Life Plan Community Residents Report Wellness Benefits, Survey Finds

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Life Plan community residents tend to experience greater emotional, social, physical, intellectual and vocational wellness than their counterparts in the greater community, according to preliminary first-year results of a study of more than 5,000 residents of 80 such communities in 29 states.

“One of the strongest points coming through is that life plan communities are places where older adults are able to find tremendous opportunity for aging well across multiple dimensions of aging,” Cate O’Brien, Ph.D., assistant vice president and director of the Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging, told McKnight’s Senior Living on Tuesday.

She was speaking of the Age Well Study by Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging and Northwestern University, longitudinal research that is evaluating the effects of living in life plan communities, also known as a continuing care retirement communities, on residents’ health and well-being. The study will measure residents’ self-reported health and wellness through a survey taken annually for five years.

Results are being compared with a demographically similar sample drawn from the Health and Retirement Study conducted by the University of Michigan. Interviews with some residents are helping to interpret the findings and determine additional questions for the future, O’Brien said.

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ISU Students Compete in Design Challenge at Westminster Village

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Westminster Village and the ISU Department of Built Environment are collaborating on an interior Design Challenge. Students of architecture and interior design have been given 2 senior living apartments to re-construct, furnish and decorate as part of their course curriculum.

Students met with Westminster Village residents serving as “clients” last month. This week, Westminster residents traveled to the ISU School of Technology to see the students in action, creating architectural drawings and putting together the decorative palates.

A total of 9 design proposals are being built. Student teams are formally presenting each for consideration on Thursday, September 13th at 9:00 a.m. at Westminster Village. The resident and staff committee will choose which designs will be executed and unveiled for the public to tour during the Design Challenge Showcase in December.

“The project is an opportunity for Westminster Village to connect the generations and connect the campuses. Our senior residents and the young students have really enjoyed working and learning together. We are also pleased to give these students a real life project to add to their portfolio,” shared Kate Webster, Sales & Marketing Director for Westminster Village.

The Course: IAD351 Studio 3: Universal and Corporate Design – This design studio includes both Interior Architecture Design (IAD) and Architectural Engineering Technology (ArET) students. These are 3rd year students. Most are IAD majors and will pursue an Interior Design license and work in residential or commercial design related jobs. The ArET students, in addition to the design courses, also take construction management courses giving them options to pursue employment in the design or construction management fields.

ISU contact: Andrew Phillip Payne, PhD, M.Arch., Associate AIA, Chair and Professor of Built Environment, College of Technology, Indiana State University 812.237.3267

For more information please contact Kate Webster, Sales & Marketing Director, (812) 242-4611

Senior Living Made Smarter with Technology

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Westminster Village, the Life Plan Community serving Terre Haute and the Wabash Valley of western Indiana, has opened a demonstration model SMART apartment. Equipped with the latest technology, the new features are designed to make life easier for its residents.

> Click here for a video on the SMART apartment:

“We’ve found retirees today are interested in keeping up with technology. Many carry smartphones and own tablets. They want to, in their own words, ‘keep up with the times’,” says Executive Director Dan Smith. “So, at Westminster Village, we’re going to help them. That’s why we developed our demonstration model SMART apartment.”

Visitors to the new model will find an apartment equipped with Amazon Alexa, the cloud-based voice service, plus additional remote Amazon Dots. The system controls the apartment’s smart TV, lights and thermostat, plus several small appliances. It is also programmed to connect with the Westminster Village emergency call system designed to alert staff when residents need help.

According to Smith, “Visitors are intrigued when they learn everyday tasks can be completed with a simple voice command. The coffee pot can begin brewing in the kitchen and the curling iron in the bathroom can be turned on or off simply by telling Alexa to do it.”

Smith adds that visitors are also fascinated to learn that because Amazon Alexa pulls information from the internet, they can ask hundreds of questions and get answers. “We demonstrate that they can ask anything from ‘What is the weather?’ to ‘How tall is Mount Everest?’. They can even command Alexa to ‘Tell me a joke.’”

The fully-equipped demonstration model SMART apartment also features a Honeywell smart thermostat with remote control capabilities allowing residents to adjust the temperature when they are away from home. 

What’s more, residents with a Pandora or Spotify radio app and the Sonos speaker featured in the model apartment can command Alexa to play music of any genre.

Westminster Village offers residents SMART apartment technology packages starting at $1,200, and their own IT team provides on-site set-up and assistance.

The Westminster Village demonstration model SMART apartment is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  and retirees and their families are invited to schedule a visit by calling (812) 242-4611 or visiting

Westminster Village Life Plan Community offers independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing and rehabilitative services—all under one roof. Serving Terre Haute and the Wabash Valley of western Indiana, it is located at 1120 E. Davis Drive and managed by Life Care Services®, An LCS® Company.