Staying Active at Heritage Woods of Ottawa 

Robin Kakara 

At Heritage Woods of Ottawa our residents enjoy a variety of activities each day. From crafting to exercise class to state park outings, there is always something to do at the Woods! Studies have shown that the more active the senior is, the healthier they will be. Inactivity has been associated with depression, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, hypertension, and premature death. Not only can our seniors avoid those previous conditions, they can also experience a number of positive benefits as well. These benefits can fall into the range of improved physical health, increased stamina, mood improvements, better concentration, and the ability to continue learning. Although this relationship between activity and well-being applies to younger persons as well, both the positive and negative effects are amplified in the case of seniors. Broadly speaking, there are three categories of activities that are recommended for optimal senior well-being: physical, social, and mental. 

Physical activities such as our group sittercise class and walking club provide the foundation for all other forms of senior wellness. A sedentary lifestyle during the senior years can lead to greater susceptibility to injury, higher incidence of obesity, cardiovascular problems, and a number of other serious diseases. Oppositely, persons who continue to stay active into their senior years decrease the risk of these adverse conditions. Additionally, senior physical activity decreases the risk of stroke, cancers, type 2 diabetes, depression, and dementia. It also arrests the deterioration of overall health and allows seniors to maintain their independence longer. 

Elderly activities with a social focus such as ice cream socials, playing cards, or participating in our family and friends monthly parties are all crucial to the well-being of our residents. Without consistent social interaction, seniors can experience a variety of distressing conditions, including debilitating loneliness, depression, and an increased risk of dementia. On the other hand, when seniors consistently engage in social activities, they experience significant improvements in their physical, mental, and emotional health outcomes. Much of this improvement results from the ability to maintain healthy relationships and a continued sense of being part of society. 

The third and final category are activities with a mental focus. There is no doubt that human beings must continue to receive intellectual stimulation over the entire course of their lives, if they are to achieve and maintain a fulfilling and unimpaired life. The variety of helpful activities is wide enough to accommodate many individual preferences and includes puzzle solving, dancing, board games, reading, and practicing a musical instrument. These sorts of mental activities will also improve the emotional health outcomes of seniors, especially when combined with physical and social activities. We offer all of our residents resources and supplies to continue their love of hobbies, music, and more. 

We take great care at Heritage Woods of Ottawa to ensure that each resident has the ability to participate in activities that bring them joy and well-being. It is our mission to tend to our beloved residents’ needs with patience, compassion, and efficiency.