New ICAA Lifestyle Survey of Older Adults Highlights Positive View of Senior Living

There can be a lot of confusion in the public’s mind about the term “senior living.” In the new survey from International Council on Active Aging® (ICAA), the difference between independent living, active adult real estate, assisted living and nursing homes is explained. The result?

Among a group of 1,191 midlife and older adults who shared their opinions in the ICAA Lifestyle Survey of Older Adults, 67% believe that homes for older adults are safe places to live. They also feel that senior living properties (excluding nursing homes) are places to build social connections (57%) and offer a meaningful and engaging lifestyle (51%).

The people who answered the survey said they coped very well (63%) or somewhat well (35%) during the pandemic. Overall, they are in good, very good or excellent health, appear to be financially stable and engage in lifelong learning. In addition to their views on housing, respondents to the ICAA Lifestyle Survey of Older Adults shared their priorities, satisfaction with areas of their lives, use of technologies and reasons for considering a move out of their current home.

“Leadership in most senior living organizations want to accomplish two goals,” said Colin Milner, CEO of International Council on Active Aging. “They want to retool current properties for the future, and they want to develop the right combination of housing and lifestyle to attract older adults with ’middle’ incomes. The people who shared their thoughts in the ICAA Lifestyle Survey of Older Adults show that social connections, technology and access to the outdoors can help turn goals into reality.”

At ages 67 years and older, respondents to the ICAA Lifestyle Survey of Older Adults are currently satisfied with their homes. While declining health is the most frequent reason for them to consider moving to a place with care, it is not the only one. Downsizing and moving closer to friends and families are other top reasons. An interesting note is that even people who indicated they are not interested in moving right now would consider it in the future.

“It’s not surprising that older adults say declining health would motivate their move to a place with care because that is the common belief. But, living in a walkable place with a meaningful and social lifestyle is a proven way to maintain good health,” says Milner at ICAA. “Organizations that promote a lifestyle emphasizing wellness across the dimensions, through all departments, prioritize a strategy that creates satisfaction with a home. Wellness is more than health care.”

The ICAA Lifestyle Survey of Older Adults shares the perspectives of people who are assumed to be lifelong learners because the online survey was answered by people who replied to an invitation included in a One Day University newsletter, the online platform of lectures by university professors. The respondents ranged in age between 45 and 81 years or older, with most (85%) 67 years and older.

The survey report is available on the ICAA website: Go to Research, Reports