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Industry profile

What is the active-aging industry?

The active-aging industry provides facilities and programs that are part of a prevention/wellness model focused on quality of life for people who are 50 years and older. The industry unites a broad spectrum of organizations and individuals:

  • Retirement communities, including active adult, lifestyle, independent living, assisted living and CCRCs
  • Seniors centers; recreation and community centers serving older adults
  • Apartment buildings, condominiums and developments targeted to adults over 60
  • Medical fitness centers and hospital-based wellness centers
  • Rehabilitation facilities; physical and occupational therapy services
  • Health clubs, YMCAs, YWCAs, JCCs and similar organizations with large populations of older adults
  • Adult day services
  • Home-based services, from therapy to housekeeping to personal training
  • Long-term care and nursing facilities
  • Workplace wellness
  • Research centers, usually based in universities, focused on aspects of the aging population

To deliver active-aging opportunities, the industry provides facilities and programs.

Facilities might include:

  • Dining rooms and cafes
  • Spa services and hair salons
  • Wellness and/or fitness centers
  • Therapy rooms or centers
  • Exercise rooms, activity rooms
  • Changing rooms and lockers
  • Swimming pools and/or warm water therapy pools
  • Crafts shops (e.g., woodworking shop or fine arts studio)
  • Business center and computer labs
  • Outdoor areas for physical activity
  • Walking and biking trails
  • Meditation gardens
  • Movie theater

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Programs can include:

  • Brain fitness games and computer programs
  • Clubs and crafts groups
  • Dances, dinners, parties
  • Physical and occupational therapy
  • Disease management classes and groups
  • Exercise classes
  • Fall prevention screenings, workshops or programs
  • Health assessments, screenings
  • Educational lectures on various topics (travel, finance, computers, etc.)
  • Trips to museums, attractions or tourist destinations

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Because active aging unites many types of organizations and individuals, the reach is both wide and deep. The professionals in these organizations are increasingly fueled by the now- continual flow of research reinforcing that active living promotes health and well-being.

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