A wellness initiative called the Vitality Program has not only focused needed attention on seniors’ highest health risk factors, it has tripled the sales of a Florida senior living community. As reported on SeniorHousingNews.com, North Florida Retirement Village, Inc. in Gainesville, Florida has had a big jump in occupancy and resident retention rates after weathering a downward track due to the shaky economy. Through overall expansion and diversity, the company saw improved numbers, but community director Jim Antonucci gives most of the credit to the Vitality Program.
The program starts by giving residents a “vitality score” of 0 to 48, using criteria such as health issues, impairments, activities of daily living and life satisfaction scores. After receiving their scores, residents have customized recommendations for improving their health by using community resources. Nurses on campus are accessible around the clock and home health aides and physical therapists are able to do evaluations in seniors’ homes. The Vitality Program is free to Village residents and to date, more than 97 percent of the 700 residents have taken the Vitality Assessment.
The community’s health services director, Rebecca Catalanotto has seen an increase in residents’ average scores from 36 to 39 in the last six months. “As scores improve, there’s a higher level of vitality,” Catalanotto says. Although return on investment of the program is hard for the community to measure, she reports residents are seen in clinics more often and possible health crises like falls, hospitalizations, and readmissions are being identified much earlier.
Another positive result is residents and their loved ones are able to make planned transitions through levels of care instead of the reactive, unexpected moves that often occur in full-spectrum senior living communities.