2021 was the third year of the comprehensive five-year Age Well Study from the Mather Institute. The ultimate goal of this study is to understand more about the impact living at a Life Plan Community has on residents’ overall health and quality of life over time. To compile Year 3 results, researchers interviewed 4,191 residents from 122 Life Plan Communities across the United States. This year’s focus centered around residents’ emotional wellness, specifically happiness and life satisfaction. Survey respondents reported on their own feelings to account for differences in personalities and expectations.
First, What Is a Life Plan Community?
To understand how living at a Life Plan Community affects overall health and wellbeing, let’s first clearly define what a Life Plan Community is. Also known as a continuing care retirement community (CCRC), a Life Plan Community is a senior living community that provides active independent living, as well as a continuum of senior health services — likely including some combination of assisted living, rehabilitation, skilled nursing and memory care. This type of community allows residents to age in place and transition to levels of care if/when they need to with relatively little trouble.
Year 3 Results of the Age Well Study
On a scale of 1 to 7, the respondents reported an average level of life satisfaction and happiness of 5.9, and even the responses in the lowest 25% of life satisfaction were above the midpoint on the scale. A number of factors appear to influence reported satisfaction and happiness levels.