - mentally and emotionally as well as physically. Fill your plate with whole, nutritious foods like vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, whole grains and healthy fats. Stay away from too many processed, fried, fatty foods. Most importantly, examine your relationship with food. Some people tend to eat when they’re bored or depressed; others have the opposite problem. Both can lead to serious health issues, so if you struggle with your relationship to food, speak to your medical care provider.
- Get enough sleep. A good night’s sleep is the best thing you can do to recharge your batteries. Getting enough sleep will help keep your blood pressure regular, reduce your chance of becoming overweight and lessen your risk of heart disease and hypertension. Make sure you practice good sleep hygiene by making sure your bedroom is dark enough for sleep, a comfortable temperature and is used mainly for sleeping – kick that television set out of there.
- Exercise regularly. The average adult should get approximately 150 minutes of exercise per week, and this will look different for everyone. Whatever it is you do – taking a walk, doing yoga, gardening – you’ll feel and see the results to your mind and body. It releases endorphins, helps clear your mind and makes you simply feel good all over.
Engage your mind. Exercising your little brain cells has been proven to help maintain mental sharpness and even avoid your risk of cognitive decline. Always seek out opportunities to learn something new, or do something you enjoy.
“Your senior years can be the best time of your life if you’re open to the possibilities and allow aging to be an exciting experience.” says Greg. “Having a holistic approach to aging will help you remain active, independent, healthy and happy, no matter how old or young you are – all good things that will improve your lifestyle and well-being greatly.”
If you’d like to learn more about healthy aging, or if you’re wondering how a luxury senior living community like Waterstone at the Circle can help you live an active and fulfilled life, contact us today at 617.431.1880.
Luxury Senior Living in Boston
Waterstone at the Circle, located in Boston’s historic Cleveland Circle neighborhood, is more than just independent living in Boston … it’s a sophisticated urban setting for today’s active seniors. Enjoy best-in-class service and an urban lifestyle with arts and cultural, and historical attractions right outside your front door. From high-end amenities to gourmet dining and more, experience the best of city and suburban life at our upscale senior living community located on the crossroads of Brookline and Chestnut Hill.
Elegant Independent Living Apartments
Each of our 92 independent living apartments is the height of luxury and modernity, with sophisticated design, upscale features and stunning views of the city. Create the urban senior living experience you want with one- or two-bedroom apartments, a variety of floor plans and monthly rentals.
Senior Living Supportive Services
As an over-62 community, residents may require support from time to time. That’s why we’ve developed an on-site coordinated care program, in cooperation with our premier community partners, that allows our independent living residents to receive the assistance they need.
The best part? Residents don’t have to leave our senior living community – or even their apartment – to receive high-quality support. They can receive the services they need, when they need it, in the comfort of their own homes or in our on-site therapy gym.
Waterstone at the Circle is the opposite of retiring . . . it’s a place to enhance your active, on-the-go lifestyle.
Call 617.431.1880 for more information or to schedule a visit to our premier Boston independent living community and discover The Circle lifestyle today!