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Active-aging industry grows services for older adults

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New survey from International Council on Active Aging® shows a 51% increase in wellness programs for older adultsr

VANCOUVER--The economic news this year has generally focused on the standstill in production and consumer spending. Despite this environment, the active-aging industry is slowly but steadily growing, according to new research from International Council on Active Aging® (ICAA), the association that provides services and business intelligence for professionals working with people 50 years and older.

Active aging means living live as fully as possible, with opportunities for health, productivity and safety. The active-aging industry was created when ICAA brought together diverse business sectors—from real estate to seniors services and fitness—by recognizing their mutual purpose of providing services to older adults. The industry’s emphasis on quality of life among older adults has resulted in an abundance of Wii tournaments and strength training classes, expeditions to China, volunteer tutors in inner city schools, age-friendly modifications to treadmills and universal design features in new housing.

The ICAA 2010 Active-Aging Industry Development Survey collected information from 640 respondents to an online survey who work primarily in retirement communities, seniors centers, wellness centers, health clubs and additional locations that provide services for older adults. These providers of services to older adults reported a surge of optimism and service growth.

  • Over three-quarters (77%) of respondents plan to add more activities, classes or programs over the next two years. This is a 51% increase from the responses to the identical questions that appeared on an earlier ICAA survey, conducted one year ago, when half (51%) of respondents stated they were adding in the next 12 months (ICAA Economy Survey, July 2009, 489 respondents).

  • The growth in program offerings is complemented by jobs creation: 27% plan to hire more wellness staff over the next two years.

  • Capital projects are being planned by 41% of respondents, including building new wellness centers and expanding or renovating current wellness and fitness facilities. Retirement communities are refurbishing or building new residences.

“While the larger economy may be suffering from a cold, the active-aging industry is in good health,” explained Colin Milner, CEO of International Council on Active Aging. “From the business perspective, the market of older adults is large and growing, and overall older adults have a net worth that enables them to make choices to maintain their health and keep their days interesting. The results of this survey show that businesses are positioning themselves to meet those needs, by building and upgrading facilities and expanding their programs.”

The ICAA 2010 Active-Aging Industry Development Survey is available for $149. The survey is free of charge to ICAA Organizational members, and at a discounted rate to ICAA Individual members. Member of the media may contact Colin Milner at colinmilner@icaa.cc for copies of the survey.

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About the survey

The ICAA 2010 Active-Aging Industry Development Survey was an online survey available from July 17 through August 14, 2010. Respondents included continuing care retirement communities (24%), active adult and independent living retirement communities (24%), independent living with assisted living and assisted living communities (13%), seniors centers (13%), health club or medically-based wellness/fitness centers (10%) and other locations. Among the 640 respondents; 65% have a formal wellness program for older adults and 29% offered wellness activities, but not a formal program.

About the International Council on Active Aging

The International Council on Active Aging® is the professional association that leads, connects and defines the active-aging industry. ICAA supports professionals who develop wellness facilities, programs and services for adults over 50. The association is focused on active aging—an approach to aging that helps older adults live 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, including the US Administration on Aging, the National Institute on Aging (one of the US National Institutes of Health), the US Department of Health and Human Services, Canada’s Special Senate Committee on Aging, and the British Columbia ministries of Health, and Healthy Living and Sport.

For interviews please contact:

Contact: Colin Milner, CEO, ICAA
Toll-free: 1-866-335-9777 (North America)
Telephone: 604-734-4466; cell: 604-763-4595
colinmilner@icaa.cc

Contact: Marilynn Larkin
Communications Director, ICAA
212-315-3301
mlarkin@icaa.cc

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