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What's new: The business case for wellness programs in senior living.

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The Journal on Active Aging brings articles of value to professionals dedicated to older-adult quality of life. Content sweeps across the active-aging landscape to focus on education and practice. Find articles of interest by searching the article archives in three ways: Enter a keyword in the articles search bar; click on search by topic; or type a keyword or phrase in the general search bar at the top of the page.

Strong relationships: A prescription for healthy aging by Jeff Rossman, PhD-6223

Strong relationships: A prescription for healthy aging by Jeff Rossman, PhD

My father, who just turned 90, shared with me on more than one occasion that he has outlived all his lifelong friends. So, when my mother passed away a few years ago, we worried how Dad would fare. We feared the lack of companionship could affect his health and emotional well-being. When Dad told us several months later that he had begun seeing a lovely woman whom he met on the Internet, we were thrilled for him. One of their first dates was for dinner at a senior center to which she belongs. That evening she introduced him to members of the Choraliers, a group of about 50 men and women in their 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s who put on a theatrical production every eight weeks that includes singing, dancing and acting. This piqued Dad's curiosity .... and he decided to join the group. He is excited to attend the rehearsals and be part of a friendly, tight-knit group who share their love of music and provide support and camaraderie to one another. They share a bond that brings joy and a sense of belonging, and helps them age gracefully.

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Social wellness

Research writes the business case for wellness. With: The National Benchmarks Report 2017: Executive Summary-6221

Research writes the business case for wellness. With: The National Benchmarks Report 2017: Executive Summary

Animated discussion heats up a conference room as the value of the wellness lifestyle program is questioned by residents, board members, and a weary chief financial officer who burnt the midnight oil to balance the community's budget for the next six months. In a different office, architects and builders balancing square footage with revenue debate the quantity of lifestyle programming and staff needed to attract residents to a new development (after all, there's already a clubhouse). Are staffed wellness programs with lots of variety worth the money? Three years of data from the ICAA/ProMatura Wellness Benchmarks answer that question with a simple--and loud--yes!

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Research

Small risk, big reward: Increase your organization's

Small risk, big reward: Increase your organization's "return on aging"by Jeff Weiss

If you attended the recent International Council on Active Aging Conference in Orlando, Florida, you might have received a copy of Age of Majority's whitepaper titled "The Massive Growth Opportunity that Marketers Are Missing." Our agency chose an intentionally broad title for this research-based publication. A title that only hints at the potential profit awaiting those who more effectively engage the 55+ market. At the heart of this lost growth opportunity are assumptions and stereotypes that surround consumers ages 55+, identified by contrasting marketer perceptions against how consumers truly see themselves and behave.

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Marketing

A year in review: ICAA moves in new directions in 2017-6214

A year in review: ICAA moves in new directions in 2017

In 2016, milestones aplenty gave the International Council on Active Aging cause to celebrate and give thanks--most particularly, for the support and efforts of the ICAA community--and to get ready for a new era of "Changing the Way We Age." The association that promotes active aging blazed its way through 2017 with developments to help the industry grow and organizations and professionals to flourish.

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Industry development

Purchasing new technology: Overcoming vendor overload by Marilynn Larkin, MA-6008

Purchasing new technology: Overcoming vendor overload by Marilynn Larkin, MA

"Like most companies, we receive a constant flow of pitches from vendors who come to us with new technology solutions," Brookdale Senior Living's Andrew Smith, PMP, MEd, director of innovation and strategy, told me recently in an interview. "We love the idea that so many innovators are creating products with seniors in mind," he adds. "The truth is we often have to turn them away because the product is not at the right stage of development." I had reached out to Smith, who deals with this issue almost daily, because International Council on Active Aging CEO Colin Milner has said that many ICAA members struggle with making the right technology purchasing decisions for their organizations or communities--and that for some, fear of making the wrong decision often keeps them from making any decisions at all. Happily, Smith agreed to share the process he implemented with his team at Tennessee-based Brookdale to help readers who are grappling with similar concerns.

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Technology

Spiritual health and active aging: A perspective by Stephanie Ludwig, MDiv, MA, PhD-6006

Spiritual health and active aging: A perspective by Stephanie Ludwig, MDiv, MA, PhD

Each morning 67-year-old John gets on his road bike and cycles through the northern foothills of Tucson, Arizona. Each year he gets slower, he says, but he always returns home from riding with a sweaty, relaxed, smiling face that radiates joy. John has ridden solo and with other cyclists for decades, and continues to do so because it brings him peace in body, mind and spirit as well as a sense of community. It also inspires him to be of service to others. Over the years he has found creative and meaningful ways to share his passion for cycling and bike-friendly communities through volunteerism and philanthropy. The physical, emotional and mental benefits of an active lifestyle are documented by researchers, and well known through direct experience by people like John. Far less considered are the benefits of an active lifestyle for spiritual health--especially approaching exercise and movement as spiritual practice.

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Spiritual wellness

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