Harrison Street and Sabra Health Care REIT (Nasdaq: SBRA) are collaborating on a new initiative aimed at creating healthier senior living communities and finding new solutions through research.
The companies are working with wellness real estate and technology company Delos, which announced the launch of an initiative it dubbed Wellness Innovation in Senior Environments (WISE) on Tuesday. Based in New York City, Delos is the founder of the WELL Building Standard.
The initiative is an effort to combine Delos’ expertise in healthy building environments with insight from the senior housing and care industry.
As part of the partnership, Delos will work in the coming years with investment management firm Harrison Street and Sabra for expanded research efforts within senior living, ultimately to advance science, education and innovation.
Harrison Street will participate in several future studies, with the first being an investigation into ways in which circadian lighting can improve health and cognitive function of older adults in senior living communities.
“We really want to study how the impact of the indoor environment has on one’s health,” Harrison Street Chief Impact Officer Jill Brosig told Senior Housing News. “Ultimately, we might be able to do some studies around how it actually impacts the aging process, but for now we are focusing on the health piece.”
Sabra will investigate how to improve skilled nursing facility indoor air quality via portable air filtration. A second phase will look at how building improvements may reduce skilled nursing staff stress and burnout and potentially lower incidence of resident falls while improving cognitive health.
“The WISE initiative is fully aligned with Sabra’s strategy of investing in assets that embody the most forward-thinking approaches,” Sabra CEO Rick Matros said in a news release regarding the initiative announcement. “We believe what happens inside our buildings is what matters the most and continuously seek out innovative solutions that improve the lives and experiences of our operators.”
The initiative’s partners will participate in research conducted by the Well Living Lab, which was founded as a collaboration between Delos and Mayo Clinic. The research could result in actionable changes for senior living providers as soon as one year from now, according to Delos President and COO Peter Scialla.
“We felt that this sector was certainly one that would benefit from a real in-depth push in our own research agenda on solutions to enhance the health and well being of occupants and staff, but also that this sector was very well-run and managed as it relates to health and wellness,” Scialla told SHN.
The partnerships among Delos, Sabra and Harrison Street also marks the beginning of a broader effort to conduct studies that can be applied to improve quality of life and health outcomes in senior living.
“I really feel what we’re doing and what we have announced is just scratching the surface,” Brosig said. “We’re just starting to figure out how to do this.”
Meanwhile, the research effort gets underway as the U.S. population continues to rapidly age. 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.
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