Colin Milner
Colin Milner, CEO, International Council on Active Aging

A new wellness model for the active aging industry will help providers, clients and residents rise above the feelings of loss and fear experienced during the pandemic, according to the International Council on Active Aging.

The professional association on Monday asked its members, associates and the larger society to join the cause and implement its new initiative: “ICAA Call to Action: Reclaim health and well-being for older people by integrating wellness throughout all organizational strategies and operations.” 

The organization has developed strategic planning materials with ideas for creating a blueprint for a wellness-based community and a new normal in senior living; standardized wellness benchmarks; and guidance on making a business case for wellness in senior living, among other topics.

“Now is the time that we can come together to reclaim our lives and businesses,” ICAA founder and CEO Colin Milner said. 

Key components of the call to action:

  • Reclaiming emotional and mental health as an antidote to the feelings of anxiety, loneliness and grief. Support groups, counseling and physically safe gatherings for spiritual, intellectual, cultural and social interactions lessen loneliness and build resilience.
  • Reclaiming functional ability to enable well-being at older ages and functioning in everyday life, including managing personal finances, completing self-care activities or setting up a video call with family members.
  • Reclaiming the potential of aging and refuting ageist stereotypes that can result in social isolation, poor mental health and reduced physical health. Wellness opportunities and programs can help reclaim the place of older adults as valuable contributors to society.
  • Reclaiming business health by counteracting misunderstandings about the value proposition of senior living and senior services. Providers can showcase how wellness guides a lifestyle of personal growth, effective health behaviors and safe, personalized care. Wellness culture and opportunities align with many organizational performance metrics. Well-designed workforce wellness programs are a recruitment and retention benefit.

An implementation guide is available on the ICAA website.