When Tom Farrell walks through St. James Place, he sees many of his 240 independent living and 60 assisted living residents—and even some of his 64 nursing home residents—taking on-site Zumba classes, working out with cardio equipment and practicing tai chi. The scenes have played out at the continuing care retirement community, where Farrell serves as president and CEO, since its fitness center opened in 2001. The physical activities are examples of the wellness culture that has become increasingly important in senior living facilities throughout the country. “We incorporate wellness into everything we do,” Farrell says. “We’re attending to the demands of our residents and our competition, and wellness is a key factor for baby boomers.” Residents are becoming active participants in their wellness as opposed to patients, according to research from Love & Company, a Texas-based senior living marketing research company. Rather than being taken care of, boomers want to care for themselves—spiritually, physically, intellectually, emotionally and financially. The paradigm shift has been a tough pill for most senior care facilities to swallow. While many say they want to provide an environment centered around wellness, the research company found less than 1% have actually succeeded, a metric measured by… Read full this story
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