Aging Well: Making wellness personal

When it comes to pursuing your personal wellness, there are a wealth of options beyond the fitness center.

This biweekly column is sponsored by The Mather in Tysons, Virginia, a forward-thinking Life Plan Community for those 62 and better.

The path to wellness is a very personal journey, and one that is unique for each of us. That’s why organizations that are committed to helping people meet their wellness goals see positive results when focus is placed on individual preferences.

At The Mather, a Life Plan Community for those 62 and better opening in Tysons in 2024, resident wellness will be supported through some “person-centric” amenities and offerings — designed to be customizable to individual goals, needs, and desires. Far beyond the community’s fitness center with a group exercise studio, cardio/weight training, and an indoor pool, The Mather will support each resident’s wellness through myriad offerings, including some cutting-edge technology and holistic classes.

This is fitting of an organization that has earned top honors in wellness: operator Mather earned top industry awards in the area, with their Life Plan Community in Tucson ranked #1 in wellness among senior living communities in all of North America, earning a ICAA NuStep Top 5 Pinnacle Award for exceptional, above-and-beyond performance using wellness as a foundation, and partnering with residents and staff to create relevant, meaningful opportunities that empower people to age well. (The same awards ranked Mather’s Illinois Life Plan Community among the top 25 on the continent, and recognized CEO Mary Leary as one of the Top 5 Wellness CEOs in senior living in North America.)

Mather’s unique approach to resident and staff wellness is based on the Person-Centric Wellness Model, which was developed by Mather Institute, the organization’s research area. Grounded in scientific research, it offers an evolved approach to whole-being wellness that empowers individuals to choose the types of fulfillment that match their aspirations. The model will be applied to offerings at The Mather, from cultural and educational programs to creative arts offerings to the fitness center’s group classes, personal training, and equipment.

Below is just a sampling of the unique wellness offerings planned for the community:

Vibrational Therapy & Audio Frequencies

The spa at The Mather will house a Gharieni Welnamis spa wave bed. This bed uses computer-controlled vibrational therapy and audio frequencies to train the brain to relax. Similar to meditation, certain sounds heard through stereo headphones slow mental activity, while the bed’s vibrational frequencies target the body’s energy centers. Users can adjust settings on the spa bed to address their specific wellness goal, such as reducing stress, increasing concentration or creativity, or improving sleep quality, among many other focuses — along with duration and other customizable features.

Holistic Wellness Sessions

Programs at The Mather cover a variety of wellness approaches, from traditional fitness classes to some holistic offerings such as sound wellness. Sound wellness refers to using audio — including music, acoustic resonance, and/or vibration — to boost our well-being. Science has shown that sound has a profound effect on our physical health, mood, mental health, and overall well-being. Sound therapies and sound-bathing workshops can target stress or fatigue, trigger rest and recovery, or boost productivity.

Spa Treatments for Whole-Person Wellness

Imagine a spa where you can snip herbs and flowers from a live plant wall for tea and customized spa treatments… where you can test out zero-gravity seating to improve your circulation and relieve pain… where you can bathe in the healing air from a Himalayan salt wall. The Mather’s spa will include all this, along with signature skin treatments and hair and nail services.

“The Mather is attracting a diverse group of older adults,” says Mary Leary, CEO of Mather. “As a result, we aim to incorporate wellness practices from around the world, including Wyda movement theory of the Celtic Druids, which helps people achieve harmony with nature and contentment through mindfulness.” This holistic regenerative approach is similar to Qi Gong and yoga, while originating in a different part of the world.

Wellness options like those outlined above hint at the broad range of choices we have when pursuing our personal wellness. When it comes to taking care of your health, think outside the gym!

The Mather in Tysons, VA, for those 62 and better, is a forward-thinking Life Plan Community that defies expectations of what senior living is supposed to be. It opens in 2024.