Village on the Park Steeplechase insignia

Blog at
Village on the Park Steeplechase

Return To Blog
Nurse and patient laughing while having a conversation.

Relationship-Centered Living Series Part 2: 5 Components Aging Adults Need to Flourish

PART TWO: What Are the 5 Pillars of Well-Being Aging Adults Need?

Here in our Relationship-Centered Living Series, we’re answering the most-asked questions about relationship-centered living and the top reasons why this approach is critical for seniors.

Part One explained what relationship-centered living means and identified its chief characteristics and some of the myths surrounding it. We also touched on the “5 Pillars of Well-Being” that Cardinal Bay applies as its standards for excellent relationship-centered living and that steer us as we cultivate flourishing people and senior living communities in Texas and Oklahoma.

This installment takes a closer look at each of these multidimensional pillars – those powerful components we’ve deemed essential to achieving our mission. A happy, healthy, productive life awaits you and your aging loved ones, just by blending together the knowledge and steps below. 


Pillar #1 | Relationships

Relationships are a foundational element of well-being, and:

  • They involve a sense of connection, acceptance, inclusion, kindness and communication.

  • They are identified by assumptions of good intent, respect, appreciation, seeking to understand, empathy, reciprocity and harmony. 

  • Both deep and informal relationships provide human interactions key to good health and longevity.  


We’ve learned that relationships and the opportunities for personal connection and social interaction – on a daily basis – are vital to the health and happiness of seniors. Take it from Susan Pinker, a developmental psychologist, who discusses her research on this subject in her TED Talk, “The Secret to Living Longer May Be Your Social Life.” Pinker shares that this frequent, face-to-face contact could surpass other factors, such as taking certain medications in benefiting our health and longevity.


How Can I Create Personal Connection and Social Interaction?

Your first hint: It shouldn’t cause stress or a sense of intimidation. Whether motivating yourself or a loved one, start by sprinkling in a few of these easy ideas:

  • Regular family visits

  • Check-ins from neighbors

  • Volunteer opportunities

  • Involvement in local senior or community centers

  • Church or club memberships

  • One-on-one or group social activities

  • Good listening and intentional conversations


Trying out these simple options will help generate supportive relationships that meet our very human need to feel seen, known and heard – and as a bonus, accountability for sustaining healthy habits.


Pillar #2 | Health

Our second pillar, health, includes and encompasses:

  • Aspects of nutrition, physical activity, independence, dignity, sleep, rest and relaxation.  These aspects can be accomplished by setting healthy daily habits.

  • Financial wellness, such as planning for the future.

  • Concepts of stewardship and sustainability for yourself, your community, the organization and the larger world.


It’s Often Tougher to Sustain Healthy Habits as We Age, So How Can I Overcome the Challenges?

You’re on the right track, just by recognizing these hurdles. Continue asking important, practical questions, including the ones below, to help guide you in the correct next moves.

  • How much time is spent interacting/dining/socializing with other people each day?

  • How much time and effort are required for routine activities? 

  • Is the home environment safe, comfortable and structured for optimal independence?

  • Is meal preparation manageable? Is there consistent access to healthy and nutritious meals?

  • What kind of support and accountability are available for managing wellness goals?

  • Are financial documents and health care directives in place and accessible?

  • Is there a need for additional care, assistance or support?


Pillar #3 | Mindset

Our mindset pillar:

  • Includes personal outlook, educational and growth opportunities, attitude, hope, thankfulness and gratitude. 

  • Is connected to collaboration, innovation, teamwork and identifying limiting beliefs such as those surrounding ageism and ableism.

  • Provides opportunities to utilize strengths and identify weaknesses and work to improve them in our pursuits. Mentorship and coaching can be instrumental in these growth opportunities. 


It only makes sense that as we get older, we’re going to settle further into our particular ways of thinking – and find it more and more difficult to adjust our personal outlook and behavior. But mounting research shows how your mindset can change how you age, proving that we can boost it ourselves.

“It comes down to daily behavior and the choices we make,” says Elissa Epel, a psychiatry professor at the University of California, San Francisco. “We have a growing set of studies of people from around the world showing that aging is not just an aspect of genetics but of how we live.”


How Can I Create and Maintain a Mindset That Promotes Positive Aging?


Pillar #4 | Spirit

Another foundational element of well-being, spirit includes:

  • An understanding that there is a sense of something greater than yourself; your spirituality, religion and/or meaningful connections that can come through nature, relationships, hobbies, prayer, meditation, mindfulness, beauty, vocation and service to others.


The Cardinal Bay team believes that with relationship-centered living, caring for the body, the mind and the spirit must be accomplished. And to nurture our spirit, we should first recognize what gives us happiness, meaning and purpose in different activities of life. Then, we must intentionally pursue these experiences, every single day.


What Are Some Ways to Care for the Spirit?

  • Practice prayer or meditation to connect to something greater.

  • Take opportunities to participate in a favorite hobby that brings joy, peace, rest and awe.

  • Spend time with family or in nature to feel and appreciate love and beauty.

  • Connect with friends who uplift your spirit.


Our care professionals recommend these same ideas to their senior living residents, who appreciate the positive effects they yield on their total well-being.


Pillar #5 | Purpose

Purpose is part of our true being; the unique calling of what drives us from deep within. Be aware that:

  • Our sense of purpose and meaning evolves and changes over time and can become buried under real or perceived limitations.

  • Life satisfaction, meaning and purpose can grow from giving, contributing, honoring, creating and sustaining traditions, and getting outside of ourselves to help others.


Research proves that fulfilling a sense of purpose is key to aging well – and that’s why it lies at the core of our relationship-centered approach.


How Can I Incorporate Purposeful Living?

Purposeful living need not be unidirectional or complicated. Try some of the many simple opportunities loved at Cardinal Bay senior living communities, including:

  • Fostering friendships with neighbors and staff members.

  • Chatting and laughing with others, or being the confidante or shoulder that they can lean on.

  • Joining a club, an educational workshop or another stimulating activity or event.

  • Learning or refining a skill.

  • Cooking a meal for loved ones.

  • Supporting a new, local cause, possibly by volunteering or raising funds.


Any way they experience it, a reawakened sense of purpose and meaning – when supported by community life – empowers seniors to be happier, healthier and more productive.

Follow our blog for more installments of our Relationship-Centered Living Series. In the upcoming weeks, you’ll keep discovering ways that relationship-centered living and being a valued community contributor can deeply enhance a senior’s complete wellness.


Count on a First-Class Senior Living Expert

If you or your loved one could benefit from a supportive “village,” it may be time to consider senior living options in your area. Cardinal Bay provides independent living, assisted living and memory care communities in Texas and Oklahoma. In a highly social, relationship-centered environment, our residents experience a wealth of stimulating activities, ultimately leading to healthier, richer and more fulfilling lives.

Be sure to tour the communities you like and speak with staff members and residents to guarantee you have all the vital information in hand to make the best decision.

Make Your Home
Explore All We Have To Offer