With that in mind, continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) nationwide have ramped up their commitment to the total wellness of residents through person-specific programming. The purpose of these wellness programs is to consider the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – in order to minimize illness and improve overall quality of life.
Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging, C.C. Hodgson Architectural Group, and Ziegler have explored the wellness trend in their most recent study, “The Second National Survey of Whole-Person Wellness in Continuing Care Retirement Communities,” which examines programs in terms of the physical, social, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and vocational dimensions of wellness. And the results are in.
CCRC respondents indicated that programming is available across the six dimensions of wellness, though most opportunities exist in the physical and social dimensions, with fewer available in the emotional and vocational dimensions. Over the next two years, CCRCs expect to significantly expand their opportunities in each wellness dimension.
Half of the survey respondents indicated that more than 80 percent of their residents participated in at least one of 16 activities listed on the survey – but the popularity of the activities reveals mixed results.
Organized group social activities achieved high participation (66 percent), followed by fitness assessments (36 percent) and religious services (27 percent). Organized sports, employment, and off-campus volunteer opportunities each received less than 20 percent participation.
Despite lack of interest in a few specific activities, CCRCs believe their wellness programs are working. Respondents reported a moderate impact of these programs on the cost of health care operations, use of health care centers, use of medication, reducing emergency room visits and hospital re-admissions, and reducing falls.
It doesn’t hurt that wellness programs boost the appeal of senior living communities to prospective residents – learn more about one such community here.
Your turn: How important is wellness programming in your selection of a senior living community?