Pandemic puts wellness on top of senior living priority list

Credit: Betsie Van der Meer/Getty Images)

As the senior living industry begins to adapt to a world changed by the COVID-19 pandemic, wellness has become an elevated priority for the future.

Wellness heralds updated approaches for an industry that recognizes longer health spans, longer work lives and older adults seeking active lifestyles, according to a new report from the International Council on Active Aging.

At the same time, more than 600 senior living communities around the world have committed or achieved it WELL Health Safety Rating or WELL certification from the International WELL Building Institute. The rating focuses on operational policies and maintenance protocols to address health and safety challenges during the pandemic and beyond.

wellness culture

“Wellness is defined by ICAA as our ability to understand, accept and respond to our identity and the ability to live purposeful and engaged lives… so that we can use our potential to pursue and embrace life’s possibilities optimize,” said Colin Milner, CEO of ICAA.

The ICAAs State of the Wellness Industry 2022 The report surveyed 459 members to “take the temperature” of industry leaders and employees from senior living and care providers, community-based senior centers and agencies, and businesses with older adult participants.

Key points that emerged:

  • Of 242 senior living and care organizations surveyed, 61% said their community will be based on a wellness lifestyle with care options by 2025.
  • 81% of all respondents said they believe leaders will prioritize wellness as a high or material priority in 2022, with emphasis on lifestyle programs, hospitality, technology or technological infrastructure, and recruitment and retention.
  • 57% of respondents said they believe their organizations are built on a culture of wellbeing.
  • Recruiting and filling wellness positions is a huge challenge.
  • Emotional, social and spiritual well-being are integrated into the programming.
  • Organizational plans include adding technological infrastructure (62%), redesigning/redesigning existing public spaces (40%), designing and constructing new buildings (34%), or adding new additions (25%).

After Milner issued a call-to-action to senior living communities in 2021 to integrate wellness across their operations, Milner said the survey shows the industry is emerging from the pandemic while maintaining safety measures and motivating older adults to improve “their quality of life.” to renew through wellness.”

Recommended course of action

Wellness also relates to operational policies and maintenance protocols, and as the pandemic continues to increase the importance of health, safety and wellbeing in senior living communities, commitment to WELL strategies represents more than 30 million square feet and more than four million square feet. fold increase in adoption of standards from a year ago. The International Well Building Institute announced Thursday that more than 600 senior living communities around the world are enrolled to seek or have achieved the WELL Health-Safety Rating or WELL Certification.

The WELL Health-Safety Rating focuses on operational policies and maintenance protocols to address health and safety challenges during the pandemic and beyond. The assessment includes 22 strategies designed to help businesses keep spaces clean and sanitized, provide essential health benefits and services, communicate health and safety efforts, prepare for emergencies, and assess air and water quality.

Enlivant became the first senior living provider to receive the WELL Health-Safety Rating for facility operations and management across the Chicago-based company’s portfolio of 215 senior living communities and announced the award in January.

“Our seniors, their families and the community teams who support them all deserve spaces that protect their health and well-being,” Enlivant CEO Dan Guill said in Thursday’s International Well Building Institute announcement. “The WELL Health-Safety Rating aligns perfectly with Enlivant’s mission to create safe and vibrant communities where our residents can thrive.”

Other achievements and commitments in the senior housing sector, according to the institute:

  • Inspir Carnegie Hill, a Maplewood Senior Living facility in Manhattan, became the first assisted living community in New York City to receive the WELL Health-Safety Rating.
  • The Rochester Jewish Home in New York passed the rating.
  • Marion’s Views Senior Living in Iowa received WELL certification at the Gold level.
  • Anthem Memory Care tracks the rating.
  • Sabra Health CARE REIT encourages all of its operators to track the rating as part of its environmental, social and governance initiatives.

According to the institute, the WELL building standard is currently being adopted in 110 countries at 35,000 locations for a total of 3.5 billion square feet. The standard describes building-level interventions and organizational strategies in 10 categories: air, water, nutrition, light, movement, thermal comfort, sound, materials, spirit and community.

Comments are closed.