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Age Well Study Validates LCS Approach to Health and Well-Being

A senior couple taking a walk outside with their two grandsons

StoneRidge, Mystic, CT


Landmark study shows Life Plan Communities improve quality of life; those managed by Life Care Services stand out

By Rick Exline, executive vice president/senior managing director of Life Plan Communities for Life Care Services

In January 2019, Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging and Northwestern University released the first-year results of their Age Well Study. This five-year study, considered the most extensive longitudinal research to date, evaluates the health and well-being of residents at Life Plan Communities compared with older adults who live in the community at large.

The study is providing strong quantitative and qualitative evidence that Life Plan Communities benefit older adults’ health and wellness. In the six categories of wellness studied — social, intellectual, physical, emotional, vocational and spiritual — Life Plan Community residents outscored their peers from the community at large in the majority of outcomes. Results also indicate that, on average, communities managed by Life Care Services, An LCS® Company, outperformed other Life Plan Communities.

More than 5,100 residents from 80 Life Plan Communities participated in survey and data collection. We are proud to play a significant role in the study, as approximately one-third of the participating communities are managed by Life Care Services.

Wellness is a fundamental aspect of Life Plan Communities. It keeps residents engaged, lively and active, and we believe it is a primary factor for residents who wish they had made the decision to move sooner. Among the six larger categories of wellness, the study measured participants on 20-plus subcategories.

The largest difference between the two groups of older adults were in social, emotional and physical wellness. In particular:

  • Life Plan Community Residents showed a clear advantage in the emotional subcategory of “Satisfaction with Life.”
  • Although a common fear of seniors is that retirement living means sacrificing freedom, results of this study showed that residents of Life Plan Communities had a greater sense of control of their lives, disproving this common myth.

Additional key findings indicate:

  • 7 of 10 residents said moving to a Life Plan Community improved their social wellness. Results showed they have more frequent interactions with friends and lower levels of loneliness compared with older adults in the community at large.
  • More than half of residents said moving to a Life Plan Community improved their intellectual and physical wellness. Overall, Life Plan Community residents reported greater participation in lifelong learning, more physical fitness and healthy behaviors, and fewer chronic conditions compared to older adults in the community at large.

Life Plan Communities provide greater benefits to older adults and help them age well. We are confident results will continue to trend in this direction. We believe in our communities and our approach to enhancing the lives of seniors.

While we are encouraged by the findings so far, as an industry leader, we must continue to find ways to enhance, excel and surpass previous expectations. We want to be the best versions of ourselves. Residents and their loved ones should always have confidence that there is no better retirement option than a Life Plan Community managed by Life Care Services.

To find a Life Plan Community managed by LCS near you, use our Find a Community tool.