Return on Investment

How do Java Group Programs reduce costs?

We are dedicated to reducing the epidemic of loneliness and depression. This epidemic has tremendous social and economic costs and exists not only in care homes but also in assisted living and retirement homes, adult day centers and out in the community.

Loneliness and depression are a source of distress, suffering and reduced quality of life.

The economic costs of caring for those with depression are one third higher than caring for non-depressed individuals.

Our elders deserve better.

The other direct costs relate to staffing. Research indicates that older adults who are lonely experience a decline in Activities of Daily Living, such as mobility and those with depression experience a decline in self-sufficiency. This results in increased stress on staff who have to deal with higher workloads, leading to increased staff sick time, reduced staff work performance and turnover.

How does it work?

We are reducing the burden on the healthcare system by empowering group participants and staff through the concept of peer support. We provide training that leverages the recreation department through the use of three under-utilized resources, the residents themselves, the caregivers and volunteers. See the Java Mentorship Program under “Products” for more information.

With training and regular standardized use, the Java Programs are designed to reduce loneliness and depression and positively impact organizational operating costs:

  1. Loneliness and depression is an epidemic in the community and in lresidential care homes [in care homes depression averages 44% (CIHI, 2010)]. The direct costs of caring for those with depression are one third higher than those without depression (Luppa et al., 2008)
  2. The indirect impact of caring for those with depression, such as increased staff burnout, sick time and turnover,  are major contributors to organizational operating costs
  3. Loneliness is a common source of suffering in older persons and leads to functional decline, significantly adding to staff burden and costs. Health outcomes can be improved by helping elders develop and maintain satisfying interpersonal relationships (Perissinotto, Cenzer & Covinsky, 2012)
  4. Peer support groups are just as effective as the use of trained therapists in alleviating moderate levels of depression and less expensive (American Psychological Association)
  5. Peer support groups are also significantly less expensive than 1-to-1 therapy and can be facilitated by paraprofessionals (i.e. existing staff) provided they receive some training and adhere to a prescribed format (Bright, Baker, & Neimeyer, 1999).