The Importance of Choice

January 15, 2017

Stacy Prouty, Director of Sales, Marketing  & Communications

January 15, 2017

 

Working at Aviva – A Campus for Senior Life, I get to talk to residents, most in their 80s and 90s, every day.  They are the highlight of my day and always teach me something.  Sometimes it is something I know, but have lost sight of, like the fact that as Americans, we have been brought up in a culture of independence and choice.  We’ve always felt part of a democracy because most of us grew up having a say in most of the things that have shaped our lives – who we marry, where we live, what we do for work and for fun, as well as a vote in free and fair elections.

As people enter their eighth and ninth decades, most have experienced several losses. Family, friends and neighbors have moved away or died, a person’s health and mobility may have changed, the influence or power one may have had in the workforce is different after retirement, etc.  These occurrences combined result in a lack of control and the desire to control those things that are within reach.

David Solie, geriatric psychologist and author of How To Say It To Seniors, examines the developmental agenda of the older adult and concludes that if we fight, dismiss or ignore elders’ need for control, we miss the opportunity to help them maximize their potential. Conversely, and this is our philosophy at Aviva, if we nourish our elders developmentally, it can positively impact the quality and even the quantity of life.

At Aviva, we give residents control over how they age and we do this by providing the support, education, programs and good choices to live life to the fullest.  We can’t change some of the losses they have incurred, but we can introduce them to Aviva4Life, a proactive, personalized and comprehensive approach to wellbeing.  Our seniors can choose, along with assistance by a Nurse Navigator, to engage mind, body, spirit and connect socially in numerous ways every day. Aviva4Life features access to Encore Academy Lifelong Learning, State-of-the-art fitness equipment and programs, brain health with access to an ARNP, a geriatrician and other on-site specialists, heart-healthy meals and education, onsite pharmacy and Doctor of Pharmacy, transportation options, technology and more.

Studies have found that people who have choices or have a sense of control are happier.  At Aviva, we know that giving our residents choices and access to the people and programs who can empower them is the right thing to do.

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