Kendal Residents in Age Well Study

group of masked residents and staff gardeners

 “The Age Well Study” is a five-year, nationwide study examining the impact of residing in a Life Plan Community on residents’ health and wellness. Kendal at Oberlin is one of 122 Life Plan Communities participating in the study, conducted by the Mather Institute. 

The Year 4 survey was administered during the height of the pandemic, January to May 2021. Analyses examined resident stress and resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic, including coping strategies, based on responses from 3,441 residents, 70 who live at Kendal at Oberlin.

Here is a snapshot of Year 4 findings:

  • Women reported greater stress but also exhibited greater resilience than men;
  • Residents 85 and older reported greater stress than younger residents;
  • Residents of communities in the Northeast reported the most stress, followed by residents in the Midwest;
  • Intellectual activities (reading, puzzles), meditation and volunteering helped reduce stress, while screen time, eating/snacking and talking to a mental health provider increased stress;

A few key take-aways from Kendal at Oberlin responses:

  • Kendal residents showed a high level of resilience during COVID;
  • Kendal residents responded with a high level of purpose;
  • Volunteering was used as a coping strategy often.

According to the Mather Institute: “The Age Well Study Year 1 results indicate that residents of Life Plan Communities reported better physical, social, intellectual, vocational, and emotional wellness compared to older adults who do not live in Life Plan Communities, but they exhibited lower levels of spiritual wellness. The Year 2 report deepened our understanding of resident wellness by identifying factors associated with healthy behaviors and health outcomes. Our understanding of factors associated with resident wellness continued in Year 3 through the examination of their association with happiness and life satisfaction, as well as in Year 4 through the examination of how residents responded to the pandemic. Age Well Study surveys will be administered one last time in 2022, with the goal of exploring changes in wellness outcomes over time among residents of Life Plan Communities compared to older adults in the community at large.”

Story by Molly Kavanaugh

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