Nine Core Elements—How Care Happens at Inspīr, Part 1

BY: 

Eleonora Tornatore-Mikesh

Inspīr delivers a transformative senior living experience that exceeds every dimension of senior care. The residence was purposefully designed to promote health and wellness as well as harmony and connectedness for residents, families, and staff. It was also built on a philosophy of vibrant, intentional living and meaningful connection, which we bring to life through our Nine Core Elements.

To explore these Nine Core Elements, we sat down with Eleonora Tornatore-Mikesh, Chief Experience & Memory Care Officer at Inspīr, to create a blog series. Eleonora brings more than two decades of experience improving the lives of seniors, especially those with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia. What follows is part one of our blog series, which provides a high-level understanding of our Nine Core Elements.

Q: Can you talk to us about the significance of the Nine Core Elements? 

A: Our goal was to design a truly transformative senior living experience that exceeds every need on every level. We looked at the foundational pieces of lifestyle, such as engagement, purpose, movement and mobility, art and music, belonging, family, brain health, nature, and laughter, that contribute to living long, healthy lives. In the end, we refined these into nine core elements that work together to create better outcomes for the seniors we serve at Inspīr.

 

Q: Inspīr Carnegie Hill is an extraordinary place. How do the Nine Core Elements appear amid the architecture and overall residence?

A: The building was purposefully designed with wellness in mind. It’s filled with natural light and elements that connect residents to nature and the outdoors, which promote health and wellness.

The building features spacious apartments with sweeping views of the city, innovative technology to make life more convenient and secure, and dining experiences that offer more than just a meal—these are opportunities to ignite the senses and rekindle memories.

 

Q: Aside from being part of the Carnegie Hill architecture, how do the Nine Core Elements work together to create an immersive, engaging experience for residents?

A: We took our Nine Core Elements and infused them into every facet of the senior living experience we offer here at Inspīr—the environment, dining experiences, innovative programming, and care practices.

Of course, top-tier healthcare and innovative wellness programs are a priority here. In addition to restorative, hatha, and Iyengar yoga—which are designed specifically for older adults and promote mindfulness and improve quality of life—every program and experience has been intentionally developed.

Based on individual interests and needs, every resident will benefit from a personally crafted lifestyle that incorporates our core elements for physical, mental, and spiritual fulfillment. This is true for our signature Memory Care Program, Oceana, as well.

Oceana utilizes evidence-based approaches to help residents at any stage of dementia thrive, by incorporating new technology to promote safety, brain health, engagement, and connectedness.

 

Q: Can you explain why engagement is so important in our lives, particularly as we age?

A: It is scientifically proven that humans share a fundamental need to interact with other people. Experiencing relationships, nurturing enjoyable connections, and sharing joint activities––it all contributes to people’s feelings of happiness and wellness. 

When you look at issues such as loneliness and social isolation, research confirms that health risks increase, and that’s why at Inspīr, we make it our priority to combine care and lifestyle elements in order to stimulate and enhance vitality and the richness of our residents’ lives. 

At Inspīr, we not only bring seniors together, but also encourage them to join boards, engage in community and cultural activities, and remain as physically and socially active as possible.

 

Q: In your opinion, what does it mean for seniors to find purpose?

A: As people age, they have more time to pursue their interests and participate in activities they enjoy. Some often pick up a new hobby or use work skills in a new way. Many people go through a period of trial and error after retirement and don’t immediately find what they're looking for. However, our environment at Inspīr encourages just that––exploration. We offer endless opportunities for our residents to learn new skills or expand on the knowledge they already have. 

For example, former chefs or those simply interested in food and cooking could give a cooking demo, or those involved in the arts could lead an art class.

 

Q: What about the families? How big of a role do they play at Inspīr?

A: We believe that maintaining loving relationships between family members is critical. One way in which we encourage and enable family engagement is through our Allī technology suite. Allī helps spouses, adult children, grandchildren, and extended relatives keep in touch with residents, and ensures our residents stay connected with the world around them. 

Education and support for families is very important to us. We will serve as a resource to families by sharing the latest research and best practices impacting caregiving on an ongoing basis. In addition, Inspīr will offer opportunities to connect families who are experiencing this phase of life, giving them the peer-to-peer support they need.

 

Q: Finally, the term “laughter is the best medicine” is quite common, but to what degree is it true? Do you agree?

A: Yes, numerous studies have been conducted across the globe, and they all confirm that laughter has a great positive effect on health. So, yes, we agree. Laughter is one of the best forms of therapy, which is why we incorporate a little humor into everything we do at Inspīr. Just one unique way we are doing this is through our collaboration with art alliances to offer intergenerational improv comedy classes, which, in general, help seniors achieve a feeling of vitality and connectedness.

Check back soon for part two of this series, where we’ll dive more deeply into three of the Nine Core Elements.