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Under a Tree and Watermark to bring hospitality and wellness programming to senior living

02 Jul 2018
Under a Tree Health and Wellness Consulting has been retained by Watermark Retirement Communities to create wellness programming and signature hospitality for the company’s 52 senior living and care communities across the US.

Amy McDonald, owner and CEO of Under a Tree, said she will pilot many of the programmes at Watermark’s newest community in Tucson, Arizona – The Hacienda at the River – before expanding to additional communities coast to coast.

This includes planned new residences at the company’s upcoming flagship location in Tucson – The Hacienda at the Canyon – as well as its expansion to areas including Brooklyn, New York and Napa Valley, California.

“Watermark is transforming ageing, taking what we know of the best destination spas and their approach to caring for guests – including innovative programming like equine and horticultural therapy – and integrating it into each community,” said McDonald. “There is great alignment between both companies.”

In addition to the 52 existing communities it manages, Watermark has 10 in development. The company said it is committed to its mission to dramatically improve the quality of life of its residents through transformative programmes designed to support physical and intellectual health, along with emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

McDonald will work on concept, design and pre-opening for each of the upcoming properties as the company’s hospitality wellness expert.

She said she’ll also use her knowledge of five-star hospitality to bring a sense of high-end guest service to the communities. Signature touch points may include daily rituals for residents, self-care programmes for skilled nurses or caregivers, and the integration of wellness into the communities’ design features.

“At Watermark, we’re committed to creating extraordinary and innovative communities where people thrive,” said David Barnes, president and CEO of Watermark. “To truly thrive means to achieve wellness on many levels, and we’re pleased to partner with Under a Tree to ensure our residents benefit from exceptional, whole-person wellness and care.”

McDonald also plans to help enhance intention and mindfulness at Watermark communities, and to create programmes that draw from the local and internal community to encourage greater integration between both.

She also plans to work with adult children of residents to engage them in the process of their parent’s journey and celebration of their life. This is something that McDonald said is important to her on a personal as well as professional level.

“Through my adult years I was very close to both my parents and spent a lot of quality time with them,” she explained. “My mom lived fully into her late 80s and my father into his late 90s. I was fortunate enough to apply what I know about wellness and integrative health into their lives and witness their physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual well-being flourish.

"I know the difference that transformative programmes and whole-person wellness can make in people’s lives and this is what inspired me to collaborate with an innovative senior living company," she added. "With the support and guidance of Diane Doster, a wellness expert dedicated to optimal ageing and longevity, I was fortunate to be introduced to Watermark."

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