In Later Years, Your House May Be Bad for Your Health

The recent results of the first of a five-year study being conducted by Chicago-based Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging and Northwestern University, found that nearly 70% of Life Plan Community (also known as Continuing Care Retirement Community) residents stated that moving into such a community, “somewhat or greatly improved their social wellness.” Including more than 5,000 residents in 80 Life Plan Communities across 29 states, the survey also found that residents of the communities (which typically offer independent living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing in a single location) scored higher across five of six recognized facets of wellness than about 1,000 peer group older adults living in the community at large – including greater emotional, social, physical, intellectual and vocational wellness.

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Viva Tysons: The Mather: At the Intersection of Wellness and Walkable

As Tysons Corner continues its transformation from a business district
dominated by offices and shopping to a new identity as a community with an ever expanding range of housing options and pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods, it finds itself intersecting with the wellness revolution now shaping adult and senior living and embracing the dramatic shifts in the housing targeted to older residents by capitalizing on the benefits of mixed-use development.

Mature adults and young seniors are increasingly attuned to their physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual health and wellness. More and more, they are looking for communities that can offer them the services, amenities and opportunities that will deliver personalized wellbeing in every facet of their lives, improving overall quality of life.

Enter The Mather, a forward thinking “life plan community” for people 62 and older.

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Senior Housing News: Mather LifeWays Bets on Smart Home Tech in $460 Million High-Rise Community

There’s already demand for Mather LifeWays’ newest high-rise project—and it will prominently feature smart-home technology.

“We’ve already received three priority deposits—and the first depositor desires two units on the top floor of the first tower,” Mather LifeWays President and CEO Mary Leary told Senior Housing News of the planned $460 million life plan community opening in Tysons, Virginia, in 2022.

The new community, called The Mather, will be noticeably more modern than its predecessors.

“At the opening of our last community, we thought it was a big deal to have an electronic key card system,” Leary reminisced. But times have changed.

“People are coming to expect that technology will operate lighting, heat and air conditioning, window shades, and track package deliveries,” Leary said. As a result, Mather is looking to integrate smart home technology, like voice-enabled personal assistants that can control smart home devices, into all of the The Mather’s apartment homes.

It’s believed that voice technology can both collect valuable health care data and help older adults age in place for longer periods of time. This has led some senior housing providers, like Glendale, California-based Front Porch, to pilot’s (Nasdaq: AMZN) Echo device and various “smart home” technologies with residents and staff alike.

Additionally, The Mather will feature an automated parking system, which is essentially a valet “car-stacking system where three cars can be packed in a single parking space,” Leary explained.

“This is unusual not only for senior housing communities, but for residential buildings,” she said.

Evanston, Illinois-based Mather LifeWays currently manages three senior housing properties: a life plan community in Evanston, a life plan community in Tucson, Arizona, and an independent living community in the Chicago suburb of Wilmette. The forthcoming life plan community in Tysons—which is a 50/50 joint venture partnership with Illinois-based real estate investment manager Westminster Capital—will comprise two high-rise towers, one that’s 18 stories tall and one that’s 27 stories tall. The towers will also include more than 18,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

Entrance fees at The Mather will range from $650,000 to upwards of $4 million, Leary said. In addition, the community will offer residents two health care plans: a Type A life care contract and a Type B plan, which will offer residents 90 days of care, after which time they’ll have to pay the market rate for services.

The Mather Tysons is likely not the last community in the works for the nonprofit provider.

“We are looking at a couple of additional opportunities,” Leary said.

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