Living like a Master, with a Piece of Mind

GUEST POINT OF VIEW:  Kristen McCaig is the Vice President of Corporate Sales and Marketing for Senior Quality Lifestyles Corporation (SQLC), a Dallas based developer of high end retirement resorts.  With five communities in Texas and one under construction in Indiana, Kristen travels frequently to each of the communities to meet with staff and residents.  Last year, SQLC adopted a brand new wellness program called Masterpiece Living (MPL), a research-based, measurable, and comprehensive approach that is fully integrated into the very fabric of each community for use by residents and staff members. Masterpiece Living, at its core, is the belief that aging successfully is about self-esteem, competence, self-efficacy, meaning and continued growth. Kristen discusses how MPL has impacted the culture at each community and some of the personal takeaways she’s gained from the initiative.

SQLC has an operating community in Dallas (Edgemere), Houston (The Buckingham), Austin (Querencia at Barton Creek), Corpus Christi (Mirador), and Fort Worth (The Stayton at Museum Way).  As most know, those cities are very unique in their own right, with Dallas encompassing more of the glitz and glamour, Austin the cowboy chic city, and Corpus Christi the coastal getaway.  Just like the cities, our communities are just as unique and over the years each as developed a distinctive culture that can only be found at that certain community.  Having a positive culture as a senior living community is one of the most important aspects to having a successful community that residents will want to live at and qualified people will want to work at.  It’s important to remember that culture not only affects residents, but staff as well.  You want both qualified residents and qualified staff, and an encouraging culture will attract and keep those people.

Culture affects the success of PR as well.  We want to make sure our PR team has exciting news opportunities to write about and pitch to local media.  If we’re not keeping up with the times and evolving as all successful organizations do, then who would want to write about us?  What TV station would want to come to a boring community?  Because trust me, senior living is far from boring!  That’s the exact stereotype we’re trying to vanish is that retirement is boring and living in a senior living community means you’re just sitting around watching TV all day.

Now insert Masterpiece Living. It has been so rewarding to see the passion behind Masterpiece Living created at each community. From team members out rallying the residents daily to get involved and get moving, to the residents themselves encouraging each other and pushing their neighbor to be at exercise class or book club. The culture has truly been embraced by each person that is involved in the community, at whatever level. I see dining room servers talking up the healthy entrees to the concierges calling the residents to ensure they have signed up for the last spots for the museum trips, and this is truly liberating to see.

What it truly does is give that resident control, power to change their lives for the better and make the choice to embrace 1 or all of the 4 components of Masterpiece Living, spiritual, physical, intellectual, and emotional. When multiple choices or ways to get involved and improve the self- worth of our residents are just right outside their apartment home door then the excuses begin to diminish.

And that is what it is all about. If we can improve lives and show prospective seniors that making a move into one of our communities can actually increase and improve their active lifestyle, that they can continue to live life to the fullest and take on new challenges, then why not be in the know and choose life. Our residents did.

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