A more holistic approach to wellness is evolving at retirement villages.

Retirement village residents undertake a wide range of wellness activities including circuit sessions.

Other activities such as walking and music groups promote social engagement.

Wayne ‘Buck’ Shelford is appointed as Wellness Ambassador for Metlifecare, helping to promote a broader approach to health and wellbeing.

“Health and wellbeing is something I’ve been involved with throughout my adult life and it has been especially important during my recent battles with cancer. I’m now into my 60s so recognise the need to stay on top of all-round wellness.” Wayne ‘Buck’ Shelford, legendary ex-All Black and cancer survivor

Metlifecare’s new Gulf Rise village will feature dedicated activity spaces, a wellness centre and butterfly walk among its facilities.

BEING WELL is no  longer just about the absence of illness. Research increasingly shows that the way we feel and function in our daily lives is influenced by a range of genetic, experiential,  and environmental factors and also by the choices we make and the way we think. (Source: AUT’s Wellbeing series)

A recent study done by the Human Performance Centre at Auckland University of Technology for a leading insurance company found that people with high wellbeing “have a sense of vitality and ‘getup- and-go; a positive approach to life and an ability to bounce back when things go wrong.” It’s easy to see why retirement village operators such as Metlifecare are increasingly recognising the importance of taking a broader view of wellness. Partnering up with wellness experts from AUT, the  company has recently begun working with its residents to trial some new approaches
to wellness.

As Dave Hoskins from AUT explains, “The best outcomes will be achieved by a multidimensional  approach and we’ve worked closely with Metlifecare and the village residents to develop a holistic programme. As a result, we’ve added activities such as ‘Brain Games’ and ‘Brain Yoga’ to support not only cognitive but also emotional and spiritual wellness.” The company has also enlisted
the help of legendary ex-All Black and cancer survivor Wayne ‘Buck’ Shelford as their newlyappointed ‘wellness ambassador.’

“Health and wellbeing is something I’ve been involved with throughout my adult life and it has been especially important during my recent battles with cancer. I’m now into my 60s so recognise the need to stay on top of all-round wellness,” says Shelford.

Shelford has been working with Metlifecare residents, undertaking a host of existing and new wellness activities, including card games, circuit sessions, aqua aerobics, mindbody  coaching and other activities such as music groups that promote social engagement. As well as the resident activity programmes, the physical design of Metlifecare’s retirement villages is also evolving, with opportunities for social connection and dedicated spaces for a broad range of wellness activities being incorporated into their new village designs.

Gulf Rise, Metlifecare’s latest village under development, will feature a wellness centre with a state-of-the-art gym and pool. Along with the traditional bowling green and petanque court, the village blueprint also features a bustling centre with
café, salon and flower gardens, including a greenhouse and raised vegetable beds. The unique landscape of the site will be celebrated with nature trails, a butterfly walk and open pavilions for events. Dedicated  activity spaces and a workshop
for hobbies are also included in the plans.

With the findings from their work with AUT, and help from wellness ambassador Shelford, the residents of Gulf Rise are set to
enjoy the most comprehensive range of wellness activities yet. As well as lawn bowls, of course!

NEXT WEEK: Changing spaces: the modernisation of retirement village apartment design.

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