Think Tank Advises on Ways to Fund the Wellness Business Model in Senior Living

VANCOUVER, BC – July 21, 2022 – Innovative senior living organizations are repositioning for today’s cultural and economic realities with a new business model: senior living based in a wellness lifestyle, with options for care.

To build the economic foundation of the model, thought leaders convened at the ICAA Forum June 2022, hosted by the International Council on Active Aging®. Based in the wellness philosophy of a purposeful and engaged life for all residents, customers and staff members, Forum colleagues identified 11 funding sources, 21 wellness metrics and five categories of Key Performance Indicators

“Integrating the wellness philosophy across all department and services is an investment that brings in new revenue and reallocates current funding,” said Colin Milner, CEO of International Council on Active Aging (ICAA).

“It is a catalyst for the longtime goal of crossing departmental silos, and generates a return on health, well-being and satisfaction that results in cost savings, move-ins and new revenue opportunities.”

There are multiple reasons why wellness brings value to the business of senior living:

  • Wellness increases length of stay, stabilizing occupancy, increasing revenue
  • Wellness increases resident independence, reducing staff time and staff effort
  • Wellness encourages residents/visitors to plan, lead and guide activities, which frees staff time to build partnerships and collaborations
  • Wellness reduces resident need for care, opening beds for hospital and physician short-term stay referrals
  • Wellness focuses on prevention, which opens the door to partnership with Medicare Advantage programs and other prevention-focused programs

Wellness outcomes justify investment

Metrics gathered from the nonclinical services, such as resident engagement in lifelong learning, volunteering, physical activity, healthy eating and social interaction connect to research-based associations with improved clinical indicators and functional outcomes. The wellness lifestyle may also be a solution to attracting and satisfying the middle-income market, which could stabilize occupancy over the long-term.

“In terms of the business objectives,” says Milner at ICAA, “length of stay is a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) of great value to senior living. So is resident satisfaction, willingness to refer and a community that attracts people who desire the wellness lifestyle, even when they need care services. Wellness contributes to all of these, as shown in the findings from the ICAA/ProMatura WellnessBenchmarks for Senior Living.”

The ICAA Forum think tank, sponsored by Humana, Keiser, Matrix, Smartfit, SportsArt and Accushield (the official health and safety partner), opened with an expert panel featuring Beth Burnham Mace, chief economist and director of research and analytics at the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC), Sean Kelly, president and CEO at The Kendal Corporation, NoraSuper, executive director at the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging and Nicole Lowery, director, population health strategy at Humana.

Colleagues developing strategies at the ICAA Forum included executives and managers from CCRC/life plan communities, independent living and assisted living properties, memory care and nursing locations, affordable housing and home care services.

“Funding the new wellness model in senior living” report is available on the ICAA website at

About the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) ICAA is a professional association that leads, connects and defines the active-aging industry and supports professionals who aspire to develop wellness cultures for adults over 50. This support includes creating wellness environments, programs and services. The association is focused on active aging—an approach to aging that helps older adults live life as fully as possible within all dimensions of wellness—and provides its members with education, information, resources and tools. As an active-aging educator and advocate, ICAA has advised numerous organizations and governmental bodies.