EMBRACE AGING: Providers and designers pave the way for a positive outlook on aging
Aging is inevitable and natural, yet people tend to fear it. There is a fear of losing mobility, cognition and independence. It is only more recently that American society has started to place an emphasis on accepting the aging process and embracing it. There are opportunities to supplement changing abilities in ways that help maintain typical routines and support living independently. Forward-thinking leadership combined with thoughtful design solutions can change perceptions and pave the way for a positive outlook on aging.
AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins talks about changing the aging conversation in her book Disrupt Aging: A Bold New Path to Living Your Best Life at Every Age. She encourages creating a new mind-set and champions thinking of possible solutions to help people live better as they age. The #DisruptAging conversation continues to gain momentum and old paradigms are being challenged by local innovators and organizations like Renée Anderson, President & CEO of Saint John’s On The Lake.
When it comes to aging, Anderson finds there is a tendency for senior living organizations to highlight wellness but to focus initiatives on the physical dimension.
“It’s relatively easy to build a pool, purchase equipment for a gym or hold a yoga class, but wellness is multifaceted,” says Anderson. “The emotional and spiritual aspects are just as, if not more, important than physical wellness – and really hard to engage residents with and measure impact.”