Engaged living is part of the Arbor Way, as we know how important active living is to a healthy lifestyle. In our upcoming webinar, Senior Living LIVE! Staying Active & Engaged As You Age, we explore ideas, tips and techniques on how to engage the mind, body and spirit and how this looks in senior living.

In this video, Sara Kyle, founder of LE3 Solutions, joins us to share a preview for this webinar, and tips on how to stay active at any level of ability. Click above to watch the preview now, and be sure to register for the full webinar by visiting ArborCompany.com/Active.

 

Video Transcript

- Hello, everyone. And welcome into Senior Living Live. My name is Melissa. We are so glad you could join us today by watching online or listening via podcast. I am here today with Sarah Kyle, the founder and principal of LE3 Solutions. We will see her and Kelly Stranburg team up for their webinar, September 7th, called Staying Active & Engaged As You Age. Of course, all ways that you can feed the mind, the body and the soul at any age. Sarah, thank you so much for being here today. How are you?

- I am doing well. Thank you so much for having me, Melissa.

- Absolutely. We are so thankful that we could tap into your knowledge here today. You are a self-proclaimed resident engagement geek. Tell us what that means exactly. And a little bit about yourself and your company.

- Sure, you know, I try to look for like a tagline or something to determine you and your business and what you do. And expert just seems too lofty. I think to be an expert, it takes more time than what I have. But I love all things engagement, of just why people do what they do and are inspired to do something. And that level of engagement is so important because it propels so much of what we do in life. It's a catalyst when we're engaged. And it doesn't matter what age, you think about our children starting school, going through life, and then even towards the end of life, engagement is key. So I just enjoy it. A little bit about the company. So LE3 Solutions stands for life elevated three, and the three is body, mind, and community. The life elevated is simply that life is meant to be lived upright, and mobility is key in that. So I think I come into it from that mobility perspective. All of my background is in kinesiology, exercise science, thought I was gonna be a professor and soon learned that I wanted to work with older adults in the senior living setting. Been in the space about 13 years, and had some cool opportunities with companies, and then just decided to take that experience and knowledge and try to go out and do strategic consulting and advising. So that's a little bit about LE3 Solutions and that background.

- Yeah. And we're really glad that you did. You're able to help communities and seniors across the country. So in your experience with seniors, how has senior living in general changed over the years? What was important, say 15, 20 years ago, and what are the priorities now?

- Yeah, you know, I don't think the priorities have shifted as much. I think the same needs are there and we're trying to meet those same needs with the services we provide. I think what's changed the most is that the consumer is so much more sophisticated and educated. They will no longer just take, "Here is what you're going to do. And this is what everyone does in the community," as I think a response to, "Why should I move in here?" And they really want to fit into that community. They want to be a part of that community. And so I think it's them looking at the community of, does this space, do these people, do they meet my desires and my interests? And can I be a part of it? Because if I can't be a part of it, why move, why leave home?

- 100%. And you hear that all the time with people who are trying to weigh the pros and the cons of leaving a place that they may have been for 20 to 30 years, but it starts to become a little bit too much for them to handle, but they don't want to leave it. And then they don't know if what's ahead or in the future is going to be better than where they are. We talk about your company and it really takes a deep dive into analyzing all of those things and those aspects of wellbeing and engagement in senior living. Through your research, what are the top three things maybe that you've narrowed down, that seniors need and want when it comes to senior living and senior living communities, and how are you helping those communities meet those needs?

- You know, the first one we always hear is safety and security. And I think, you know, to your point, to leave home, you place so much trust into kind of this unknown pursuit you're going into. You know, you hear that it's great, but you've never, most people at the age 65, 70 do not decide to go live with a hundred people again and not have some apprehension about that, right? So safety and security is always number one. And I think the next one is knowing that the care that they need as they grow in that space will be there, and great care that they can rely on is always number two. And the third one is pretty simple of, is there something here that interests me? Is there something I can do to fulfill my days? And that doesn't mean it's group programming or I look at the calendar and I see which things I want to do, but is there something that sparks life in me? Or am I just going to come here and be? Right? So I think those are the main ones. And to quantify what that, "When I come here, I want to do something," is so much bigger than engagement or programs, right? It's the entire experience. So making sure that experience is met, but also discovered. And I think people need that nudge to continue to engage in experience, right?

- Maybe you have an example of where maybe you have seen it yourself, where somebody perhaps moved into a community and didn't really engage or sit with others during dinner, or, you know, any of the engagement opportunities that were offered that maybe finally found something that provided that spark. Do you have a personal example of that?

