Although this past year brought many challenges and changes, there’s also much to celebrate.
The beginning of a new year provides our residents and team members alike the opportunity to reflect on the previous year. It’s also a time for new beginnings and a time to dream big.
A Holistic Approach to Resolutions
Resolutions often center on health and well-being, like losing weight or taking up an exercise program. At Highgate, we like to think about wellness as encompassing the whole human being — our mind, body, and spirit. Researchers call this the eight dimensions of wellness.
Thinking about the eight dimensions of wellness can help our residents identify what their core health values and needs are, as well as the things that they need to live a fulfilled and healthy life. It can also help them to identify the things that they need to do to be fulfilled developmentally, cognitively, physically, emotionally, spiritually, relationally, vocationally, and contextually: Are you happy with your health? Are you spending enough time with your grandchildren? Do you do enough to give back to your community?
Some residents move into a Highgate community feeling like they’ve already experienced the prime of their lives and that the time after retirement is just one long, steady decline. However, we know that merely expecting physical deterioration increases the likelihood that someone will physically deteriorate.
That’s why we try to help our residents recognize that age is just a number. The more they are hopeful and realistic about the process of growing older, the more likely they are to maintain their physical and emotional health. For example, through our Purposeful Living program, residents reconnect with what makes them feel valuable, important, and needed. Purposeful Living can look like a resident being a greeter in the lobby, helping other residents with a project, participating in the activities programs that are offered throughout the day, and having the time to work on their own things that they are passionate about.
With that in mind, we asked some residents and team members at Highgate at Wenatchee to reflect on their favorite Highgate experiences from this past year, a New Year resolution or goal they have for 2022, and what they’re looking forward to at Highgate this year. Here’s what they had to say.
Favorite Highgate Experiences in 2021
Barbara says her favorite activity for 2021 was the Oktoberfest party. “I loved that my daughter got to come and that we were able to hang out outside in the beautiful fall weather,” she says. “The decorations were nice, too. That whole thing was a lot of fun.”
Keith says his favorite activities of the year were the scenic drives: “I’m not from here. I am from Texas, so getting out and seeing the different areas was really nice. I especially like the ones where we get out of town. You can see a lot out there — wildlife and all sorta stuff!”
Lucille’s favorite activity is bingo, “of course,” she says. “I never miss it, and now I have convinced them to do it twice a week!”
Adia Loveridge, the community’s cook, says her favorite activity this year was dancing with the residents during karaoke. “We had some of the residents up and dancing who are usually less active,” she recalls. “It was so much fun for residents and team members.”
Jessica, the receptionist, says her favorite activity is playing Yahtzee with the residents. “The one-on-one time is very special to me,” she says. “It gives me time to talk and really get to know the residents as individuals.”
Med aide, Debra Martin, says her favorite activity was going with the residents to Badger Mountain Brewery. “I saw a lot of residents from both The Manor and Cottage enjoying themselves together, and that was cool,” she says.
Care partner Marie Blancas said her favorite moment in 2021 was helping a couple spend Valentine’s Day together. “One resident was in The Cottage and the other was in The Manor,” she says. “I helped facilitate a Valentine's Day date for the couple. Seeing them so happy made me really happy.”
Fellow care partner Mireya Tovar says her favorite activity was dancing the polka with the residents and seeing how much they enjoyed the harmonica player.
2022 New Year’s Resolutions
Keith says his New Year's resolution is to keep getting stronger so he can get around safely. “I walk with the walking group and that helps a lot,” he says. “I went from my wheelchair to now using my walker, and I just want to stay strong and keep from having any falls."
Pat says her New Year's resolution is to stay healthy enough to celebrate her 90th birthday. “I want to have a party here at Highgate!”
What We’re Looking Forward To
Barbara is looking forward to going to Smallwood's Harvest in Peshastin. “I’m excited to visit all of the animals,” she says. “I love animals, and I think a lot of my friends will like it, too.”
Keith says he looks forward to spending time with friends and staying in good health. “I have made some good friends here this year, and I just want us all to stay healthy and happy,” he says.
Sam says they’re looking forward to when the weather gets nice: “We have a beautiful view from our apartment, but we like to get out, too. I look forward to going down to the river and visiting some of the parks around here. There are some really nice ones in Wenatchee.”
Lucille is looking forward to celebrating her 101st birthday at Highgate. “My 100th was amazing,” she says.
Pat says she is looking forward to seeing her great-granddaughter Heather grow and develop. “I know she has great parents, and I look forward to seeing them be parents and all of the things little Heather will accomplish as far as her milestones over the next years,” she says.
Living a Healthier, Happier Life
Finding purpose and meaning in older age is at the heart of the Highgate philosophy.
“Purposeful Living stemmed from a desire to help our residents live their lives in the ways they always had and were accustomed to,” says Marjorie Todd, Chief Executive Officer. “We wanted purpose in life to remain in place once they moved into a senior housing environment because we knew how much this means to people. This commitment to Purposeful Living is what helped to create our mission and our vision statements, and it serves as the fundamental platform for what we do and believe in.”
Older adults can struggle to find happiness without clear purpose and meaning in their life, especially as children become self-sufficient, memories of a successful career can only be seen in the rearview mirror, and unexpected changes to health or ability make activities we once loved hard to enjoy.
In this Living a Healthier, Happier Life eBook, we explore what the eight dimensions of wellness are and how you can use them to live a healthier, happier life no matter your age or physical condition.