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What Is the Holistic Approach to Wellness at a Retirement Community?

Elders yoga class

How Independent Living Communities Support Holistic Health.

How should we think of wellness in older adults? Certainly, an obvious starting point is the absence of sickness or disease. Having good numbers for blood pressure and cardiovascular capacity are also useful in gauging physical health. Until relatively recently, this type of clinical approach to assessing wellness in older adults was standard procedure.

But that thinking has evolved. We now know there’s more to wellness than just staying active and avoiding illness. Physical health and mental health are interdependent. Individuals are part of society and interacting with people is another important factor. How we feel about ourselves and our situation, and whether or not we engage with our environment, also affect wellness. It comes down to the notion of holistic health and the benefits of taking a holistic approach to wellness. As you’ll see, independent living communities play an important role in preserving your holistic health.

What are the dimensions of wellness.

A sign of holistic health is having a feeling of completeness in life. Holistic wellness attempts to integrate all aspects of living — physical activity, social interaction, cognition, participation in purposeful endeavors, patterns of eating and sleeping — into a single, comprehensive unit that should be continually nurtured. In seniors, this holistic approach delivers a more fulfilling, affirmative sense of well-being, and it’s what good independent living communities try to support.

You can see that holistic health encompasses many dimensions — precisely how many is a matter of semantics. Generally, however, these seven dimensions capture the essence of what’s considered a holistic approach to well-being as we age:

  • PHYSICAL to improve balance, mobility, endurance and strength
  • INTELLECTUAL to challenge and expand the mind
  • EMOTIONAL to find equilibrium, stability and happiness
  • SOCIAL to interact, harmonize, and grow your circle of friends
  • SPIRITUAL to continue to live with meaning and purpose
  • VOCATIONAL to make use of your unique talents and abilities
  • ENVIRONMENTAL to keep the natural world a part of your life

How does choosing independent living at a Life Plan Community like Longhorn Village support your success in nurturing each of these dimensions?


Community life helps you get moving. Being physically active is a great way to reduce stress and improve sleep and balance. An independent living community offers many opportunities to stay active and fit:

  • Supervised fitness and aquatic classes
  • Resistance exercises and walking groups
  • Movement and body work classes like line dancing, yoga, tai chi, etc.
  • Take a look at our Sample Activity Calendar. 

Communities keep you connected. Socialization helps seniors avoid loneliness and depression. Socialization boosts cognitive abilities and may mitigate the onset of Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. It’s far easier to connect with people in a community than in a house in the suburbs. Just look what’s available right outside your door:

  • Amenities like a pool, library, and game area
  • Multiple dining venues to meet friends
  • Social and special-interest group
  • Classes, guest speakers and special events
  • Off-site events

Communities welcome people of all faiths. Those with an active spiritual life often say they’re happier and feel a greater sense of purpose. Worshiping with other members of your faith can also help lower stress and anxiety. Community living offers opportunities like these:

  • Joining a group to visit local places of worship
  • Connecting with community chaplains or ministers for friendship and counsel
  • Participating in Bible study

Communities help you keep up with your interests. Successful aging and holistic wellness involve lifelong learning. A good community will offer plenty of opportunities to keep your mind active:

  • Well-stocked library
  • Resident book clubs
  • Writers’ groups
  • Travel clubs
  • Studio art and woodworking
  • Brain fitness events
  • Computer/technology classes
  • Guest lectures
  • Museum visits

Inner peace is part of holistic health. In a community, you’re never alone unless you choose to be. They offer programs to help you remain happy, grounded and balanced. Emotional wellness is supported through:

  • In-house social workers
  • Grief counseling
  • Hospital visitation
  • Individual counseling and support groups

Aging gracefully at Longhorn Village in Austin, Texas.

Holistic wellness will help you lead a happier, healthier, more fulfilling life by focusing on your relationships with people around you, the opportunities you have, the goals you set, and the environment you live in. It’s a great prescription for healthy aging. Longhorn Village, a Life Plan Community in the scenic Texas Hill Country, brings you a unique brand of luxurious independent living and a full continuum of holistic care. Residents come from all over the country to enjoy a dynamic lifestyle that nurtures the mind, body and spirit. Experience the warm social connection at Longhorn Village. Join us for our special Holiday Tour. Or contact us any time with questions.