- Yeah, you know, we hear about it all the time that I think because it's generic at first. "Oh, I don't know if I see myself sitting in a card room. I've never played cards before. I don't know if I see myself going to be bingo, that's not my thing, it hasn't been what I'm doing." And so there's this reluctance, "I don't know if that's me," and what we find is sometimes when people branch out and just try something new, maybe because someone invited them or it was of interest that they show up and they realize, oh, this is really cool. It's not what I expected. And so I think that those opportunities, sometimes we have this notion that change is not great as we age and older people don't like to change, I think that's the craziest thing ever. We all change all the time. And so to always infuse new opportunities, novel things, and then create a culture that says, just go try it, right? You don't have to like it. You can even walk out, but just try it. Whether that, you know, I'll give you an example, an art studio. Art studios are pretty common and what we see is an easel and we see some paints, maybe a few different mediums, what those are, and that's kind of art, art takes on so many more forms. And so when you think about pottery, clay, jewelry making, beading, and then when you leave the interpretation open, people are more inclined to kind of come experience it.

- Yeah, and I think at any age you can find out you may be pretty good at something that you never knew you would ever be good at, and can actually take pride in something that you're doing for the first time and realize that maybe that's a special talent that you are tapping into that you didn't know you had before. So that's an excellent example with art, for sure. Well, you know, our webinars are for all seniors, they could be living at home. They could be living in a community. Obviously, it's a little bit easier moving into a community based on the engagement opportunities that seem to be so prevalent in our senior living communities these days. But what can you say to those viewers who may be living at home or somebody who maybe has a mom or dad that is in that senior age range, and they're thinking of ways, how can I help the person stay active at any ability?

- Yeah. I love this question. And Kelly and I, we say this all the time, usually what is good for people in senior living is good for people wherever they choose to age. And the one thing I think defines the why, right? Why I want to wake up, why I want to do something is a goal and aspiration. When you set a goal and an aspiration, there are movements and steps that are needed to propel you to that. And that can be as simple as, "My mom is 70. She lives at home alone. She could be more active, admittedly so. We were going on a ski trip and she said, 'I have to be able to walk around the mountains in the altitude with my grandkids. So I need to get back to swimming.'" Right? So I think there are different goals that you create, and it could even be volunteering, right? What is the cause? What is something that is so personal to you that will keep you engaged in the community? And the next thing is people, right? It's really hard to be motivated and engaged when you're alone. And it doesn't mean you can't do it living at home, but surround yourself with people that are chasing those same aspirations or goals.

- Yeah, and if you're a son or daughter and you're trying to find something for mom and dad, I mean, maybe you're that sort of nudge to get them to try something, like you said, that just to keep them engaged, something that they maybe have never done before. But there are certainly a laundry list of things that can be done, and we'll touch more on that during your webinar. And also during that webinar, we want everybody to know that's a great opportunity to ask questions for you and Kelly, and you will be there of course, to answer those after your presentation. So finally, can you tell us a little bit about how technology has helped keep seniors engaged mind, body, spirit during the pandemic and maybe even beyond now?

- Yeah. You know, I think technology in the simplest form is a new level, a new layer of convenience that we haven't had before. And so you are able to do so much more with simple, simple devices. And yes, it's connectivity into the community. It's the ease at which you can find something, right? I want to try this new activity. I want to learn about photography. I can then Google photography and I can go through an entire series of what I want to do, right? So just that instant, I think, information that you can assess that can kind of propel you into those aspirations. But the other part is, I think tech enables this whole new level of autonomy. And the example I will give you, especially in like a senior living setting or living at home setting, if I want to order a meal, right, without tech, I'm kind of confined to my pizza delivery guy, in the past. But when I look at tech, I have everything at my fingertips, at the meal, at the time that I want it. I don't have to worry about someone setting up a space for me. And that's just one example, but I do think there's this empowerment that older people, when they start to use tech, they find that they're not reliant on other people as they may have been before.

- Yeah, and that can be freeing for certain individuals, for sure. Just to kind of, sort of keep that belief that, you know, "I'm in control. I'm still in control," and that's huge for our seniors, for sure. We hear it all the time. Now, if someone is watching or they are listening via podcast and they want to contact you, how can they go about doing this?

- Sure. So our website is www.le3solutions.com. And we try to put everything out there. And again, we have different companies, solutions we work with that do things in the home, that provide products or content, not trying to sell you, but just resources, right? We want to be a resource to family, even about building community outside of a four wall structure, you can still do that. So feel free, go check out the website and follow us, please.

- Yeah, love that. And this of course is just a sneak peak of what you, our viewers will get to see September 7th. Staying Active & Engaged As You Age, the webinar is scheduled for noon Eastern time. Sarah, we look forward to seeing you and Kelly then, and we thank you so much for giving us this sneak peek today.

- Thank you. My pleasure.

- Thank you. Now, if you would like to RSVP for this webinar, you can head over to www.seniorlivinglive.com. You can click on the link for this webinar to join. And while you're there, feel free to check out the rest of our video content, all about senior living. It's available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We hope you have a great day, everybody. See you soon.

- Bye.

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