Pathways gives you the tools and choices to enhance your eight dimensions of wellness: Physical, Emotional, Social, Intellectual, Nutritional, Spiritual, Vocational, and Environmental. These eight dimensions of wellness were coined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help people see themselves as a whole person and better define “healthy.” At Ardenwoods, Pathways to wellness guides you and our team to fulfill your goals to live a long and healthy life. Pathways is a whole-person approach that encourages you to pursue individual and community wellness through a variety of activities and interests.
Physical wellness recognizes the need for physical activity, diet, sleep and nutrition.
When many seniors consider their health, physical fitness is top of mind. Physicians recommend that an adult should be active on a daily basis, and activity should be a combination of leisurely activities such as hiking, walking, or biking and structured activities such as classes or strength training. When you move to Ardenwoods, our Wellness Navigator will learn more about your physical fitness goals and guide you through the wellness schedule, which includes classes on aerobic fitness, water walking, yoga, flexibility, balance and more. One of our Ardenwoods couples, guides trail hikes on our walking trails. Being in the Asheville area, we also take advantage of the natural beauty of our region through Monday morning walking outings to the NC Arboretum and various recreational parks in the county. For those who prefer individual fitness, our fitness center provides stationary bikes, treadmills, a NuStep, and free weights for your personal use or the indoor pool can be used for lap swimming.
Residents also enjoy regular health education talks to learn more about all different types of health issues that affect seniors such as eye health, hearing education, mental illness and more.
If you are dealing with a short-term illness or physical challenge, our Wellness Navigator will help you with resources ranging from home health or physical therapy to assisted living care– all services available on campus at Ardenwoods.
Emotional wellness is the developing of skills and strategies to cope with stress.
As we get older emotional wellness is a critical focus. Our seniors go through a great deal of loss in life and proving ways to enhance emotional wellness is key. At Ardenwoods, our community offers educational programs about grief and mental illness. Our residents provide a great deal of support for each other in good times and in bad. Birthdays and anniversaries are not passed by without a celebration. Residents often find their mailboxes overflowing with well wishes and every week there seems to be a celebratory lunch for someone. The relationships that our neighbors create with each other are invaluable. While the community is tight knit, everyone respects each other’s privacy and need for alone time.
The Wellness Navigator, a licensed social worker, is constantly striving to support residents at all stages of life and is available just to listen if there are any concerns.
Vocational wellness is personal satisfaction and enrichment derived from one’s work.
While most of our residents are enjoying retirement, that hasn’t stopped them from pursuing a variety of vocational opportunities. Most residents find vocational activities that related to their previous profession. Retired teachers find themselves gravitating toward managing our ever-growing library or participating in literacy programs. Retired accountants and business owners are helping locals with tax preparation services. Other residents find joy in trying a different passion that they weren’t able to pursue in their working life. Many residents participate in art programs or producing dramatic plays for the community to enjoy. A group of residents created a pen pal program with a local elementary school. The relationships they formed with the students were invaluable. At the end of the year, the letter writers got to meet their students in person and enjoyed sharing milk and cookies with them. The Ardenwoods Singers is a quality choir that rehearses regularly and performs two lively shows each year.
Vocational health is key for someone to find purpose in life and a reason to get up each day.
Nutritional wellness is shown through healthy eating habits that contribute to good physical health.
For some, eating healthy is a natural choice, but for others making good nutritional choices takes constant work. Our food and beverage team is dedicated to providing a wide variety of dining choices to make the decision as enjoyable as possible.
The Dining Services Director, Bill McBee, makes nutritional wellness person-centered. We find out when the resident’s birthday is, what their favorite foods are and create a nutritional plan around that. Many of our residents have been eating on their own for so long and eating with others becomes a new joy for them – each night a new group is staying later and later, enjoying a long, relaxing meal and good conversation among new friends. A registered dietician is also available for special dining requests and needs. Residents are provided with all the nutritional guidelines for the menus and ensured balance in all of our meal choices.
Social Wellness is developing a sense of connection and a well-developed support system.
Moving to a new community can be intimidating, and one of the biggest worries you may have is, “how will I make friends?” At Ardenwoods, we put several programs in place to ensure you will be welcomed into the community with open arms. Each member of the leadership team will meet with you individually within the first month of move-in to introduce you to the different aspect of the community. Members of our Resident Welcoming committee will reach out to you within the first month to invite you to coffee or a meal or a campus event – time together to learn more about each other and to introduce you to new friends at Ardenwoods. We also make sure you continue your strong relationships with friends from outside of the community. They are all welcome to come to the community to continue that relationship. We also host a variety of “Get to Know You” events, a panel discussion regarding “where you were in history,” “Amateur Hour,” events to share your treasures and pictures, and even a campus wide “Trivia Hour.”
Spiritual wellness is the search for meaning and purpose in the human existence.
While many of our residents identify church activities as their way of enhancing spiritual wellness, our community has diverse ways of celebrating the spirit. Ardenwoods is not a religiously affiliated community. For some a quiet walk on our nature path or a morning weeding the garden connects them with their spirit. Our on-campus church, Faith Fellowship is a resident-led Christian worship. On Mondays a Catholic Rosary and Eucharistic Service is offered. Several Bible study groups and music programs are offered on a regular basis.
Our residents come from a variety of faith backgrounds, and as a community we feel it is important to celebrate the diversity in our community. Throughout the year and at the holidays, we enjoy learning about all different ways to celebrate.
Intellectual Wellness is recognizing creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills.
At Ardenwoods, learning is a way of life. One of the premier OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) programs for adult education is hosted by the University of North Carolina – Asheville campus, just a short drive from the Ardenwoods campus. Residents from all over the country move to this area for this program and several Ardenwoods residents drive there to take classes in history, literature and other pursuits. Western Carolina University also hosts Senior College at Biltmore Park, a convenient location to Ardenwoods. Heather Glen hosts “Senior College” where Ardenwoods residents teach classes and all residents are given the opportunity to listen to lectures on a variety of topics including music, wood working, the environment, economics, and travel. The Great Courses DVDs are also a popular activity among residents, and currently the community is showing “Emperors of Rome.” Residents also enjoy a host of lectures on technology, current events and local history.
Environmental Wellness is connecting a person to their surroundings.
Being in Western North Carolina the residents of Ardenwoods are acutely connected to the preservation of the natural beauty around them. Residents help maintain nature trails and meet on a regular basis with the Building and Grounds Committee to discuss recycling initiatives and other ways to conserve the environment around them.