How do you design a recreation program that fosters overall health and wellbeing, while also offering ample choice and a variety of options?
This is the challenge that gets Michele Reid up in the morning. As Revera’s National Director, Recreation, it’s Reid’s role to help create and support a recreation program that works for seniors living a broad range of lifestyles at more than 100 locations across Canada.
For Reid, fulfilment comes when we flex our body, mind and spirit in equal measure. It’s a holistic perspective stemming from Revera’s overall approach to health and wellness known as the Six Dimensions of Wellness, which covers physical, social, intellectual, emotional, spiritual and community engagement. “It’s taking the idea of mind, body and spirit, and making sure you’re including all six dimensions as part of your daily life.”
“Eating well and exercise is only part of it,” says Reid. There’s also intellectual stimulation and our emotional wellbeing — the feeling of being connected to yourself and those around you. “Finding balance begins from within.”
This is a challenge at any age, but especially as we age. “There’s a tendency to neglect certain sides of our being, whether it’s due to a mobility or hearing issue, or simply an apprehension to try something new,” says Reid. “It’s important to challenge yourself. That’s what the Six Dimensions framework promotes.”
The Six Dimensions model inspires the recreation programs at every Revera residence with the dimensions often overlapping within a single activity. “Think about an exercise class: you’re getting the physical benefit. But there’s also the social and emotional benefit of spending time with friends and achieving something together,” says Reid. The same is true of community living, or a friendly debate over the dinner table. “It’s about feeling connected to the world, and having a sense of purpose. That’s the goal.”
Over the next few weeks, we will be delving into each dimension in closer detail, showcasing Revera residents and staff from across Canada.