Delos, a provider of science-backed solutions for healthier indoor spaces, has launched the Wellness Innovation in Senior Environments initiative (WISE), combining its expertise in healthy buildings with insights from leaders in the senior living industry to further health and well-being.
The WISE initiative is a collaborative effort that expands upon a research partnership in late 2021 with Harrison Street, a leading investment management firm exclusively focused on alternative real assets, which includes senior living. The initiative will focus on different aspects of the senior living industry to advance scientific research, education and innovation that will help meet growing consumer demand for communities that offer safer, healthier environments for residents and staff.
In addition to Harrison Street, an inaugural participant in WISE includes Sabra, a healthcare real estate investment trust with significant investments in senior housing and skilled nursing communities. Current and future collaborators will join Delos in assessing, proposing and supporting research from different perspectives based on their expertise within the senior living sector.
WISE will focus on scientific research, education initiatives and solutions for healthier, safer senior living communities. Collaborators will participate in research conducted by the Well Living Lab, founded as a collaboration between Delos and Mayo Clinic and the first scientific laboratory in the world dedicated to studying the impact of indoor environments on human health and well-being.
The goal of WISE is to identify and encourage implementation of innovative approaches that will enhance senior health and well-being. The current research agenda includes in-field studies that will be conducted in senior living communities including:
- Harrison Street: The first of several studies will initially investigate ways in which circadian lighting can improve health and cognitive function of older adults in senior living communities.
- Sabra: Investigate how to improve skilled nursing facility (SNF) indoor air quality via portable air filtration. A second phase aims to examine how building improvements may reduce SNF employee stress and burnout and potentially lower incidence of resident falls while improving cognitive health.
Healthy aging is gaining increasing importance as people worldwide live longer; however, many scientific questions related to aging remain unanswered. The Well Living Lab has established a research program to generate insights and science-based solutions to help optimize health and well-being in seniors. Collaborations with industry leaders such as Harrison Street and Sabra mark the beginning of a broader initiative to conduct studies that can be applied to enhance the quality of life for older adults.
The launch of WISE comes amid seismic changes in the senior living industry. The median age of the U.S. population has steadily increased over the last two decades. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that about one-fourth of the U.S. population will be 65 or older by 2030 when the youngest of the estimated 73 million baby boomers will reach that milestone. People are also living longer, on average, and are more health-conscious than ever before, seeking living environments that enable better health and well-being throughout their retirement years.
WISE will provide a trusted source of science-backed information that can support operational and investment decisions that continue to raise health and wellness standards for senior living residents and staff.