Innovation That Matters

Being spaces for seniors

Work & Lifestyle

We’ve written about supermarkets, wellness stores and driving services for seniors, but it wasn’t until recently that we came across a Chicago-area chain of cafés for senior citizens that has actually been around for several years. Originally launched back in 2004, Mather’s—More Than a Café is a chain of three Chicagoland cafes operated by Illinois-based Mather LifeWays, a nonprofit dedicated to helping seniors age well. Offering a combination of restaurant, gathering place, fitness and educational center, each Mather’s locale is essentially a neighbourhood being space for seniors that aims to help older adults remain connected to the community while living at home. The modern cafés serve free coffee and reasonably priced food, and aim to provide a vibrant alternative to large, regional senior’s community centres. Services designed for older adults include cardiovascular and weight lifting machines, health screenings, walking groups, computer workshops, wellness seminars and more than 116 low-cost fitness classes per month. A variety of social and cultural lectures and programs are also held at the internet-connected cafés, making for a schedule that’s packed with offerings ranging from pilates to digital photography. Senior citizens represent a demographic that’s exploding in size, as we’ve noted before, creating a wide range of opportunities to serve them well—and not just as a nonprofit. One to roll out in cities around the globe? And since brands have created plenty of being spaces for other demographics, why not jump on the opportunities for building branded spaces for the boomer generation? (Related: Brain gyms for baby boomers.) Spotted by: Karen Adams



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