Lifespan or Healthspan: Our Focus on Healthy Aging Goes Beyond the Numbers

Lifespan is an essential measuring stick. For many reasons, it’s important to quantify longevity numerically. In 1953, the average lifespan in the US was 68.71 years. 50 years later, it is 79.11 years. Thanks to modern medicine and societal advances, Americans are living longer by 10.4 years. All good.

But isn’t there a more to life and longevity…beyond mere numbers?

Here at Moravian Village of Bethlehem, we have always looked at life a bit differently. Instead of lifespan, we focus on healthspan. This approach is aligned with our community’s goal to extend and enrich the quality of life that each individual experiences along the way. 

Simply put, lifespan is the number of years someone lives. Healthspan is the number of years someone is in generally good health, a factor which contributes significantly to quality of life.

Broadening each resident’s healthspan has been central to the Moravian Village mission for decades. It is evident in the mindful planning and programs we provide for each resident’s dietary nutrition, physical and emotional development, social and entertainment opportunities, and much more.  

Healthspan is now a concept getting more attention from healthcare providers and life plan communities. After all, by 2030 one in every five Americans will be over 65. And with all of us living longer, this growing interest and intelligence in quality as well as quantity of life is more important than ever.  

“While lifespan is certainly an important measure of health and well-being, it is not the only one,” says Dr. Shoshana Ungerleider, a physician and expert on aging, as well as the founder and host of the award-winning TED Health Podcast. “Healthspan is increasingly being recognized as an important concept because it emphasizes the  importance of not only living a long life, but also living a healthy and productive life.”

Here at Moravian Village, we take a holistic approach to life enrichment which integrates multiple essentials into daily opportunities for better health and personal happiness: 

Nutrition. Fresh, healthy foods are among the great joys in life.  Our chef and his team take pride in providing daily menus that are low in processed foods and deliciously rich in protein, fiber and potassium-rich vegetables and fruits.  

Exercise. If you stay aerobically fit, you can delay biological aging by 10 years or more, according to a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Moravian Village offers a multitude of exercise programs to “fit” every resident’s physical prowess, from walking trails throughout our beautiful campus to a state-of-the-science strength and flexibility workout center. Daily offerings include classes in Pilates, yoga, chair yoga and more.  

Social Engagement and Activities. The friendships and family culture that are unique to Moravian Village are invigorated by an active and interesting monthly social calendar of events, entertainment and activities. Living in the heart of vibrant Historic Bethlehem is also a huge plus! 

Final thought for now: When you take care of healthspan, lifespan takes care of itself.  Interested in learning more about how we focus on healthspan here at Moravian Village? Call or visit us at www.moravianvillage.com.