When you put together your “wellness plan” or your “live right list,” what’s on it? Eating right? Getting enough exercise? Staying happy? If so, you’re on the right track, says Charles Benjamin, Executive Director of Harrogate, Ocean County, New Jersey’s premier active senior living community.
“Eating a healthy diet, staying physically fit and taking care of your mental health are all important when it comes to overall wellness, but those are only a few pieces of the puzzle,” he says. “There are eight dimensions of wellness that encompass total, overall health, and each of them play an essential role in helping seniors – and everyone else – live their best lives possible.”
A MacArthur Foundation Study found that only 30% of how we age is determined by our genetics. A whopping 70% of how we age is determined by our lifestyle. That’s good news for Harrogate’s seniors, who experience an amazing lifestyle the minute they step foot onto the 52-acre campus.
“Living the 8 is our proprietary program designed to help seniors age happier and healthier,” says Charles.” It goes beyond the physical aspect of wellness to enrich your days and help you live a happier, well-balanced life. When you come to Harrogate, you know you’re coming here to enjoy life.”
What are the eight dimensions of wellness? At Harrogate, we focus on emotional, intellectual, spiritual, physical, health services, environmental, vocational and social wellness.
- Emotional: An even keel through life’s ups and downs
Emotional wellness is defined as the ability to cope with the situations life presents you, as well as the ability to build rich, satisfying relationships with those important to you. If you have strong emotional wellness, you’re more confident, feel more in control of your life (and your feelings) and are able to handle life’s changes with grace and flexibility. It builds an optimistic outlook, which is great – because studies show that people who are optimistic are more likely to live longer.
- Intellectual: Staying sharp and engaged
In a 2017 study published in The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, it’s suggested that acquiring skills in our senior years can help reduce or delay cognitive decline. That’s the basis of intellectual wellness, which revolves around finding ways to be creative, seeking out new information and knowledge and continually developing your skills. It’s important to find activities that are interesting to you and get your brain cells firing. Reading, doing crossword puzzles, learning a new language or trying out a new hobby are all excellent ways to improve and maintain your intellectual wellness.
- Spiritual: Finding meaning in each day
Spiritual wellness involves finding a “higher purpose” in life, and aligning your beliefs and values with what matters to you. This doesn’t necessarily have to be religious – spiritual wellness can be fulfilled by volunteering, meditation, self-reflection or spending time in nature. By focusing on spiritual wellness, individuals have a sense of inner peace, a clear understanding of their values and a self-confidence that’s unmatched. People with healthy spiritual wellness also have a curiosity and optimistic view of the world – which, again, is something that helps us age well.
- Physical: A lean, mean moving machine
Physical wellness means eating right, staying in shape and getting enough sleep. Just doing these things will put you on the right path to whole body wellness. Experts say that senior adults should get at least 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic exercise every week. That translates to 30 minutes a day – totally manageable, right? Exercise can include a brisk walk, yoga, bike riding or even gardening. Pair that with a Mediterranean-style diet, avoiding too much alcohol and fatty foods and getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night, and you’re set with this level of wellness.
- Health Services: A proactive approach to health and disease prevention
This aspect of “wellness” is unique to Harrogate and makes up a key component of our “Living the 8.” We help seniors thrive through a combination of expert health care services and person-centered hospitality and attention, and a robust activities calendar. We provide health services so our residents can have their needs and wants met – everything from independent living, skilled nursing, rehabilitation, and home health services.
- Environmental: Promoting a healthy personal atmosphere
This dimension of health is linked to your surroundings and the space you occupy – both your living situation and your community at large. When your environment is healthy, you feel better. That’s why Harrogate focuses on providing a community that has a happy, supportive, welcoming feel. We also encourage our residents to get involved in the community in many ways so they can truly feel a part of life here.
- Vocational: Sharing your talents, skills and life experience
It feels good to give back to our community, as well as find your purpose sharing your talents. Vocational wellness involves finding meaningful work – whether paid or volunteer – that allows you to share your interest, skills and values. This can translate into a new career or it can be something less formal, like tutoring neighborhood children.
- Social: Building healthy relationships and minimizing isolation
43 percent of seniors say they feel lonely on a regular basis. Loneliness isn’t just sad – it’s bad for your health, increasing your risk of dementia, heart disease and other issues. Moving to a community like Harrogate, on the other hand, provides an immediate sense of connectedness and belonging. Having people we care about and rely on feeds our souls, helps us feel happier and healthier and makes us better people overall.
“At Harrogate, our Living the 8 program provides our residents with a happier life, a more supported life, a life focused on wellness and themselves,” says Charles. “Harrogate offers so many opportunities to engage, enrich and challenge yourself and provide you with whole-body wellness, health and happiness.”
This is what “worry less, live more” looks like.
Let go of worries, and embrace a more fulfilling, experience-rich life – at Harrogate, Ocean County, New Jersey’s premier active senior living community, conveniently located between Toms River and Lakewood, New Jersey.
At Harrogate, you’ll have a newfound freedom to enjoy everything our 52-acre retirement community has to offer. You’ll have ample opportunity to tap into your new and rekindled interests for a better life. And your future health care worries — including skilled nursing and rehabilitation — will be buttoned up with the security of Life Care, a smart plan that covers your care and protects your nest egg.
Offering independent living, skilled nursing, in-home care, and rehabilitation services, residents at Harrogate enjoy all the perks of an independent living lifestyle minus the homeownership hassles. Perks like spacious, maintenance-free, newly renovated senior apartments with numerous options in a variety of floor plans. A built-in neighborhood of friends – most from the Toms River, Lakewood and Brick area – just outside your door. Plentiful services and amenities always at your fingertips. And day trips around Monmouth and Ocean County.
Community, security, purpose, all at one “worry less, live more” spot: Harrogate. Contact us today for a tour of our amazing community and see what makes us such a one-of-a-kind experience.