Harmony in Motion
The Life Quest program's goal is to help you find the right balance of mind, body and spirit
Adopting a positive approach to wellness and active aging is the goal of the LifeQuest program at Shell Point Retirement Community. Find out what residents are doing to stay young at heart.
The best way to stay healthy as you age is to keep your mind, body and spirit active. Through a program called LifeQuest, residents of Shell Point Retirement
Community in Fort Myers adopt a positive approach to wellness and active aging. By promoting personal growth and healthy living, LifeQuest provides the resources, support systems and services that allow residents the freedom to be as active or as engaged as they choose to be.
You don’t have to be a Shell Point resident to benefit from adopting this lifestyle approach that feeds the mind, body and spirit. There are six dimensions to the LifeQuest program.
Physical: increasing or maintaining what one has for the purpose of keeping your body functioning to its maximum potential.
Emotional: enjoying leisurely activities, quality relationships and opportunities to give back to others while finding time for one’s own self.
Spiritual: embracing, strengthening and growing in spirituality.
Educational: challenging the mind and seeking out intellectual benefits and life experiences.
Community and Social: building new friendships, sharing gifts and seeking opportunities to contribute personal talents.
Natural Environment: enjoying nature through exploration and appreciation.
Finding a balance among the six dimensions of LifeQuest ensures a holistic approach and a personal sense of wellbeing, happiness and fulfillment. The focus is on what one “can do”– not on the restrictions of what one “can’t do.”
A personal- wellness program starts from within, despite external settings or circumstances. When individuals internalize and set goals, they are able to achieve great results. Everyone can take a page from LifeQuest and benefit from its principles. Consider these inspirational success stories and start planning your personal LifeQuest.
Racing to Success
LifeQuest is the driving force behind Shell Point’s new dragon boat racing team. Last April, a group of 25 adventurous residents joined forces to form a team to compete in the “War on the Peace” Dragon Boat race on the Peace River in Charlotte County. The group came together in just a matter of a few weeks under the leadership of avid dragon boat paddler Minnie Ostyee. During the very first informational meeting, Ostyee described the dragon boat experience as a way to meet LifeQuest goals.
“Dragon boating fits into every dimension of LifeQuest,” she explained. The most obvious was, of course, the physical challenge of paddling the boat. Certainly, the joy of experiencing Southwest Florida’s natural environment was had by all. The sense of community and social connection experienced by participants resulted in new friendships bonded together by team participation. For many, the excitement of competing in a team sport was very thrilling. The group rallied together, and they finished a respectable third place in three heats.
Living Life to its Fullest
Joy Ellyn Ryan and Timothy Brady are an adventurous, active and fun- loving couple. After settling into their new home at Shell Point, Ryan and Brady learned about the LifeQuest program. As soon as they realized wellness was their responsibility, they got moving. The couple set many goals, some of them together and some on their own. With a goal of walking 5,000 steps each day, Ryan wears a pedometer on her shoe to track her strides. Brady walks daily; Ryan walks the dog. Together they attend three to four aerobic classes a week, and they also participate in line dancing, square dancing and ballroom line dancing. If they do not get their steps in, they hit the treadmill at the health club.
Together, Ryan and Brady have created an inspirational garden. Brady maintains the garden, weeding and watering it daily. Ryan meditates there and posted a welcome sign that encourages others to come in, relax and enjoy the beauty of being there.
The couple can also be seen at Shell Point Singers concerts, canoeing along the mangroves and attending enrichment classes in the community’s Academy of Lifelong Learning. Both are starting to explore working with stained glass. Ryan enjoys story writing and poetry, while Brady edits all of her work. Both ride their bicycles everywhere on campus. Brady has even worked up the endurance to ride his bike to Publix to pick up groceries— sometimes with 20 pounds in a backpack. Perhaps what’s even more admirable than their current level of activity is the realization that they had to overcome some pretty incredible challenges to get to where they are today.
The dynamic duo has seen rough times, with both of them conquering cancer and Brady dealing with heart and diabetic problems. Yet, remarkably, they do not let it slow them down. “We keep moving to reduce pain and maintain mobility,” shared Ryan. She finds that it is important to maintain an attitude of gratitude. “If I stub my toe, with tears in my eyes, I say, ‘ Thank you for reminding me to slow down and smell the roses.’”
LifeQuest has given this couple the inspiration to pursue goals, with a specific plan of action, with an evaluation within a certain timeline. They both agree, “Our Quest means to live fully and freely.”
LifeQuest goals do not always have to be achieved by the path most taken. Participants are told to take a chance, get off the beaten path and try something new as you never know what you may achieve.
These happy Shell Point residents celebrate their team’s success after completing Dragon Boat races on the Peace River.