Patricia Will, Founder and CEO of Belmont Village Senior Living, moderated a webinar entitled “Resilience and Wisdom in Senior Housing Communities” presented by Dr. Dilip V. Jeste, M.D., a renowned geriatric neuro-psychiatrist and Director of the Sam and Rose Stein Institute for Research on Aging at the University of California San Diego. The concepts covered in the webinar will be part of the unique programming at Belmont Village’s newest community in La Jolla, California which will feature a Living Lab and Resilience and Wisdom Training program in partnership with UCSD.
In the webinar, Dr. Jeste addressed conditions experienced by aging seniors, such as loneliness and isolation, and how a senior’s quality of life can be improved by promoting the inherent resilience and wisdom of seniors when living in an engaging, communal environment among peers.
Belmont Village’s partnership with UCSD’s Stein Center began when the two entities partnered in the first phase of “Raise Your Resilience” training, which yielded remarkable results as seen in the study entitled A pragmatic trial of a group intervention in senior housing communities to increase resilience, published online in International Psychogeriatrics. In that program, residents at Belmont Village Senior Living Cardiff by the Sea and Sabre Springs took part in a groundbreaking multi-site collaboration with UCSD that was proven to enhance resilience and reduce subjective stress for residents. Now, the partnership has produced a new layer of collaboration to integrate UCSD Stein Institute and Center for Healthy Aging research and innovation to the residents of the newest Belmont Village community in La Jolla.
The research Dr. Jeste presented during the webinar will be the foundation for the “Resilience and Wisdom Training” program at Belmont Village’s Cardiff by the Sea, Calabasas, and La Jolla, California senior communities. The training program is set to launch June 1st. The purpose of the “Resilience and Wisdom Training” is to enhance traits associated with resilience and wisdom in order to promote well-being in Belmont Village residents while guiding participants to life reflection, and to help them achieve more enjoyment and meaning in life while decreasing loneliness.
Patricia Will, Founder and CEO of Belmont Village Senior Living, believes partnering with institutions like those at UC San Diego and working with experts like Dr. Jeste will help Belmont Village communities achieve their goal of measurably enhancing the lives of residents to a significant degree. “Implementing these programs presents game-changing innovation in that quality-of-life improvements will be assessed and measured,” said Will. “Certainly, the residents of our communities will benefit as we roll out programs with incredible proven success, but I also believe the senior care industry as a whole will benefit from what we do and what we learn here at Belmont Village. We’re proud to be setting a new standard.”
During the webinar, Dr. Jeste explained that older adults are at increased risk for loneliness and social isolation because they are more likely to face difficulties in living alone, the loss of family or friends, chronic illness, and hearing loss. Loneliness is described as the distress caused by a feeling of being alone, while social isolation is the inadequacy and infrequency of engaging social relationships. Loneliness can increase the risk of major diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, depression, substance abuse and Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) has pointed out that more than 30% of adults aged 45 and older feel lonely, and nearly 25% of adults aged 65 and older are considered to be socially isolated.
“Social isolation is an enemy of wisdom and resilience,” said Dr. Jeste. “The good news is that loneliness and isolation can be managed, and even prevented, in older people. Both resilience and components of wisdom are potentially modifiable and can increase with age and experience.”
Dr. Jeste pointed out that when the effects of social isolation were studied, older people did better than expected, and younger people did worse. While older people didn’t have as many relationships on social media as younger people, their real relationships were likely to be closer and more meaningful. The quality of relationships matters, and in senior communities, high-quality, in-person relationships are likely (and encouraged) to develop. Senior living has a changing role and importance in the community engagement of seniors and has proven critical for seniors’ overall well-being.
Nestled in the heart of the beautiful seaside village of La Jolla, Belmont Village’s newest community in San Diego County will offer the unique balance of innovative, research-based programming, best-in-class care and resident-centered living that Belmont Village is known for.
The La Jolla community will offer Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care along with a wide spectrum of support. The first-of-its-kind Living Lab featured in the La Jolla community is a physical space, manned by UCSD faculty and researchers, to deepen their connection with older adults. By being embedded in the community in a Living Lab, it will be easier for faculty and staff to launch initiatives to foster resident well-being.
“The purpose of this program, which is specific to Belmont Village, focuses on the joint commitment to undertake evidence-based programming to enhance the quality of life for residents. We look forward to continuing to make great strides in senior health through the UCSD-Belmont Village partnership in this new endeavor and into the future,” said Dr. Jeste.
To view the “Resilience and Wisdom in Senior Housing Communities” webinar, click HERE.