Designing Senior Wellness Programs that Prioritize Personal Connection: Meet Our Wellness Team

Haven’t met the Westminster Canterbury Richmond Wellness Team yet? Allow us to introduce them! Consisting of four members, this dynamic ensemble brings boundless enthusiasm and energy along with a genuine passion for fostering holistic wellness. Their dedication shines through every interaction and the senior wellness programs they create. With the launch of our Vital Living Center on the horizon, their excitement is palpable as they eagerly anticipate the plethora of opportunities it will offer to help residents truly LIVE LIFE WELL.

Meet the Team

At the helm of this incredible group is Manager Wellness Melissa Markey, whose leadership and passion drive the team forward. She’s been part of the Westminster Canterbury Richmond Community for over 15 years.

She’s supported by Fitness Specialists Patty Pickering (18 years at Westminster Canterbury Richmond), Taryn Young (11 years) and Melvin “Mel” Garrison (the newest team member at six months)—each bringing their unique expertise and dedication to promoting senior health and wellness within our community. Together, they form a cohesive unit that empowers residents to live their best lives

What Motivates You? What’s the Best Part of Your Job?

For the wellness team, watching residents adopt healthier lifestyle choices is just one aspect of their role—witnessing residents succeed in their journey toward wellness is equally fulfilling.

Mel: Being around seniors and giving them the help they need in their fitness journey, whether they’re beginners or advanced, we try our absolute best to do whatever it takes to help them achieve their wellness goals. It’s also about finding and creating senior wellness programs that they enjoy, can stick with and keep them motivated. There’s a family environment here. We’re working together as one big cohesive unit at Westminster Canterbury Richmond.  

Taryn: I love the relationships we create across the campus. And it’s not just with the residents, but also the staff across the campus. We have some programs where both are invited to participate.

Patty: I love everything about physical activity, movement and improving day-to-day functioning like how to prevent falls in seniors or managing chronic conditions in seniors. I like making it easier and making it possible for residents to do what they love to do. There’s a synergistic effect between teaching classes with and having relationships with residents that makes it so fun.

Melissa: It’s all about the relationships. I always tell people: It’s like I come to work, and it feels like I have 600 grandparents because they become part of our family, and we become part of theirs. I love the fact that residents know that we are here for them and we truly care.

The Vital Living Center: What Are You Most Excited About?

As part of the Vibrancy! expansions at Westminster Canterbury Richmond, the Vital Living Center is being built. The new space will have a walking track, expanded cardio and strength equipment, a new Aquatic Center with three bodies of water (a lap pool, a warmer pool for exercise and a hot tub for relaxation) and ample classroom space dedicated to Fitness classes. The space will also include a Salon and Spa with a team of stylists, barbers and massage therapists.

 The wellness team is excited about the opportunity to expand and diversify their offerings within a dedicated environment, enriching the lives of our community members even further.

Melissa: We will have three studios that can be divided in half—giving us six possible studios we can use. We will also have locker rooms, an aquatic center and a fitness center. Although we don’t manage other features like the salon and spa, they are all a part of the Vital Living Center. It all boils down to having a space where we can help residents enjoy exercise and wellness—somewhere they want to go to be involved in these programs.

Patty: I love that it’s a destination; a go-to place. There’s a whole new generation of people moving in who are passionate about fitness, and the gym plays a central role in their social life. So, this new Vital Living Center will be a great place to meet and have all kinds of opportunities for exercise. It feels like all the facets of wellness are working together in one place—with things like massage therapy, salon services, etc.

Taryn: I’m so excited about the new studio spaces for group exercise and the new aquatic center. That area will have a few bodies of water: two pools—one that’ll be a cooler temperature, slightly deeper and is a lap swimming pool. The other one is for shallow water fitness programs, which could include water walking or water aerobics. This Vital Living Center will also serve as an area where we can provide educational opportunities for our residents. That could mean everything from what to do after hip surgery to mastering stress, not just stress management.

Mel: I’m looking forward to the new equipment and innovative programming opportunities like expanding our circuit training. The Vital Living Center will allow us to get residents and staff involved. 

What Should People Know About Westminster Canterbury Richmond?

Sure, the new Vital Living Center has a lot of excitement, but the Wellness Team’s enthusiasm goes beyond just the physical space. They’re all about letting current and future residents know our team is here and eager to help them live their best life possible. Whether it’s a workout buddy, expert advice on how to achieve their fitness goals, or a smiling face to remind you they care about you and your health, they’ve got you covered.

Taryn: The most important thing for people to know is that our department is growing and will have much more to offer than we have now. For example, there will be pickleball and aquatic activities; If people aren’t aware of our ballroom dance offering, they should know stuff like that is available too.

Patty: I think people should know we’re here to support them. It always takes a little bit of time and patience to get settled in, and we want people to feel how welcoming the environment here is. Wellness programs can help encourage and assist new and current residents to connect with others in the community. We want to help them make meaningful relationships because that’s what it’s all about.

Melissa: We always have open ears and doors to listen to what they’re going through and ways we can help. Our resident wellness committee brings us excellent suggestions and ideas from residents throughout our campus – new programs, new educational series. We’re always looking to expand and offer something new to meet needs of residents. As a team, we want to understand what residents are looking for and be able to provide the very best for them.

Mel: Our team’s versatility makes us stand out. We can cover many aspects of fitness—like going from cardio to strength, to mind and body. Wellness is unique to each resident. The fact that we can provide such a wide variety of activities for different fitness levels lets us make an even more significant impact, making sure everyone in our community feels awesome and fulfilled on their wellness journey.

Wellness of Mind, Body and Spirit

At Westminster Canterbury Richmond, our approach to wellness is truly holistic. We want to inspire the mind, nurture the spirit and strengthen the body—embracing wellness in every aspect of life. See for yourself how our beautiful grounds, thoughtful amenities and welcoming community can enhance your retirement experience. Schedule a visit today and connect with our friendly staff and residents who are here to support you every step of the way. Contact us at (877) 277-9908 to learn more.

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