WISE Initiative Aims to Improve Senior Care Environments

The WISE initiative will focus on different aspects of the senior living industry to advance innovation that will help make communities safer and healthier.

By HFT Staff
April 27, 2022

Delos has launched the Wellness Innovation in Senior Environments (WISE) initiative, combining its expertise in healthy buildings with insights from leaders in the senior living industry to further health and well-being. The initiative will focus on different aspects of the senior living industry to advance scientific research, education and innovation to help meet the growing consumer demand for communities that offer safer, healthier environments for residents and staff. 

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. 

“We know from extensive research that older adults are particularly susceptible to health risks associated with indoor environmental hazards, such as poor air quality,” says Peter Scialla, president and chief operating officer of Delos. “We also know indoor elements, such as optimal lighting, can improve cognitive function and may help with disturbed sleep for people with dementia. We created WISE as a forum to explore healthier indoor environments for seniors in collaboration with top industry leaders who are committed to drive positive change." 

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. 

The launch of WISE comes amid changes in the senior living industry. The median age of the U.S. population has steadily increased over the last two decades. The U.S. 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. 



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