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Baptist Homes Society’s SPICES of Life is More Than Just an Acronym
By Marilyn Walsh

How we age is determined, in large part, by what we do with our years. And what we CAN do in our later years is often dependent on our brain health. According to educator and author Paul Nussbaum, PhD, Clinical Neuropsychologist with the University of Pittsburgh, our brains have the capability to form new neurons until the day we die. Nussbaum has identified five components to a proactive brain-healthy lifestyle which Providence Point has incorporated into its brain health programs.

Keys to brain health include:

  • Socialization: Stay connected to friends and family
  • Spirituality: Take control and focus on your spirituality to give meaning to life.
  • Mental stimulation: Whether it’s reading, writing, puzzles or a new hobby—just keep doing it.
  • Nutrition: Eat a diet rich in antioxidants and healthy fats.
  • Physical Exercise: With 25% of your blood travels to your brain. So exercise is vital.

Baptist Homes Society, which owns and operates two senior living and care communities (Baptist Homes and Providence Point), has a six dimensional wellness philosophy that closely resembles the ideals that Dr. Nussbaum promotes. Baptist Homes Society developed an acronym as well, to remind people of all the things that make up a holistic approach to wellness. The acronym is SPICES, and the wellness program is called SPICES of Life. SPICES stands for Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual, Community, Emotional and Social. According to Fabiana Cheistwer, the Wellness Director for the organization, SPICES of Life, which traditionally means things that make life worth living, rings true for wellness programming. As defined by Baptist Homes Society’s SPICES of Life, the various dimensions are defined as follows:

SPIRITUAL – to encourage an integration of one’s relationship with God and a sense of life purpose and satisfaction. To develop a strong sense of personal values and ethics and an appreciation for the depth and expanse of life and natural forces that exist in the universe.

PHYSICAL - to provide an environment that encourages and supports healthy behaviors and best practices of care, relative to one’s own abilities and disabilities.
INTELLECTUAL - to provide learning and mentally stimulating opportunities for continued growth and well-being. To think creatively and rationally through a variety of familiar and new resources and lifetime learning and other activities.

COMMUNITY – to promote ongoing positive interactions between Providence Point and the community at large.

EMOTIONAL - to achieve a sense of peace and acceptance within one’s self that calls forth the best of self. To account for personal expectations, and perspective. To manage stress, success, failure and grief.
SOCIAL - to encourage positive relationships and interactions that will add to the enjoyment of life and bring hope and joy. To feeling connected and value differences.

SPICES is a handy acronym to use, whether you’re a resident of a Baptist Homes Society community or not. It can help you review your lifestyle and ensure that you are keeping your brains and bodies healthy, in other words, adding just the right amount of SPICES to our lives.

For more information, contact Baptist Homes Society at (412) 572-8258 or email

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