In Search of the Fountain of Youth

How fully integrated health and wellness programs can be a key differentiator for Life Plan Communities 

Guest article by Tom Mann, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Moorings Park

This article is a supplement for our webinar, “Integrated Wellness and Prevention: Repositioning Life Plan Communities to Provide What Consumers Really Want.” Along with Tom and an esteemed panel, we discussed how Life Plan Community providers must re-envision the historical continuum of care to stay relevant in the years ahead. Click here to watch the session recording.

Many of my colleagues frequently ask me, “How is it that Moorings Park Communities is able to sell and secure entrance fees that are sometimes in excess of $5 million?” My answer is simple: “Luxury is in the details.”

Many of the most obvious details are what people can easily see when they tour our communities, such as the spectacular clubhouses, restaurants, fitness centers and residences. And these are spectacular! For example, our Laguna floorplan is just under 8,000 square feet of pure luxury.  

Moorings Park: How fully integrated health and wellness programs can be a key differentiator for Life Plan Communities 

But perhaps the most important details are the ones you cannot see. 

Allow me to expand, as many of you know, over the course of my career (which included a wonderful stint with the talented people at Love & Company), I have been obsessed with finding the proverbial Fountain of Youth. I believe this is a necessity for every LeadingAge professional. Why? Because improvements in technology and increases in home-based services are making the option to stay at home an even fiercer competitor than it was in the past. In other words, the wolf is at the door.  Remember, approximately 95 percent of our age- and income-qualified target audience elects to age in their house rather than make the wise decision to move to a Life Plan Community. To avoid going the way of the horse and buggy, Life Plan Communities need to sell—and deliver—the fountain of youth. What does this look like? I believe that Life Plan Communities have all of the assets to deliver and improve upon Executive Health Clinics and what they are offering. 

Details, Details, Details 

The way we can do this is to develop fully integrated health and wellness programs that tie together the resident’s doctor, dietitian, personal trainer and activities team, along with their personal biometrics from tools like Whoop, Apple Watch, or the Oura ring so that everyone is sharing the same detailed information and results … which ultimately should result in superior outcomes. (Note: Our innovation team is currently testing the Whoop fitness tracker to see if this is a tool we would like to use as an organization for resident data collection.) 

Yes, it is true that many other organizations offer services and amenities that are similar to Moorings Park, but what separates the highest performers from everyone else is in the execution of those services and amenities. And that is our biggest opportunity. 

Develop a team to pull your internal resources together: physician services/clinical services, fitness/wellness, and dietary. Then discuss how resident data can better flow between those services to provide a more robust wellness experience.  

No Excuses 

When pulling your team together, commit to an atmosphere of “no excuses.” And trust me, there will be plenty of reasons why you will hear this can’t be done, from technology to time. Start simple. If technology is the barrier, start with paper. If time is the issue, look for opportunities to be more efficient. If an inability to get partners (whether clinical, fitness, dietary, etc.) to participate is the issue, look for better partners.  

If you are a CEO or executive director of a Life Plan Community, improving communication between your departments should be your top priority this year. Ask your team a few simple questions that I would ask if I were considering becoming a resident of your community: 

  • Does your community create a baseline assessment of my health, both physical and cognitive? How does that information flow between my doctor and my exercise physiologist? 
  • Do you have a team that is preparing my personalized health and wellness plan? If so, who is on that team? 
  • How are components of my social and spiritual health incorporated into my plan? 
  • They say that the gut is the key to good health. Do you have a dietitian on staff? How will my dietary plan flow from my dietitian to my physician and the culinary team? (This is different than dietary restrictions.) 
  • How do my personal biometrics obtained by my smartwatch or device get utilized by my physician and exercise physiologist? For example, will my doctor be reviewing my sleep data? 

Remember, this is your opportunity to change how America ages! 

For more articles covering senior housing trends and how providers must adapt to them to continue fulfilling their missions, click here.

To view the webinar, “Integrated Wellness and Prevention: Repositioning Life Plan Communities to Provide What Consumers Really Want,” click here.

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