Find Your Happy Place at Enlivant

Posted by Ashley Uhler on February 13, 2023

About the Author, Ashley Uhler, VP of Life Enrichment & Memory Care

Ashley began her career at Enlivant in 2019 as a Regional Director of Sales & Marketing. While in this role, she gained valuable insight into our residents’ interests, hobbies, and aspirations. This experience led to her promotion to Vice President of Life Enrichment & Memory Care, where she currently designs programs that help make our communities a vibrant place for residents to live and thrive.

At Enlivant communities, we help our residents to build meaningful relationships through robust social programming. The goal of Life Enrichment is to help residents continue to live meaningful lives with a sense of purpose. Through activities and outings, residents connect with one another and share interests and life experiences. Participation allows them to feel happy, healthy and at home.

The Risks of Social Isolation in Seniors

As seniors age, there’s an increased risk of social isolation, especially in seniors who live alone, no longer drive, have vision or hearing loss, or suffer from a chronic condition or pain. Feelings of loneliness and isolation are not uncommon among older adults, especially those age 65 and older. And there are real health implications because of those feelings: According to a recent study by John Hopkins researchers, socially isolated older adults have a 27% higher chance of developing dementia than older adults who aren’t.

On the flip side, research also says that it’s therapeutic and comforting for older adults to live with and be around peers who share similar life experiences. A new environment can help an older adult look forward to the future. It’s common for residents who live together to share their life stories, learn things that they have in common with others, and ultimately, make new friends. 

Additionally, for older adults experiencing the compounding effects of loss, it’s especially important to continue making new friends while building on existing relationships. Making new friendships can be challenging for some seniors who live alone and have limited peer interaction. 

The Enlivant Approach to Life Enrichment: Six Dimensions of Wellness

In Enlivant communities, socializing is made easy! Life Enrichment isn’t just planning events and facilitating conversations. Our intentional programming ensures every experience is enriching and cares for our residents’ holistically. Life Enrichment is a research-based school of thought that focuses on six dimensions of wellness – with the aim to promote each of those dimensions to ensure our residents thrive. 

You’ll find activities inspired by the six dimensions of wellness present in each one of our communities:

  1. Physical Fitness fostered through activities like chair yoga & walking club
  2. Socialization promoted through meals, monthly birthday celebrations & holiday parties 
  3. Intellectual Fitness nurtured through historical presentations & cooking demonstrations
  4. Purposeful Service encouraged through volunteer projects & community partnerships
  5. Recreation & Fun promoted through outings to local attractions & shopping trips
  6. Spiritual Well-being nurtured through nature programs & prayer groups

Expressing each of these dimensions is critical to our residents’ fulfillment, health and overall well-being and helps our communities to serve as a happy place for our residents.

Life Enrichment Activity Calendars 

As part of our Life Enrichment programming, a monthly calendar of events is developed at each one of our communities – crafted by the Life Enrichment Coordinator or Memory Care Manager. We know from experience that no two residents are the same, so we spend time truly getting to know our residents even before they move in. Through conversation with our residents and their families, we learn about their lives, hobbies, likes and dislikes, so we can tailor the activities and outings we offer.

With an events calendar designed around our residents, we know they are more likely to see an activity that piques their unique interests and inspires attendance. And throughout these activities, residents share stories, discover connections, make new friends, and ultimately feel happier and more at home in their community.

At select communities, we’re currently piloting the use of technology to both facilitate some activities and allow families to stay up to date on their loved ones’ social calendars. Families can access an app that gives them real time access to the daily calendar events. Additionally, they receive notifications and photos when their loved one is participating in a community activity. We’re beyond proud of Life Enrichment at Enlivant and our forward-looking mindset. 

Find your happy place at Enlivant! Explore our communities to see if one is the right fit for you or your loved one.