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Groundbreaking research reveals benefits of life plan communities

New research is backing up what residents of Life Plan Communities have known for a long time – that their quality of life is better in a Life Plan Community.  In order to be considered a Life Plan Community, residents must be offered more than one level of care at the same location.  These communities are a perfect solution for those who desire to live independently today but want the security that comes with having assisted living or skilled nursing care available if and when needed.

Sometimes referred to as “Continuing Care Retirement Communities” (CCRC), Life Plan Communities provide a rewarding lifestyle for today’s active seniors.  Amenities often include maintenance, a dining plan, housekeeping, social activities, and recreational opportunities.

But possibly the biggest amenity offered is peace-of-mind.  As more baby boomers look for senior living options, these communities have become an attractive option by offering a combination of independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing services all on one campus.  As needs change over time, residents are able to stay within the comfortable community where they are known and can avoid the stress of finding and moving to another facility for a higher level of care.  Life Plan Communities are also attractive to senior couples who may require different levels of care for each individual as they age.   

A landmark study recently released by Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging finds that Life Plan Community residents report greater emotional, social, physical, intellectual, and vocational wellness than those living in the community at large (Source: LeadingAge).  Geographical location, including living in an urban vs. rural setting, was also found to affect life satisfaction levels.   The study is one of the most comprehensive of its kind and measures residents’ health and wellness metrics annually over five years.  

Among the study’s findings, several key points stand out.  Life Plan Community residents report experiencing:

  • A greater satisfaction with life
  • More physical activity
  • More personal connections
  • A higher frequency of volunteering
  • More optimism  
  • A greater life purpose
  • Better health with fewer chronic conditions

“The Age Well Study shows that Life Plan Communities offer tremendous opportunities for resident well-being,” says Mary Leary, President and CEO of Mather LifeWays.  “The five-year study will inform the industry for years to come.  But beyond simply providing data, these results may motivate more people to consider a Life Plan Community.”  This important study can be viewed in its entirety at

As a resident of a Life Plan Community herself, Myra Lantz agrees with the benefits the new research is revealing.  Her quality of life has improved and she sees many positives to living in a Life Plan Community.  She says, “I don’t have to worry about the fridge, the furnace, etc.  If I’m lonely or bored, it’s my own fault.  I can walk to a neighbor’s door and they’ll welcome me in.”  She goes on to say, “Living here is the best decision I’ve ever made – besides marrying my husband!”


LeadingAge email newsletter, March 26, 2019

Article by Angela Petersen

Angela Petersen specializes in meeting marketing and advertising needs. With experience in written and visual communication, she enjoys using creative means to connect current and potential residents, families, and supporters. When Angela isn’t busy writing and creating, she enjoys time spent outdoors, volunteering, and exploring the globe.

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