It is no secret that promoting an active lifestyle is critical in the business of senior living but with the economic trouble during the last 2 years, has the industry cut back on this investment and what does the future look like? According to the 2010 Active-Aging Development Survey, businesses associated with active senior living have found that investments in lifestyle programming have held up and are growing steadily. The survey respondents, who work primarily in retirement communities, seniors centers, wellness centers, health clubs and additional locations that provide services for older adults, reported a surge of optimism and possible service growth. Some of the information revealed from the responses in the survey include:
- 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).
- 65% of respondents are looking for experts who can assist with architectural services
- 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.
- Brain Fitness programs are currently part of the active-aging programming in over 60% of the respondents
"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."