“Wellness” is a term that gets used a lot in senior living, and depending on the context, it can have many different meanings. But when it comes to continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs, also called life plan communities) and other styles of senior living options, “wellness” usually refers to any service or amenity that contributes to the residents’ quality-of-life. Additionally, CCRCs also provide wellness services in the form of nursing or medical care, if and when their residents need it.
CCRCs are renowned for their many wellness-related lifestyle features such as:
- Numerous physical fitness options. Everything from group exercise classes to nature trails to personal trainers.
- Group social events, clubs, and committees
- Cultural, art, and performance activities
- Community volunteer programs
- Lifelong learning educational classes… to name a few.
While these activities are fun, they also serve a higher purpose: they keep CCRC residents active, happy, and healthy. But this isn’t simply passive “entertainment”, rather, wellness programming offers opportunities for residents to actively engage–physically and/or mentally–with others, staving off the sedentary, lonely lifestyle that is all-too common among seniors in our county.
Worth the investment by CCRCs
Several studies have come out in recent years that support the value of CCRCs investing in quality-of-life-related programming for their residents. For example, the 2016 National Benchmarks Report, a joint study conducted by the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) and ProMatura Group, shows that, in the senior living industry, there is a clear connection between so-called “wellness lifestyles” and customer satisfaction among residents. View the executive summary of this report.
The ICAA/ProMatura study examined at the lifestyle/wellness data of 73 CCRCs in the U.S., as well as 26 other senior living communities that offer independent living, or both independent living and assisted living and/or memory care. Using customer satisfaction survey responses from over 3,400 residents of these 99 communities, the researchers examined the activities, fitness opportunities, and recreation programming that were offered. They also tracked which specific wellness programs survey participants took part in, so they could determine which programs offered the senior living community their biggest “bang for the buck” when it came to residents’ overall satisfaction with the community.
What residents are saying about wellness programming
Here are some of the key findings of the ICAA/ProMatura study; they paint a very positive picture of the CCRC and senior living industry:
- Half of all residents in the communities studied engaged in their community’s wellness programming, and more than four out of five of these residents remarked that they were “very satisfied/satisfied” with the events and activities that are provided.
- Residents who participate in wellness programs live in the community up to two years longer than non-participants, keeping occupancy levels high and reducing the cost of marketing empty units.
- Approximately 90 percent of residents who took part in wellness activities said they were happy with their quality of life.
- Residents ages 75 to 84 rated their health as “good to excellent” more often than their peers in the U.S. population at-large—94 percent in the study’s CCRCs and 79 percent in the other communities in the study, as compared to 76 percent in the U.S. population (according to stats from the 2014 U.S. National Health Interview Survey).
- For retirement community residents 85 and older, 92 percent in the CCRCs and 79 percent in the other study communities rated their health as “good or excellent.” By comparison, just 68 percent of their peers in the U.S. population rated their health as “good to excellent.”
- About 80 percent of survey respondents said that participating in their community’s wellness programs made them “much more” or “somewhat more” satisfied with the overall community.
- Almost half of survey participants said that they “agree” or “strongly agree” that the community’s wellness program is one of the primary reasons they selected that particular community.
- Staff members who manage wellness programming at these communities tend to have four-year or even graduate degrees, and roughly two-thirds of residents in the survey said they were “extremely satisfied” with the quality of the wellness staff.
In short, a large majority of residents within the senior living communities included in this benchmarking report feel that overall, their community–be it a CCRC, independent living, or assisted living/memory care–offers high-quality wellness programming and provides good value for the money they pay to live there.
Ingleside at King Farm, a senior living community in Rockville, Maryland, provides a plethora of programs to promote all of the dimensions of wellness including spiritual, physical, social emotional, occupational, intellectual and environmental dimensions. We provide a variety of fitness classes including Tai Chi, yoga, cardio class, water aerobics class and access to a personal trainer that can create a personalized program just for you. Stimulate your mind with writing workshops, computer classes, and study groups. Our shuttle bus continuously loops to the metro and local venues so you have easy access to all of the cultural opportunities the DC metro area provides. See a concert at Strathmore, just a short ride away. We collaborated with Link Generation to bring an intergenerational program with local high school students and residents together. We provide all of this and new programs that develop daily in greatly with the influence of our residents. To learn more about this and more about our community, call our Sales Office at 240-499-9019 or contact us.
Ingleside at King Farm is a continuing care retirement community devoted to offering residents an active, engaged and healthy retirement life. Ingleside at King Farm’s addition Gardenside will bring brand new 120 independent living apartments, 32 assisted living memory support residences and our Center for Healthy Living. Our ALMS residences and our Center for Healthy Living will open in late spring 2019!
The above article was written by Brad Breeding of myLifeSite and is legally licensed for use.