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IKF Blog
Posted: Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Six Dimensions of Wellness: Vocational Wellness


Total wellness involves more than just physical health. It encompasses multiple dimensions that include lifestyle, mental and spiritual well-being and a self-directed and evolving process that enables one to achieve full potential. 

At the Ingleside communities, we promote the Six Dimensions of Wellness, a holistic model that includes Spiritual, Social, Emotional, Vocational and Intellectual as well as Physical Wellness. In this series of posts, we’re exploring each of those dimensions and how they are supported and practiced at each Ingleside retirement community. 

The word “vocation” comes from the latin verb vocare, which means “to call.” A calling is not limited to a profession; it applies to one’s life work, mission or purpose as well. While we are working at a job, vocational wellness is the ability to derive personal fulfillment from the field we have chosen and our desire to have a positive impact on the organizations we work with, while also maintaining balance in our lives. 

After retirement, many people continue to work in some way in their chosen professions, while others find new meaning and purpose with new careers. Others become meaningfully engaged in new or renewed passions that once had to be treated as hobbies. Many find the same kind of personal satisfaction and enrichment in volunteer work that is personally meaningful and rewarding and that also contributes to their community. 

Some residents continue working after moving into Ingleside at King Farm. They may work reduced hours at the jobs they have held for many years, or they may take up a new pursuit. Members often choose to customize their apartments so that they have office space. 

Knowing the value of a rich and engaged lifestyle, Ingleside at King Farm offers a varied roster of programs that not only enrich residents’ lives but lead them in discovering new passions that may become as fulfilling as their former vocations. Flower arranging, needlework and other groups draw upon and develop artistic sensibilities and keep fingers nimble. On Technology Wednesdays, volunteers come in to help residents sharpen their skills in using their smartphones, tablets and computers. 

Helping neighbors is a major part of life at Ingleside at King Farm. 

“Nearly everyone here is volunteering,” Volunteer Coordinator Debbie Loube says. “Even people who could do less, do more.” 

Members volunteer within the retirement community in many ways—from sharing their knowledge and skills with their fellow members through classes and workshops, to running errands, repairing clothing and visiting people during stays on the Assisted Living floor or those who are receiving skilled nursing care. 

Members also work in many ways to improve the greater community outside their homes. Residents participate in numerous projects, including baking goodies and delivering them to emergency personnel, making layettes for low-income pregnant mothers and collecting food that is distributed to food pantries. Others work in local libraries, hospitals and homeless centers; volunteer for church activities; and tutor local students. 

Volunteering in particular contributes greatly to our residents’ overall wellness. Research has found correlations between volunteering and better health, less pain, greater happiness and a positive attitude. Giving back is both a vital part of the spirit of Ingleside and a fulfillment of the vocational wellness component that is so necessary for total wellness.


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