Across the country, millions of seniors receive care at assisted living facilities (ALFs) and other long-term care centers. Facility managers and staff are continually seeking ways of improving the lives of residents, helping them to live longer and remain healthier. One of the novel ways that ALFs are doing that is by implementing wellness programs. These programs help to supplement the risk management protection afforded by assisted living facility insurance. By adding wellness programs to facility management, staff and residents alike can enjoy improved safety along with many other benefits.
Senior Wellness Programs: Improving Quality of Life
The goal of any wellness program is to improve the quality of life for participants. Wellness programs can be found across industry sectors, and are designed to offer instruction and guidance on healthy lifestyle habits. For employees participating in these programs, workplace-related stress can be reduced, as well as levels of chronic illness and obesity.
In the long-term care sector, wellness programs provide the same benefits to seniors participating in them. These programs are known to offer seniors the ability to socialize more and to be more active, both contributing to a longer, healthier life. An added benefit of wellness initiatives in ALFs is that they tend to reduce dependence on others, which can help to reduce the staggering workloads faced by today’s healthcare workers.
Trends in Wellness Programs for Assisted Living Facilities
Long-term care facilities have added numerous features and programs to their communities, all with an eye toward improving safety and quality of life for the residents of these facilities. Some of the wellness programs and services added to ALFs include:
- Nutrition and healthy-eating programs
- Hydrotherapy pools
- Aquatic exercise facilities
- Mindfulness programs, including yoga, meditation, and stress-management
- Exercise facilities (open exercise spaces and workout rooms)
Regardless of the type of wellness program or wellness education available, seniors gain purposeful activities each day. Seniors who have access to these programs tend to feel better about themselves, which often translates into significant improvements in health and overall wellbeing. These programs can increase engagement with fellow residents and staff, reduce sedentary behaviors, and improve mental and physical resilience.
Benefits for Facility Owners and Staff
Wellness programs benefit everyone in assisted living facilities, not only residents. Facility owners and managers gain significant benefits in terms of the quality of life of residents within facilities; wellness programs are an attractive amenity, encouraging others to select these facilities when assistance is needed with daily activities. In other words, those facilities that implement wellness programs often see a boost in residential sign-ups. Retaining seniors is an added benefit; seniors in facilities that offer health and wellness programs tend to stay enrolled, dropping move-out rates by as much as 20%, on average.
For staff members, particularly among caregivers, wellness programs help to reduce the reliance of residents on staff. In today’s ALFs and other long-term care facilities, staff attrition and injury due to high workloads contribute to excessive claims on assisted living facility insurance. By reducing their workloads, wellness programs ultimately help to control the overhead expenses associated with workplace-related overuse and stress injuries in staff members.
These benefits are well-documented; in a research report published by the International Council on Active Aging, the business advantages of wellness programs were illustrated. Wellness and healthy-lifestyle programs have significant, positive, and long-term benefits for residents, staff, and facility owners. By implementing these programs, ALFs can improve safety and quality of life for everyone associated with the facilities.
About Caitlin Morgan
Caitlin Morgan specializes in insuring assisted living facilities and nursing homes and can assist you in providing insurance and risk management services for this niche market. Give us a call to learn more about our programs at 877.226.1027.