Delos WISE Initiative Aims to Improve Wellness in Senior Living

The Delos WISE Initiative — an acronym for Wellness Innovation in Senior Environments — combines the company’s indoor space expertise with insights from global leaders in senior living.

A collaboration with investment firm Harrison Street, the WISE initiative will focus on multiple aspects of the industry to advance research, education and innovation to build communities that offer healthier, safer environments for residents and staff alike.

Sabra, a healthcare real estate investment trust will also be joining Harrison Street as inaugural participants in the initiative. Current and future collaborators will join Delos in assessing, proposing and supporting research from different perspectives based on their expertise within the senior living sector.

The announcement of WISE comes at the cusp of a seismic shift in the senior living industry. With the median age of the U.S. population having steadily increased over the last two decades, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that about one-fourth of the U.S. population will be 65 or older by 2030.

People are also living longer, on average, and are more health-conscious than ever before, seeking living environments that enable better health and well-being throughout their retirement years.

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According to Delos, the goal of WISE is to identify and encourage implementation of innovative approaches that will enhance senior health and well-being.

“We know from extensive research that older adults are particularly susceptible to health risks associated with indoor environmental hazards, such as poor air quality,” said Peter Scialla, President and Chief Operating Officer of Delos.

“We also know indoor elements, such as optimal lighting, can improve cognitive function and may help with disturbed sleep for people with dementia. We created WISE as a forum to explore healthier indoor environments for seniors in collaboration with top industry leaders who are committed to drive positive change.”

WISE Initiative Announces Inaugural Research into Health and Wellbeing

The current research agenda includes in-field studies that will be conducted in senior living communities including:

Harrison Street: The first of several studies will initially investigate ways in which circadian lighting can improve health and cognitive function of older adults in senior living communities.Sabra: Investigate how to improve skilled nursing facility (SNF) indoor air quality via portable air filtration. A second phase aims to examine how building improvements may reduce SNF employee stress and burnout and potentially lower incidence of resident falls while improving cognitive health.

Healthy aging is gaining increasing importance as people worldwide live longer; however, many scientific questions related to aging remain unanswered.

The Well Living Lab has established a research program to generate insights and science-based solutions to help optimize health and well-being in seniors. Collaborations with industry leaders such as Harrison Street and Sabra mark the beginning of a broader initiative to conduct studies that can be applied to enhance the quality of life for older adults.

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“The Well Living Lab broke new ground with our study about how portable air filtration can improve air quality and lower the risks of viral transmission in a simulated classroom environment. Now, we are extending that investigation into senior living environments,” said Barbara Spurrier, Executive Director of the Well Living Lab.

“By conducting field studies with these outstanding industry leaders, we hope to further advance our understanding of how to help improve the health and well-being for older adults related to air quality, lighting and cognitive health.”

This article premiered on our sister site, Design Well.

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