Several months ago, I saw a LinkedIN posting from Sonata Senior Living about how they can help you Live it Up! and truly age well. Later, I received an e-mail and downloaded an Industry Report from Mather Lifeways about recent research that can transform aging services. So I thought – voila – more fodder for blogging with a spin on Exterior Design!
The 7 Dimensions of Wellbeing include:
- Physical wellbeing
- Intellectual wellbeing
- Environmental wellbeing
- Vocational wellbeing
- Social wellbeing
- Emotional wellbeing
- Spiritual wellbeing
How can the planning, design, and development of outdoor areas foster growth in each of these areas? Briefly:
Physical activity and exercise, walking, gardening, outdoor physical therapy, and good nutrition
Intellectual stimulation – through group activities, learning new things, and boosting your brain.
Environmental responsibility can include “going green” on your campus, developing a strong stewardship ethic, incorporating Universal Design, and simply enjoying exposure to natural light and fresh air.
Vocational understanding of your resident population can help you better tailor the outdoor environment to be meaningful. Provide opportunities for folks to share their gifts and talents with others so that they can live purposeful lives. The Mather Report provides an example: Validating Volunteering: Easing Loneliness in the Recently Widowed.
Social spaces are so important. Design to foster spontaneous interactions among the community members. Dancing in the Streets can help, according to the Mather Report: Fighting the Brain Drain: Slowing the Aging Brain’s Neural Decline with Dance.
Emotional intelligence involves recognizing, understanding, and managing your own emotions, according to the Institute for Health and Human Potential. Simply being outdoors can oftentimes provide opportunities to reflect, recharge, and refocus.
And here’s an interesting tidbit: The Mather Report Silver Award Winner was a study on Inflaming Emotions that determined:
Spiritual connections can often occur while simply observing the work of the Creator in nature, and appreciating beauty. Whether through contemplation, meditation, or simply focusing on mindfulness – the fact remains that we are spiritual beings. Nourishing your soul is a good thing!
One last insight from the Mathers Report explores “why and how Life Plan Communities become a meaningful place for residents by offering a rich, hospitality-oriented culture.” Trading Places: How and Why Life Plan Communities Become “Third Places” for Residents.
Dig deeper and discover applications that combine many of these dimensions of wellbeing into spaces that pay big dividends! Click the link below to sign up for our free e-book The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Wellbeing for Senior Living.
Brad Smith Associates, Inc. is a mold-breaking exterior planning and design firm serving the aging services industry. Our approach puts people first, focusing on their unique needs while cultivating a deep sense of community. That is done by using a rational problem-solving method, infused with Imaginality™, combining the five key components of PLACE-Creation into our designs:
Planning - Applied foresight to achieve your project goals
Lifestyle - Delivering a better result for people by understanding their needs and lifestyles
Aesthetics - The aesthetics of a property speak to the "brand essence", greatly affecting marketing.
Community - a sense of meaning, identity and belonging for the people living there
Economics - informed decision-making on the front end during the design process can yield significant dividends on the back end (by reducing ongoing operations and maintenance costs).
We're landscape architects and planners by profession, and we love putting our talents to work to create value for you.
How can we help you maximize your potential in the marketplace? We'd like to learn more about how we can help you achieve great things - whether that involves planning new construction, making repairs or renovations, or completely repositioning your product offering. Let's have a conversation soon.