Aging Services Leaders Talk Wellness

Posted by Jessica Drecktrah, Director of Special ProjectsPreliminary findings of the “National Whole-Person Wellness Survey,” sponsored by Mather Lifeways and Ziegler Capital Markets Group can be found within the current issue of Nursing Homes Magazine. This survey looks at how nearly 100 leaders within aging services envision of the future of wellness programming for vital, successful aging.One of the merits of this particular survey is that it gives a snap shot view of how aging services professionals are developing programs along the six dimensions of wellness (i.e., physical, social, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, and vocational). Currently, most wellness program opportunities exist along the social, physical, and spiritual dimensions. Respondents, however, see a different future ahead for programs aimed at the vocational, intellectual, and emotional growth dimensions; particularly in the areas of support groups, counseling opportunities (peer to peer and mentoring), educational programming, and volunteer opportunities.Furthermore, respondents note that aging services professionals have become motivated by the wellness initiative to make large changes within the physical plant. Currently, the majority of communities have exercise rooms, activity/game rooms, and libraries, the “traditional” staples of wellness space. Moreover, many communities have formal dining areas and formal space allocated for worship use. Coming up within the next five years, consumers will see more and more senior housing with spa treatment areas, café/refreshment areas, and pools as part of a much different type of senior living.