The Age Well

A landmark study on Life Plan Communities

Mather Institute is partnering with Northwestern University in conducting the Age Well Study, a five-year analysis of the impact of living in a Life Plan Community.

The Age Well Study is the only national longitudinal study evaluating the impact of living in a Life Plan Community on residents’ cognitive, physical, and psychosocial health and well-being. The Age Well Study measures residents’ self-reported health and wellness metrics through a survey taken annually for five years. In Year 1, participants were compared to a demographically similar sample drawn from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) conducted by the University of Michigan. In Year 2, researchers took a closer look at residents’ health and wellness, and the latest report examines residents’ happiness and life satisfaction.

Download a free copy of the report on Year 3 findings from the Age Well Study.

What we've accomplished:

Year 3 of the study focused on happiness among Life Plan Community residents. Researchers looked for associations between residents’ happiness and life satisfaction and their individual personality traits, resources, communal factors, and behaviors in this in-depth study, and found:

  • Residents who were satisfied with their daily life and leisure activities had a strong association with overall happiness.
  • Residents were happier and more satisfied when they had with a greater sense of community belonging.
  • The findings show that conscientiousness was not significantly related to resident happiness or life satisfaction.

Thank you to all Life Plan Community residents and staff who are participating in the Age Well Study! A total of more than 5,700 residents from 122 Life Plan Communities from across the country have participated in the study.

Free Research Report The Age Well Study Report:

Year 3 Findings

Investigating factors associated with happiness & life satisfaction in residents of Life Plan Communities.

The latest news & updates:

  • Download the reports with the findings from Year 1 and Year 2 of the Age Well Study.
  • If you are a community point person and have any questions about the study, please contact Ajla Basic, Age Well Study Coordinator, at
  • In addition to the full Year 3 Report available on this page, we are distributing a brief report specific to each community, which includes a summary of findings for key measures collected. No individual resident information is included in either report.
  • The fourth round of surveys is underway.
  • The Year 4 report will be available in January 2022.

Free Research Report The Age Well Study Report: Year 2 Findings

Learn associations between Life Plan Community residents’ individual characteristics and their healthy behaviors and overall health in this groundbreaking study.

Learn More

“Our residents and staff have enjoyed participating in the Age Well Study and know that the information it will provide will be invaluable, not only for the industry, but for our community specifically.”