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Feature Story

February 2019


Senior Living Continues Shift Toward Wellness

Recent Rec Report Feature Stories

Partnership Aims to Expand Play Opportunities - January 2019

Grant Funds Help Educate Pool Operators - January 2019

NFL Foundation Grants Boost Local Football Fields - January 2019

Leaders Recognized for Advancing Outdoor Recreation - January 2019

Goldfish Swim School Sponsors USA Swimming Foundation - December 2018

Physical Activity for Kids Gets Low Grade - December 2018

New Law Helps Sports Medicine Professionals & Athletes - December 2018

Outdoor Recreation Adds Billions to U.S. Economy - November 2018

Nearly $1 Million in Pool Grants Awarded - November 2018

Report: One in Four Americans Use a Health Club - November 2018

New Active Transportation Program Aims to Boost Health & Environment - November 2018

Foundation Celebrates Sports Innovations - October 2018

Grant Awarded to Chattanooga Nature Play Area - October 2018

Obesity Continues to Challenge America's Health - October 2018

Grant Program Funds Keep America Beautiful Initiatives - October 2018

Nation's Pediatricians Emphasize Power of Play - October 2018

Step Into Swim Continues to Create New Swimmers - September 2018

Pickleball Benefits Older Adults - September 2018

NSPF Endorses MAHC Adoption - September 2018

Cities Spend More on Public Parks in 2018 - September 2018

Be Ready for Back-to-School Sports - August 2018

NRPA, Pool Safely Partner on Water & Recreation Safety - August 2018

States Make Progress Toward Active Transportation - August 2018

IHRSA Briefing Looks at Club Employees vs. Contractors - August 2018

ACSM & Wellcoaches Expand Offerings for Fitness Pros - July 2018

Grants Help Local Trail Projects - July 2018

Grant to Boost Meals & Nutrition for Kids - July 2018

Trust for Public Land Releases ParkServe Database - July 2018

CPSC Asks for Vigilance to Prevent Child Drowning - July 2018

TPL Earns NEA Grant to Explore Creative Placemaking - June 2018

High Visa Denial Rates Could Affect Pools - June 2018

Make a Splash Campaign Teaches Millions to Swim - June 2018

Communities Can Earn Grants for Dog Park Development - June 2018

National Golf Day Celebrates Green Practices - May 2018

YMCA Recognized for Diversity - May 2018

Americans Support Pollinator Health, And Parks Can Help - May 2018

How to Encourage Play—Everywhere! - April 2018

Partnership, Grants to Boost Mountain Bike Trail Development - April 2018

Parks & Recreation Supports More Than 1.1 Million Jobs - April 2018

Club Pilates Grows With New Training Facility - April 2018

IHRSA Sees Positive Growth for Fitness Pros - April 2018

Denver's Freedom Park Wins Grant for Public Art - March 2018

NSPF, Counsilman-Hunsaker Partner to Create App for Aquatic Facility Managers - March 2018

More Than 330 Million Recreation Visits Recorded in 2017 for National Park System - March 2018

Study Shows Economic Benefits of the Great Outdoors - March 2018

Parks for Inclusion Initiative Aims to Expand Reach to All Americans - February 2018

SHAPE America, NFL & Partners Collaborate on Training for Health & P.E. Educators - February 2018

CPSC Offers $1.1 Million in Pool Safely Grants - February 2018

Bipartisan PHIT Act Could Boost America's Wellness - February 2018

Mounting evidence over the past few years reveals that senior living communities have been trending toward wellness-oriented lifestyles for their residents, and the findings of a new survey seem to erase any remaining doubt, showing that the tipping point toward wellness has been reached.

Conducted by the International Council on Active Aging, the 2018 Active-Aging Industry Trends Survey, Visions of the Future, queried 673 respondents from a variety of older-adult-related organizations about their expectations from 2019 to 2023. A clear majority of staff and managers from senior living communities—59 percent—said that their business model would be based on a wellness lifestyle with options for care by 2023, rather than care-based with options for wellness.

For an industry that for most of its existence has been based on a model of care, this represents a significant change.

"Over the past few years, we've been seeing a steady increase in investment in wellness-based infrastructures and programming," said Colin Milner, ICAA founder and CEO. "It's evolved to the point that many communities are not merely updating programs, but making a wholesale shift to a culture of wellness. Until our survey, no one really directly asked if there was a conscious shift to wellness among senior living communities. Our findings indicate that for the first time, a wellness-based paradigm is envisioned by the majority—and that we are witnessing the dawn of a new era for senior living."

The changes typically manifest in the form of expanded programs in multiple areas of wellness, healthier diets, more activities, and more emphasis on prevention and quality of life than cures.

"The assumption that life is spent in a rocking chair at age 65 has disappeared," says the report. "Inspired by the philosophy of active aging—individuals living safely and productively, and guided by the seven dimensions of wellness—people in the 50-plus age groups are taking action to engage in fulfilling, interesting lives."

This trend is not confined to the older adult demographic. A report by J. Walter Thompson says the "Well Economy: has permeated the developed world, where consumers and organizations from traditional healthcare, the workplace, food, pharmaceuticals, hospitality and other business sectors are moving toward healthier, more active service models.

ICAA's Visions of the Future reports that a successful wellness culture results from activities, services and a mindset that all make wellness a priority. Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of organizations responding gave lifestyle/wellness a high or essential priority, while roughly two-thirds (64 percent) of senior living respondents said leadership at their organization viewed wellness across all dimensions as a "must-have."

For the purposes of the survey, "wellness" encompasses lifestyle opportunities found within seven dimensions of wellness: spiritual, physical, emotional, vocational, environmental, social, and intellectual. A wellness culture engenders services and programming that help older adults manage or improve their health, take advantage of social supports, and pursue activities with optimum physical and cognitive ability.

The survey was completed by 673 individuals from a variety of organizations. Those broadly categorized as senior living and care comprised 58 percent; community/senior centers and government or nongovernmental agencies made up 16 percent; colleges, therapy clinics and in-home services comprised 14 percent, and fitness clubs and studios, parks and recreation organizations and other organizations serving adults 50 and older made up 12 percent.

For more information, visit www.icaa.cc.