Where Health Meets Luxury: How Upscale Senior Living Communities Design Holistic Wellness Programs

Today’s older adults recognize that a consistent focus on health and wellness can do more than prevent illness and reduce the risk of chronic disease – it can also lead to a more active, independent, and enjoyable lifestyle in their later years.

It’s no wonder then that the newest luxury senior living communities have placed greater emphasis on developing services that promote physical, mental, and emotional health.

Here we’ll explore six ways high-end senior living communities are designed to support all aspects of senior health and wellness.

1. Holistic wellness tailored for seniors

“To ensure good health: eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness, and maintain an interest in life.”  – William Londen

Holistic wellness is the philosophy that health and well-being are interconnected, and that an individual's physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional health are all equally important to achieve optimal health.

Today’s upscale senior living communities take a holistic approach by developing nutrition, fitness, continual learning classes, in-house medical resources, and other programs tailored to the needs of their older residents.

For example, fitness classes focus not just on building strength, but on improving balance and even promoting cognitive health. Menus are crafted around the dietary needs and restrictions common for older adults. Wellness coaching helps residents set sustainable goals. Customized physical therapy and occupational therapy plans are also typically available on-site.  

2. Culinary programs that unlock the healing power of nutrition

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”  – Hippocrates

You won’t be surprised by the high-quality food standards found in luxury senior living communities. Residents who are accustomed to gourmet cuisine enjoy chef-prepared meals that may rival their favorite restaurants. These upscale communities offer a variety of in-house dining venues, often including casual bistros for breakfast and lunch, fine dining restaurants, stylish lounges, and intimate private dining rooms.

High-end senior living communities embrace holistic care by elevating nutrition to the forefront of menu planning. The care and attention to detail given to menu development might remind you more of a Michelin-star-rated dining spot than a senior living community.

This attention to menu planning can be found at Coterie, a luxury senior living community with locations in New York City and San Francisco. Coterie’s executive chef partners with the Mayo Clinic’s Wellness Chef to build menus that are highly nutritious — yet still delicious. Together, they create recipes that incorporate superfoods such as berries and dark leafy greens that are beneficial to improving cognitive function in older adults.

3. Resident healthcare built around in-house resources

“The first wealth is health.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Luxury retirement communities often provide extensive health services on-site, so residents can receive professional care without leaving home.

Visiting physicians may make “house calls” with residents, and nurses are typically on duty around the clock.

Residents in luxury assisted living communities work with staff caregivers for medication management and a range of personal care services. Communities may contract with outside providers for physical and occupational therapy, and other rehabilitative services.

Special memory care programs serve residents living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. These programs revolve around professional care and a deep respect for the resident’s dignity.

Luxury senior living communities put a premium on peace of mind for residents and their families. Some communities offer a Care Coordination Director who relays resident care information to the on-site care team, personal physicians, pharmacies, and family.  

Communities may even offer an on-site medical center and emergency room, so residents can receive care services in-house, eliminating the need to travel back and forth to doctor appointments and hospitals.

4. Physical fitness designed for older bodies

“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.” – Joseph Pilates

Luxury senior living communities know residents expect amenities like a well-equipped fitness center, a yoga studio, and a variety of on-site fitness classes. The community may provide wellness coaching, nutrition counseling, and physical therapy, too.

Many upscale retirement communities feature resort-like offerings and activities such as heated swimming pools, walking trails, even rooftop bocce ball. In addition to these amenities, an in-house team skillfully guides residents toward maximum health and wellness. 

High-end senior living supports fitness and active lifestyles by helping residents turn personal goals into everyday wellness. Whether it’s aqua therapy in a private pool, group fitness classes, or dance lessons in an inviting studio, fitness goals are pursued in stylish environments with the help of a highly trained staff. 

5. Programs and events emphasizing mental stimulation

“The brain is like a muscle. When it is in use, we feel very good. Understanding is joyous.” – Carl Sagan

Luxury senior living communities know the best way to complement regular physical activity is to create a mentally stimulating environment. Resources and activities may include a thoughtfully designed library, an on-site cinema, lectures delivered by subject matter experts, live music performances, and cultural outings to local museums, art galleries, and concert halls.  

One example: Coterie Hudson Yards’ partnership with 92NY – New York’s storied center for culture, connection, and enrichment. This partnership offers Coterie residents opportunities to attend sophisticated lectures, classes, and discussion groups led by university professors, published authors, professional artists, and experts on every topic under the sun.  

6. Technology that makes healthcare more convenient

“…you have to be struck by the power of digital technology—the Fourth Industrial Revolution—to totally change how we deliver healthcare.” -Professor Dame Sally Davies

Many upscale senior living communities now harness cutting-edge technology to support resident health. An expanding universe of high-tech gadgets and sophisticated systems provide a more integrated, holistic approach to care and streamlined communication between patients, families, and physicians. These emerging technologies have become an integral part of many luxury senior living communities’ approach to wellness. 

Living well and thriving longer

Older adults and their families understand that physical and mental well-being play a central part of a vital, fulfilling life.

Luxury senior living communities incorporate nutritional dining, wellness coaching, mentally stimulating programs and events, and a strong focus on emerging health technologies to help older people age more successfully — so they can live in better health for longer.

Take some time to think about what your best life looks like, then seek out a high-end senior living option that satisfies your standards.


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