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About Us

The lives of older adults are measurably improved as a result of the research and education conducted by The Institute for Optimal Aging.

The Institute for Optimal Aging was incorporated as a nonprofit foundation on July 19, 2006. Funding sources include Brookdale Senior Living, Inc., individuals, community foundations and research-related grants from public and private sources.

In support of our stated Aging Beliefs, The Institute for Optimal Aging seeks and distributes funding to enhance the wellness of older adults through applied evidence-based research, education, and dissemination of information related to the six dimensions of wellness: physical, emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual and purposeful.

Aging Beliefs
The Institute for Optimal Aging seeks cooperative relationships with individuals and organizations that share the following beliefs about aging:

  • Proactive intervention can help avoid the great myth of aging - that old age equals an inevitable period of gradual decline.
  • Enhanced awareness of evidence-based research about positive aging possibilities is an important motivator for making beneficial lifestyle changes.
  • Education about how to age well has benefits for individuals at all life stages, both for their personal aging experience and to enhance their effectiveness at supporting those who are already older.
  • Planning that incorporates knowledge gained from evidence-based research can lead to a personal pathway of enhanced health, wellness, and fulfillment.
  • Growth, learning, and purpose are possible throughout life, regardless of changes that may accompany aging.
  • Significant personal and societal economic benefits are possible if older adults regularly exercise and seek proactive therapy intervention.
  • Striving to influence public policy decisions on funding for senior care is a worthy goal.
  • Social interaction, appropriate to an individual’s comfort level, is vital to a successful aging experience.
  • Voluntary personal participation in research projects about optimal aging can provide purposeful activity.


Goal #1: To encourage research relevant to older Americans related to the six dimensions of wellness, the dimensions impact on health, and the benefit to each individual’s personal sense of well-being.


  • Develop comprehensive scientifically-validated assessment instruments encompassing the six dimensions of wellness.
  • Develop a longitudinal data base that will serve as a resource for future research.
  • Using the Institute’s Concept Map and Strategic Plan as guides identify and pursue research opportunities.

Goal #2: Enhance awareness of the six dimensions of wellness among health professionals and caregivers and highlight the relationship between wellness and optimal aging.


  • Develop a web-based consumer prevention toolkit that will encourage seniors to assume a more proactive role on their own health care and that will enhance the collaborative relationship between them and their physicians.
  • Provide fellowship grants to academic gerontology and geriatric programs to conduct research on retirement communities and long-term care settings.
  • Offer internship opportunities to students, including those who are majoring in fields not traditionally associated with aging.
  • Share research results in a variety of forums.

Goal #3:Disseminate information about wellness and its relationship to health and quality of life among older adults, their families and their community.


  • Develop a website with timely, reliable optimal aging information cataloged under the six dimensions of wellness.

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