As Seen in SDUT: Belmont Village La Jolla Now Open, Featuring UCSD’s Living Lab

As Seen in the San Diego Union Tribune

Stepping into Belmont Village La Jolla is like walking into a luxury vacation resort with a pristinely decorated entry lounge, spacious dining room and plenty of outdoor space.

The apartments have large windows with picturesque views of the mountains to the north, east and south. On clear days, residents will be able to see the Pacific Ocean to the west. The 17-story residence, which opened last month, is La Jolla’s newest senior living facility.

Towering over many of the other structures in the area, the 180-unit building on Noble Drive is the third Belmont property in San Diego County, and the only one to boast a Living Lab from the UC San Diego Center for Healthy Aging and the Stein Institute for Research on Aging.

In the Living Lab, gerontology researchers will work with residents to study ways to improve their quality of life.

One of the studies that researchers plan to conduct is a training program for seniors to build up their resilience, Danielle Glorioso said. She is the executive director of the Center for Healthy Aging, an umbrella organization for aging-related programs at UCSD, and the Stein Institute for Research on Aging, which focuses on enhancing lifelong health and well-being through research, training and community outreach.

Past research has found that resilience — the ability to adapt to adversity — is an important component of healthy aging in seniors.

“Resilience is correlated with longevity, so people who are more resilient tend to live longer — I think, on average, like seven years longer,” Glorioso said.

“We know that decline happens over time, but how can we help older adults sort of adapt to those changes and improve their years — their quality of life — with the years that they’re here?” she added. “Our goal is not to reverse aging; it’s to help people adapt and sort of live their best quality of life.”

Being embedded on the property at Belmont Village La Jolla, she said, will mean that other research projects can be conducted as well, focusing on areas such as sleep, cognitive testing, robotics to aid seniors and microbiome testing, to name a few.

“They’re just very supportive of the work that we’re doing — so supportive that they’re willing to give up the space in their community so that we can do our research,” Glorioso said.

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