By Steve Moran

For many years I mostly thought wellness programs for senior living — particularly assisted living, but even to a large degree in independent living — were more marketing hype than substantive.

While I suspect that most senior living wellness programs are not robust enough to be more than eye candy, I believe wellness represents a huge opportunity for senior living operators.

  • An effective wellness program becomes a powerful marketing differentiator.
  • An effective wellness program will increase the average length of stay. When you think about it, increasing the average length of stay by even two weeks is the equivalent of filling four apartments.
  • Healthy residents means less demands on staffing.

8 Habits

A recent unpublished study listed eight habits that may extend a 40-year-old person’s life by more than 20 years. While the benefits will not be as extreme for 80- and 90-year-old residents, that does not mean these people will not have substantial benefits. Here are the eight habits:

  1. Exercising
  2. Not having an addiction to opioids
  3. Avoiding smoking
  4. Managing your stress levels
  5. Adhering to a healthy diet
  6. Not binge drinking
  7. Prioritizing good sleep
  8. Maintaining positive social relationships

These are all things that senior living can easily incorporate into their programming.

Adding Weight To This …

Another just released study suggests the more you walk each day, the longer you live, starting with as few as 4,000 steps per day. What is particularly interesting for your own life, rather than for senior living residents, is that they looked at people who walked as much as 20,000 steps a day and found that the more steps one averaged the longer they lived.

Imagine what a walking club might do for the residents of your community.