Sodexo Senior Living, a quality of life services provider with around 600 senior living community partners, has agreed to outsource its wellness product offering to Masterpiece Living.
“This partnership allows us to bring senior communities additional services that drive resident satisfaction, that attract new residents, that reduce costs, and that build a reputation of quality care and services,” said James Taylor, Sodexo Senior Living President, in a statement. “Our alliance allows us to reinforce our commitment to enabling seniors to live their best lives.”
Under the agreement, Sodexo will discontinue the availability of its proprietary wellness product, HealthAbility, to new clients and will instead begin jointly marketing Masterpiece Living to its senior living partners.
“We look to provide services to our clients that focus on quality of life services, and improving the life of individual residents and of the community,” says Shelley Kalfas, Sodexo’s senior vice president of marketing. “We were impressed with the research behind Masterpiece Living’s program. We’ve got compatible organizations, and we believe in the same things, so we felt it was a good match in order to provide a good service we think will become even more important than it already is as the aging population grows. “
Kalfas declined to comment on the financial arrangement of the partnership, citing confidentiality agreements.
Sodexo currently has more than 600 senior living clients for which it provides a range of services, including resident dining and nutrition services, building services, and its proprietary wellness program HealthAbility. However, only a “small fraction” of Sodexo’s clients took advantage of the HealthAbility program, according to Dr. Roger Landry, the president of Masterpiece Living.
“Out of around 600 partners from Sodexo, I’m optimistic—I’d say a huge amount will use our program,” which emphasizes many areas of wellness in addition to physical health, he says.
However, existing Sodexo clients who want to continue using HealthAbility will be able to do so, says Kalfas. The “real key,” she says, is identifying clients where wellness programs will be an important part of their culture and what they want to offer to residents.
Masterpiece Living has about 270 senior living communities in its network so far and operates as a wellness consulting partner with its clients. The quality of life program collects participants’ data, and Masterpiece has an ultimate goal of changing public policy to create better environments for aging within the United States.
“The only way to change public policy is to measure what we’re doing, which can tell us how good our product is and build up our data bank,” says Dr. Landry.
The country’s view on aging is changing, he says, and it has to be reflected in the industry.
“The new older adult who’s looking at senior living wants a lot more, but there’s relatively few offering that now,” he says.
Many “new older adults” favor the idea of growth on spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical levels, he says, but the industry currently accentuates care, comfort, and security.
“We’ll still provide those things, as the basic tenets for senior living, but if we’re going to attract new older cults we’ll need to be giving much more,” says Dr. Landry.
In addition to improving the quality of life for seniors, holistic wellness programs can also have financial benefits. In the past 10 years, Masterpiece Living has tracked its participants’ lifestyles and associated risks, and how those have changed after participating in the program.
“What we’ve been able to show is that risks for impairment for disease—even accidents—goes down,” he says. It’s been more difficult to connect the next dot for how much money that could save, though, according to Dr. Landry. By extrapolation, he says Masterpiece can show 50-70% less falls in communities it works with, with each fall costing an average of about $20,000.
Masterpiece is looking for ways to track healthcare costs more directly, person-by-person, with the ability to talk about those costs in the aggregate and develop a better picture of the financial benefits of wellness.
“We’re getting there,” he says.
Written by Alyssa Gerace