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White papers

ICAA white papers provide both information and thought leadership for the active-aging industry. Papers include research-based statements, consensus and considered opinion, and do not promote a specific product or service.

Executive Summary, The National Benchmarks Report, 2016

Highlights of the second national report based on data in the ICAA/ProMatura Wellness Benchmarks are collected in this Executive Summary, which links participation in wellness lifestyles to customer satisfaction in senior living. The complete results that support these highlights are found in the National Report, which includes the opinions of over three thousand residents living in 99 communities.

Download the Executive Summary

The full National Benchmarks Report, 2016, is available to:

Free to benchmarking communities with current data
Free to ICAA members using log-on and password
Price for nonmembers: US $99
To order, call ICAA at 866-335-9777 or 604-734-4466 or email

Framing the return on investment (ROI) in wellness staff

The outcomes of a lifestyle/wellness program are determined by the competency of staff members and support from senior management. Wellness staff members impact satisfaction, revenue and social accountability, according to leaders at the ICAA Forum development meeting. Find lists of expectations for the wellness program and staff and methods to evaluate return on investment (ROI) in hiring, coaching and educating lifestyle/wellness staff. This report coordinates with the Career Path for Wellness Professionals white paper.


Strategies for bringing wellness to people with cognitive decline

This blueprint for action lists 14 strategies for culture, staffing, programming and physical environments aimed at providing the most positive experiences for people with mild-to-moderate dementias. Family members and colleagues are considered within the implementation tactics.


ICAA career path for wellness professionals

Based on industry input generated during work groups, focus groups and advisory panels, plus the results of several qualitative surveys, the career path is a high-level roadmap that includes a responsibility framework, progress along authority levels and the education and skills needed to travel along the path.


Key elements for developing a wellness program for
older adults

Implementing a successful whole-person wellness program means taking into account the culture, mission, goals and resources of an organization. The seven key elements outlined by the Wellness Program Work Group are the solid framework on which to build a new program or renew a current offering for today’s older adult. Definitions, strategies and operational tactics are covered, along with a sidebar on marketing the program.

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The business case for wellness programs in retirement communities and seniors housing

An extensive body of research shows that wellness—physical, intellectual, social, vocational, emotional, spiritual, environmental—is key to maintaining quality of life through the lifespan. This 20 page paper summarizes research from both the healthcare and business spheres, along with case studies and expert opinion, to show that an investment in wellness returns to an organization in cost savings, marketing power and incremental revenue.


Developing the business case for wellness

A companion 6 page article published in The Journal on Active Aging outlines steps for applying the concepts in the white paper to individual organizations.


ICAA's guidelines for effective communication with older adults

ICAA's guidelines for effectively communicating to, and about, the aging population is a tool that brings together in one place the style guides, opinions and research of multiple organizations and shareholders, anchored in the experiences and viewpoints of ICAA's leadership, advisors and members.


The case for engagement: A metric with meaning for the active-aging Industry

In this opinion statement, the value of encouraging older adults to participate in meaningful activities that contribute to whole-person wellness is presented along with a call for an industry paradigm shift.


Practical strategies for providing wellness in outdoor environments

Both overall health and functional ability are supported when older adults spend time outdoors. The ICAA Environmental Work Group provides many ways to overcome barriers—accessibility, motivation, funding, staffing, organizational—so that older adults can safely spend time in nature. Recommendations for outdoor elements and design considerations are included in this 14 page report.


Outdoor wellness gallery

As a companion to the white paper, “Practical strategies for providing wellness in outdoor environments,” the gallery provides photographs of outdoor spaces that exemplify recommendations in the paper.


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