One of the most difficult impacts of aging occurs when health interferes with the ability to drive, use public transportation, or walk independently. Unable to get out to visit friends and attend social gatherings the way they used to, seniors can see their social world shrink, negatively impacting not just their mental well-being, but also their physical health. In these sorts of situations, assisted living can dramatically improve a person's quality of life in very important ways, increasing overall health and well-being.
Social Interaction Vital To Health
An important study published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior noted that social isolation was connected to poorer physical health at all ages. However, it was particularly associated with the health of older people. Factoring in things that affect that age group at a higher rate, such as the loss of family members and friends to death and their own health impacting social interactions, it does seem logical that the health effects could be stronger on those more advanced in years.
Forbes reported on the results of a meta-analysis of 148 similar studies, with a combined total of 300,000 participants, done by Brigham Young University researchers. Even researchers were surprised at the degree to which isolation and social disconnectedness could impact physical health. According to Forbes, the meta-analysis revealed social isolation as having a major impact not just on health, but also on lifespan. It was as damaging to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, as living a sedentary lifestyle, or being an alcoholic. It was two times as harmful to health as being obese.
Assisted Living Offers Major Benefits
In an assisted living setting, the opportunities for social interaction and relationship building are restored. That alone offers major health benefits, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center. These include lower blood pressure, lower risk of Alzheimer's, depression, some cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and osteoporosis. However, an assisted living setting offers additional advantages that can further benefit health.
Fitness centers are an increasingly common feature in assisted living settings, important for meeting physical therapy needs, as well as for helping seniors protect health by maintaining fitness. Having access to fitness equipment that is safe and easy to use independently, such as a recumbent stepper, and perhaps even a workout partner or two, can result in improved physical fitness. Fitness is important to improving balance and reducing falls, a major health problem for that age group, and reduces the risk of a number of diseases and other health conditions.
Having access to quality equipment after a hip replacement, knee replacement, or other health issue requiring physical therapy can make a real difference in how long recovery takes and the overall quality of the outcome. In an assisted living setting, meeting physical therapy goals is easier because the equipment is on site, as well as staff able to assist with the exercises the physical therapy is based on, promoting faster, more thorough recovery.
An Excellent Combination
The scientific evidence is very clear on the relationship between staying active and being healthy, as well as the connection between activity and longevity. Bringing together increased social interaction and ready access to fitness equipment in an assisted living setting can have a powerful impact on overall health and quality of life. Both physical and mental health and function can be preserved and protected. This is a combination that promotes longer, healthier lives, making the senior years truly golden.
The Evolving Role Of Senior Centers In The 21st Century
Social Disconnectedness, Perceived Isolation, and Health among Older Adults
Friends With Health Benefits
Older Adults and the Importance of Social Interaction
All of us were saddened by the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy last week. SCIFIT came across a benefit outreach called Socks for Sandy.
Socks for Sandy, powered by a group of creative bloggers, was started by Laura Kuhlmann, a resident of Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey, to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy in her area. What they need most are socks, gloves, mittens, hats, and new packages of underwear, for babies up to the elderly and every shape and size and age in between. These can be sent to:
Socks for Sandy
P.O. Box 520
Little Egg Harbor, NJ 08087
More information can be found here bit.ly/socksforsandy
We know the victims will appreciate your support!
Friday, August 10 SCIFIT enjoyed a family night out at the Tulsa Drillers. The Drillers are the Double A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies in Tulsa and play at ONEOK Field. The Tulsa professional baseball club is the oldest professional sports franchise in the city of Tulsa. Professional baseball began in Tulsa in 1905 and has now been played for over 100 years.
Thankfully the weather cooperated for us and we were able to sit out on the Tiki Deck and enjoy our hamburgers, hot dogs and other goodies! The Oklahoma heat previously was too much to handle most days so the welcomed “chill” of somewhere in the 90’s was awesome for us. The kids played and enjoyed cookies, adults enjoyed the game, food and the fireworks show after. Take a look at some of our pictures and meet some of our SCIFIT family members.
From left to right: The Carder's, Scott & Stacy (SCIFIT internal sales support) and The Clemmons's, Jessica (SCIFIT internal sales support) & Justin
The Korner Family: Bryan (SCIFIT CFO), Lisa and Sara
The Lincoln/Stull Family: Ross & Eldonna Lincoln (parents of Jason) and Jason Stull (SCIFIT internal sales support)
The McKnight Family: Aaron, Jeff (SCIFIT Engineering Manager), Cindy and Nathan
The Hebenstreit Family: Mark (SCIFIT receiving), Lauren and Jennifer
SCIFIT's view of the game from the Tiki Deck
SCIFIT CEO, Larry Born, logged over 3,000 miles of training since January 1st in preparation for the Tulsa Tough cycling event earlier this month. His training was composed of long rides, heat acclimation, climbing and teamwork. It also included many miles of interval training on the SCIFIT ISO1000 Upright Bike. Larry's goal: Finish the Mondo Fondo 127 mile bike race in under six hours and take home the commemorative jersey.
For those not familiar with the conditions for a Tulsa bike race in June, I have three words: hot, humid and hilly (this race included 4,000 feet of climbing). Larry was going at a good pace but he started cramping at 85 miles and had to drop off from the group. This cost him more time than he had to spare and without his team, he ended up finishing with a time of 6:25 (still pretty impressive in my book).
Others fared a little better. Twelve of Larry's sixteen teammates finished in under six hours. The professional team that Larry hosted at his home, Team Jamis/Sutter Home Professional Cycling, won the Saturday race and placed one of their riders in the top five of the final point standings.
Larry may not have achieved his goal for this race, but he has not lost his winning spirit. "There's always next year," he says with a smile. Larry's next challenge is the Triple Bypass, a 120 mile race in Colorado in July. Good luck Larry!
P.S. - These incredible photos are courtesy of our very own Corey Disler, VP Sales. Thanks Corey!
You can almost feel the energy as Tulsa, Oklahoma prepares for Tulsa Tough, the annual three-day bike race. Live music and local vendors will be on hand to serve the thousands of cyclists and spectators.
The Saint Francis Tulsa Tough is a three day cycling festival designed to promote fitness and healthy lifestyles while showcasing the beautiful city of Tulsa. Tulsa Tough offers events and spectating opportunities for everyone with professional and amateur races, recreational and tour rides.
SCIFIT CEO, Larry Born will not only be racing this weekend, but also hosting a professional racing team in his home. We will update you next week on Larry's race results. If you are in the Tulsa area, come on over for an action packed weekend.
David Clark Design of Tulsa, Oklahoma recently won an ADDY award for the work they did on our beautiful SCIFIT fitness equipment catalog. They really listened to us from the beginning and spent a lot of time understanding SCIFIT and our message of improvement through exercise. They saw SCIFIT through our eyes and it showed on every page of the catalog.
Congratulations on this honor and thanks again to the award-winning team:
David Clark, Art Director
Laura Crouch, Copywriter
Trey Thaxton, Designer
John Amatucci – Amatucci Photography, Photographer
Resource One, Printer
Click here to view the SCIFIT catalog.