Finding Life’s Harmony at Any Age
Jun 19, 2015 01:36PM
● By Corinne Moore
During the last decade, increased attention on health and wellness has spurred tremendous advances in meeting the needs of today’s seniors as they age. Buzzwords like “active aging” reflect the understanding that it is critical to stay healthy by achieving a balanced and active lifestyle that focuses on mind, body and spirit.
In 2012, Shell Point Retirement Community developed a formal wellness program, called LifeQuest, to offer its residents a positive approach to active aging that supports personal growth, healthy living and a fulfilling life experience. LifeQuest advocates a balance between the six dimensions of wellness: physical, emotional, spiritual, educational, community and social, and natural environment.
The LifeQuest program offers endless opportunities to live a holistic, healthy life every day. Hundreds of residents have embraced this mindset and have encouraged others to consider the same commitment. Here are a few success stories from residents who have experienced positive results through LifeQuest.
Man on a Mission
Shell Point resident Fritz Knox experienced a health scare during an eye-opening routine visit with his doctor. “I learned that all my levels—cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, triglycerides—were elevated. This awareness put my life in perspective, and in that moment I realized it was time to get serious,” he said.
Knox immediately embarked on a journey to address the physical dimension of wellness in his life. “What I needed to do was to totally change my lifestyle from an unhealthy one to a healthy one,” said Knox. “My goal was to find healthy habits that would be reasonably easy to achieve and maintain.”
His approach? Exercise moderately and eat sensibly. Fritz started taking brisk walks around The Island at Shell Point, using the stairs instead of the elevator, and walking short distances when he would previously take the car.
“I discovered that just becoming more active was the key. Plus, I worked with Shell Point’s fitness coordinators who were available to fine tune an exercise program to meet my individual needs. Their encouragement was instrumental in the success I ultimately achieved,” he said.
In conjunction with his new exercise regimen, Knox put additional thought and effort into his nutrition. “When it came to diet, the opportunity to be creative by substituting healthy food choices for unhealthy ones made all the difference,” shared Knox. “Portion control was also important, and simply reducing the size of my dinner plate benefited me in that regard. With smaller portions and wiser choices, the weight started coming off.”
After prolonged effort, Knox succeeded in shedding 50 pounds, taking 11 inches off his waist, and bringing all his levels back into the normal range. “Although there has been much success,” said Knox, “I believe that staying healthy is a lifelong commitment, one that I encourage others to join me in making. It’s a journey well worth taking!”
Many Ways to Stay Active Many Shell Point residents, during their pursuit of total wellness, have discovered that the six dimensions of wellness are interconnected.
Resident Jan Hull embraced the LifeQuest lifestyle immediately after her move to Shell Point last summer. Not only did Hull take on the physical dimension of wellness with personal training classes, but she also incorporated additional dimensions by engaging as a volunteer for a weekly exercise class. “I can participate in the community and social dimension through volunteerism, which is emotionally fulfilling,” said Hull. “It is also a great workout.”
Hull suggests that members of the Southwest Florida community to do the same. “Stay focused on your goals by finding an activity or hobby that supports multiple dimensions of wellness,” encouraged Hull. “Just keep an eye on the local event calendars, and get involved with intentionality.”
Reaching New Heights
A little motivation from the LifeQuest program and a “can-do” attitude propelled E.J. Erb down the path to personal improvement. “One of my LifeQuest goals was to go parasailing. That goal flew into action during a cruise to Mexico, as I floated 500 feet in the air. The emotional and spiritual dimensions of LifeQuest came together for me in that moment as I reflected about the importance of not letting obstacles get in my way,” said Erb.
Today, E.J. proudly wears the medal she was given by the cruise line as the oldest person to go parasailing. “I would encourage everyone to tackle any challenge or lifestyle goal with enthusiasm and positivity,” shared Erb. “If I can go parasailing at 75, you can certainly accomplish anything you make up your mind to do.”
As resort services and wellness manager at Shell Point Retirement Community, guest contributor Heather Battey manages Shell Point’s LifeQuest wellness.
“I would encourage everyone to tackle any challenge or lifestyle goal with enthusiasm and positivity. If I can go parasailing at 75, you can certainly accomplish anything you make up your mind to do.” — E.J. Erb, resident at Shell Point Retirement Community
[divider]The Six Dimensions of LifeQuest[/divider]
The LifeQuest program addresses wellness across a number of dimensions, with balance between the dimensions as the key to success.
- Physical: increasing or maintaining what one has to keep your body functioning to its maximum potential
- Emotional: enjoying leisurely activities, quality relationships and opportunities to give back to others while finding time for one’s self
- Spiritual: embracing, strengthening and growing in transcendence
- Educational: challenging the mind, and seeking intellectual benefits and life experiences.
- Community and Social: building new friendships, sharing gifts and seeking opportunities to contribute personal talents
- Natural Environment: enjoying nature through exploration and appreciation