Maintaining independence and quality of life for the older adult population is moving to the frontline within programs and residences for older adults.
At H.O.M.E., we strive to help our residents keep their independence for as long as they are able. Good Life Senior Residences offered at Pat Crowley House and Nathalie Salmon House gives low-income older adults the chance to hold onto their independence within a communal living setting.
As an intern with Good Life Senior Residences, I have the opportunity to be involved with the program design and support. We use activities that support residents to maintain their independence and a healthy state of mind, body, and spirit. Focusing on all aspects of a stable life is taking a holistic approach to programming.
The American Society on Aging released an article in 2016 that focused on holistic care. Defining what the “holistic” approaches as, ‘“holistic quality of life refers to overall sense of well-being, quality of everyday physical, emotional, and spiritual experiences, productivity, joy, and how the individual being assessed would rate their current satisfaction in life as a whole.”
Being able to assess yourself and others in each area of the holistic self can better inform you on what needs may be present. In Good Life Senior Residences we encourage residents to find emotional support through friends and family or therapy.
Being able to find effective exercise to keep your body healthy and active such as swimming or balance exercises is also important. Finally we encourage supporting your spirit, which can come in forms of self-care, religion, or ways of self-expression.
At Pat Crowley House we have been focusing on self-expression and self-care through group conversation and painting. Group conversations focus on positive-affirmations, coping strategies, and problem solving within a group environment.
Being part of the staff for Good Life Senior Residences at H.O.M.E. means that we hold the responsibility of listening to what residents may want or need, while also supporting their independence.
Having their involvement with planning activities or meetings gives them a voice within their community. We want older adults in the our residences to use their ability to make decisions and plans for themselves.
Based on my experiences working with older adults, when older adults feel they are no longer in control of their lives, it can take away their confidence to advocate for themselves.
At H.O.M.E., we advocate for independence for the members of our community -- making sure that they have a voice within our community and feel comfortable getting involved.
What Can You Do?
Being able to support independence and self-determination for the older adult population can be a life sustaining tool for the older adults in your life. Staying informed and involved in education on the older adult population can be key to giving effective care and programming. To learn more, please sign up for our newsletter and check our blog next month for more learning opportunities.