Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging Celebrates Tenth Anniversary

 Evanston, IL. (November 9, 2009) – It has been 10 years since the creation of Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging (MLIA), but the original mission statement still rings true:

The mission of the Mather Institute on Aging is to serve as a thought leader in the field of aging.  The focus of Institute initiatives is to improve the well-being and vitality of seniors in their communities.

“When Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging was created in 1999 it was a natural extension of Mather LifeWays.” said Linda Hollinger-Smith, Vice President, Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging.  “Now, as we look back over a decade of growth and achievement, it’s gratifying to celebrate the positive contributions MLIA has made to older adults and the professionals who serve them.”

MLIA works throughout Mather LifeWays to create programs, conduct research, and test new concepts and ideas.  “Many of our research concepts and educational programs are pilot tested with our Community Initiatives and Senior Living areas of focus,” said Linda.  “We are fortunate to have one of the best environments possible for advancing our ideas.  Our wellness and workforce programs, including Age Well Coaching and LEAP, are great examples.”

The MLIA team has reached numerous milestones over the last decade including the following special achievements:

  • The first significant grant, Powerful Tools for Caregivers Training Program, was awarded to MLIA in 2001;
  • MLIA has been the recipient of more than $7 million in grants
  • Educational programs have reached all 50 states and numerous international locations;
  • The LEAP program (Learn, Empower, Achieve, Produce) was selected by the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA) as a recipient of the 2004 Excellence in Practice Award;
  • The Resident Whole-Person Wellness Survey received a national Best Practice Award from the Health Promotion Institute of the National Council on Aging;
  • The PREPARE disaster preparedness program received the Best Practice in Health Award from the American Society on Aging;
  • Powerful Tools for Caregivers Online was featured in the Wall Street Journal as an innovative program that supports caregivers;
  • PREPARE met its goal of reaching all 50 states, further extending awareness and credibility for the program; and
  • IBM partnered with MLIA to offer all online programs directly to their entire U.S. workforce.

Caregiver support programs have evolved into online offerings as technology and access has proliferated.  The first online program, Powerful Tools for Caregivers, was offered in 2002.  “Now, in addition to IBM, we are working with other Fortune 100 companies, including Exxon Mobile and Texas Instruments, to provide online education for working caregivers,” said Linda. 

MLIA has become highly-respected as an educational resource among senior living organizations as well as the research community.  “We extend the MLIA message through numerous speaking opportunities and through publication of articles in industry and research journals,” explained Linda.

Early in its history, MLIA established the Institutional Review Board (IRB) that reviews all proposed research taking place at Mather LifeWays.  The IRB includes representation from all Mather LifeWays areas of focus, including senior living residents.  Comprised of eight to 12 members, the IRB acts as an independent sounding board as each member has an equal opportunity to review potential research projects. 

“With more emphasis being placed on research, and growing need for effective wellness and workforce programs, MLIA will continue to focus on developing innovative solutions for senior living providers as well as for other organizations,” said Linda.  “We are proud of what MLIA has accomplished and look forward to the future.”


About Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging
Based in Evanston, Illinois, Mather LifeWays enhances the lives of older adults by creating Ways to Age Well.
SM The Institute on Aging focuses on much-needed research and education for health professionals and providers who serve older adults. Workforce initiatives focus on person-centered care delivery, emergency preparedness, the aging workforce, and reducing workforce turnover rates. Wellness initiatives target developing and testing aging well measures, positive aging, workforce wellness, falls reduction, and empowering family caregivers. To learn more about Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging, or Mather LifeWays senior residences and community initiatives, please call (847) 492.7500 or find your way to