The “Well, duh” of holistic wellness

Buckner Retirement Services’ approach to holistic wellness has a significant impact in an ever-growing circle of lives. Meeting the whole person’s needs – physical, mental, social, and spiritual – just makes sense.

We know that the Lord entrusted these residents to us for abundant life here and to prepare for eternity. That call demands being both holistic and transcendent.

As I perused the most recent edition of “The Journal on Active Aging,” it was interesting to note the emphasis on holistic wellness care. The topic touched leadership issues, staff training and satisfaction, life enrichment, and marketing. But isn’t it obvious that wellness would be holistic?

And if it’s holistic then would it not also be transcendent? In this industry, the spiritual is not always viewed as absolute and genuinely transcendent. That’s why I am glad for the Buckner approach to resident wellness. Beyond all the slick ads and testimonials from our senior living communities is the plea of the resident that asks, “Chaplain, why am I here?” It is a search for purpose and meaning.

Thus, to take a page from my teenage daughter’s book, the observation that wellness must always have a transcendent spiritual component deserves a hearty “Well, duh!”

By teaching "holistic living," we acknowledge that we must first deal with a deficit in our society: the deficit that many people lead fragmented lives. Buckner communities must be wholly holistic. (I could have said 'completely' or 'totally' but the word play is lost!)

All parts of every individual are interrelated. What builds me up physically empowers me mentally. A good meal is not just the food- it is the blessing of good company. That also is our holistic lesson to woo the resident to ever deeper living.

As a faith-based community, our foundation is an intra-denominational Christian approach to improving one’s ability to deal with this life’s challenges and prepare for eternity. Aging quickly reveals the impotency of the non-transcendent solution. These solutions may sound nice, but do they really improve purpose and worth for senior adults? 

Residents at Buckner senior living communities voluntarily participate with each other in life while also interacting with the larger world through that biblical lens.

For example, we encourage intercessory prayer corporately and individually. Any senior adult, no matter their circumstance, who prays for others intentionally will affect the world around them and draw closer to God.  They see how God answers and interacts with us as we seek to serve each other in His name. The goal is a voluntary Christian foundation that touches every resident, staff member, and visitor and beyond for a temporal and eternal purpose.

The persistent enemy of holistic wellness is the plea, “Why am I here?” It is a plea that genuine holistic, Christ-like wellness can resolve. Well, duh!

Rick Webb serves as Chaplain at Buckner Westminster Place in Longview. He has been a part of the Buckner Retirement Services family since 2000. 

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