What Does It Mean to “Age Well?”
Our mission at Windward Life Care is to help our clients age well. For most people, successful aging involves physical health, mental health, and a reason to get up in the morning.
Our Aging Life Care Managers work with clients and their families to put together a plan of care that promotes health and well-being throughout the aging process. As part of our integrated approach, our Care Managers and Home Care Aides work together to help our clients reach their goals. We provide services, guidance, and coaching every step along the way.
Our philosophy and the services we provide are oriented around the following Six Keys to Aging Well.
Key #1: Advanced Care Planning
Our Aging Life Care Managers prepare clients for their journey, relieving stress and worry. We work with legal and medical professionals to make sure every client has a health care advance directive and estate plan in place. We engage clients in discussion around their anticipated future needs, to ensure that transitions in care are smooth and crises are avoided. We then facilitate the communication of this plan with health care providers, legal advisers, family members, and other concerned parties, following the client’s confidentiality preferences.
Important considerations include
- Designating agents to make health care and financial decisions in the event of incapacity
- Thinking about what kind of treatment a client would like at the end of life
- Planning for future long-term care needs and costs
Key #2: Healthy Eating and Hydration
Windward Life Care’s expertise includes advice on healthy eating, nutrition, meal preparation, and hydration. During the assessment process, our Aging Life Care Manager explores clients’ food preferences, special dietary needs, and physician recommendations related to nutrition and hydration. They then work with our Home Care Aides to create enticing menus for the clients and make sure they are regularly eating healthy and satisfying meals.
Key #3: Physical Activity
Experts agree that getting up and moving the body on a regular basis is essential to aging well. Physical activity doesn’t have to be strenuous to be beneficial. Our Aging Life Care Managers are well versed in a wide variety of physical activities that clients find fun and enjoyable and that are suited to their interests, energy level, and mobility. We have even helped some clients discover a new passion for exercise! We also connect clients with experienced personal trainers and physical therapists who can support their goals.
Key #4: Connectedness
Windward’s holistic approach to long-term life care recognizes the interdependence of physical and mental well-being, as well as the human need for connection and a sense of purpose. Studies link a sense of purpose and engagement to beneficial effects on cancer prevention and cognitive health, helping to ward off conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
Our customized plan of care identifies each client’s strengths and goals and develops strategies for utilizing these strengths to meet his or her objectives. Our Home Care Aides help clients to engage in meaningful activities and create opportunities for engagement, including social interaction with friends and family; interstate or international travel; spiritual activities; and attendance at local events, regular support groups, adult education classes, or club meetings.
Key #5: Prevention of Illness and Management of Chronic Conditions
For most of us, healthy aging includes preventing illness and hospitalization, and effectively managing chronic health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, or depression. Working closely with family members and health care providers, our Aging Life Care Managers create a plan of care that ensures daily physical and medication needs are maintained. We help clients learn to proactively manage their own health, such as through regular physician and dental visits, eating condition-specific diets, and quickly addressing any physical, cognitive, or mental health changes.
Key #6: Maintaining Independence
Assisting clients to lead a fulfilling and independent lifestyle while aging in place is at the heart of everything we do. Our clients have differing abilities, and we meet them where they are to help them reach their goals. As functional abilities change over time, we can suggest adaptive equipment and link clients with home modification specialists, physical therapists, and other professionals equipped to meet their particular needs. And, as some clients experience cognitive changes, we work with them and their designated agents to ensure their wishes are respected and their dignity preserved.