The Importance of Wellness Benchmarks

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The Importance of Wellness Benchmarks

Posted on May 5, 2010

With many major actors in the senior industry announcing wellness or life enrichment programs pilots and launch, it has become difficult to follow who does what and how. These initiatives have different approaches, sets of terms and objectives although they all share the same vision: improving life of residents. It has become important to setup comparison tools and standards for people to get better insights and for the industry to provide some kind of overview of these programs.

Today the International Council on Active Aging and the ProMatura Group announced the release of their own wellness benchmarks. For the first time, industry-wide metrics will capture the contribution and value of wellness-lifestyle activities, fitness and recreation-to a retirement property’s mission and bottom line.

The results of those wellness programs are organized into a standardized set of metrics that track:

  • Capacity
  • Participation/utilization
  • Economics
  • Satisfaction and health

The important aspects of this initiative are:

  • The opt-in aspect of the effort: Anyone can participate therefore people are more open minded and willing to bring positive contribution – some kind of crowd sourcing if you will
  • Industry wide: As there is no restrictions, this will give a good industry snapshot and let people compare communities on relevant terms
  • Marketing: On the long run this will become the best promotional and outreach tools for communities and let prospective customer make smarter decisions
  • Training: In addition to creating standards, the ICAA goes the extra step of providing training to help with the implementation
  • Accountability: One of the great aspect of this kind of program is that it creates a better and more developed accountability set of standards for professionals
  • From activity to life enrichment: This will help the industry move from more meaningful and people centered experiences
  • It’s free!: which is great as it will allow a larger sample and better data

Things to take into account:

  • Staff members and program champions shouldn’t forget the amount of time and follow-up effort that this kind of task entails. Staff turnover is also something to take into account when launching this kind of multi-year project
  • The main drawback of this kind of open initiative is insuring quality of data and that surveys aren’t flawed

Let’s hope prospective families one day benefit from such tools and that residents can hold provider more accountable!!

International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) has been leading, connecting and defining the active-aging industry since 2001, by uniting professionals in the retirement, assisted living, recreation, fitness, rehabilitation and wellness fields. The council supports these professionals with education, information, resources and tools, so they can achieve optimal success with the growing population of people who are 50 years and older.