Survey Shows 51% Increase in Wellness Programs for Older Adults

The economic news this year has generally focused on the standstill in production and consumer spending. Despite this environment, the active-aging industry is slowly but steadily growing, according to new research from International Council on Active Aging (ICAA), which provides intelligence for professionals working with people 50 years and older.

The ICAA 2010 Active-Aging Industry Development Survey collected information from 640 respondents to an online survey who work primarily in retirement communities, seniors centers, wellness centers, health clubs, and additional locations that provide services for older adults. These providers of services to older adults reported a surge of optimism and service growth.

According to the findings:

· Over three-quarters (77%) of respondents plan to add more activities, classes, or programs over the next two years. This is a 51% increase from the responses to the identical questions that appeared on an earlier ICAA survey, conducted one year ago, when half (51%) of respondents stated they were adding in the next 12 months (ICAA Economy Survey, July 2009, 489 respondents).

· The growth in program offerings is complemented by jobs creation: 27% plan to hire more wellness staff over the next two years.

· Capital projects are being planned by 41% of respondents, including building new wellness centers and expanding or renovating current wellness and fitness facilities. Retirement communities are refurbishing or building new residences.

“From the business perspective, the market of older adults is large and growing, and overall older adults have a net worth that enables them to make choices to maintain their health and keep their days interesting,” ICAA CEO Colin Milner said in a release. “The results of this survey show that businesses are positioning themselves to meet those needs, by building and upgrading facilities and expanding their programs.”

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