by Mary Keen
Part of CJE SeniorLife’s stated mission on behalf of older adults is “to enhance quality of life by advocating on their behalf and by offering programs and services throughout the continuum of care.” To enhance quality of life—we’ve heard the words often, but what do they really mean to CJE SeniorLife and our thousands of community members and clients?
An enhanced quality of life is embodied in the lifestyle of a lively 85-year-old who schmoozes with friends as she competes with a partner in our Scrabble Club instead of staying at home alone.
We enhance the quality of life for an older man when we provide him with a balance class to help reduce his chances of falls and his fears about it.
When we offer a woman on food stamps a class on how to spend less money choosing nutrition-dense foods, we enhance her quality of life.
The above are examples of how we deal with the social, physical and financial well-being of our older adults and some programs we offer through the Center for Healthy Living (CHL).
As you can see, we don’t just deal with one dimension of a person. CJE SeniorLife takes a holistic approach to the well-being of older adults. Our goal is to help them live well by providing tools to achieve balance among the three very different, and compelling, areas of their life—the mind, the body and the spirit. Within those areas, we focus on the following aspects of human wellness and well-being: physical, spiritual, financial, emotional, social, cultural, intellectual and vocational.
CJE strives to see that older people’s needs are being met and that they are functioning well in all of these areas. Our programs and services help keep them active and engaged with life, something that helps to prevent life-diminishing emotional and physical challenges down the road. The benefits gained from a dynamic lifestyle, including an active mind and physical activity, cannot be denied. In the past year, the Center for Healthy Living served over 2,700 people who attended approximately 155 programs!
The Center for Healthy Living also provides: lifelong learning through our Older Adult Programs and cultural events; information about caregiving and how to navigate life transitions; and classes to promote creativity and self-expression.
Call 773.508.1073 for information and to register.
Total Memory Workout — Helps enhance memory with a focus on brain-healthy lifestyle choices and helpful memory techniques.
Matter of Balance — Provides education and light exercise to increase strength and balance for those who fear falling or want to avoid falls.
Navigating Medicare — Resource Specialists provide free information and advocacy on benefits like insurance, prescription drugs, social security and more.
Ethical and Legal Issues of Aging — Your Eldercare Consultants, a team of geriatric care managers, provide valuable practical information about aging.
Take Charge of Your Health (6 weeks)—For anyone living with a chronic condition such as heart disease, high blood pressure or arthritis.
Take Charge of Your Diabetes (6 weeks)—For people living with Type 2 Diabetes, their family and friends. Provides tools to understand and manage diabetes.
Healthy Eating for Successful Living (7 weeks)—How to eat well in order to age well.
Food $ense (4 weeks)—How to stretch your food budget and buy nutrition-rich foods for less.
Diabetes and Bone Density Screening and Education — Staff take blood glucose, A1C readings, plus heel ultrasounds to screen for diabetes and osteoporosis, respectively. Information on risk factors, symptoms and management of diabetes are included in this one-time session.
This article originally appeared in the Winter 2013-2014 issue of LIFE, CJE SeniorLife's quarterly magazine.