Watermark Communities Offer Hyperice Recovery Technology Delivered On-Site in Unique Partnership
TUCSON, AZ—What do professional athletes like Patrick Mahomes have in common with residents at Watermark Retirement Communities? Both have access to state-of-the-art Hyperice recovery technology that can increase mobility, soothe sore muscles and improve performance to stay at the top of their game, whether that game is golf, tennis or just a pain-free stroll.
Watermark residents also have the added benefit of in-house HealthPRO Heritage rehabilitation specialists to utilize this powerful compression and pulse technology on bodies that may be delicate, ensuring the devices are used safely—an innovation unavailable in any other senior living operator’s communities to date.
“As caregivers in these communities, we have a responsibility to our residents and wanted to be sure we were really providing them with the most appropriate tools,” said national director of health strategy at Watermark Retirement Communities, Stephanie Boreale. “After a pilot program, we realized that funneling this through a clinical model made more sense than simply buying these pieces of equipment right off the Hyperice website and telling residents to use them at their own risk. We wanted to be sure we were supplying them with not just the most appropriate tools, but also professional supervision.”
Watermark’s partnership with Hyperice—and HealthPRO Heritage, their national rehabilitation provider—is an exclusive arrangement. The Hyperice therapies incorporate temperature, vibration and compression to improve range of motion in joints, reduce muscle soreness and improve blood flow to enhance mobility. Improving mobility can help residents optimize their physical fitness and enable them to enjoy the activities they love, whether that means taking exercise classes or just keeping up with the grandkids and great-grandkids during visits. Boreale said that while these percussive and compression therapies may be widely available, the program’s success hinges on having physical therapists use them on residents.
To learn which modality would offer residents the best results, Watermark kicked off a five-month pilot program, during which three communities offered the use of the following Hyperice devices:
- Venom: a heat and vibration wrap that can be worn around the lower back or knees to stimulate circulation and deliver precision therapy
- Hypersphere Mini: a high-intensity vibrating massage ball that residents can use by leaning into it against a wall or on the floor, or simply holding it in their hands
- Hyperice Knee: a knee wrap that holds an ice-cell in place using compression to reduce swelling
- Hypervolt Go: a handheld percussion massage device that can be applied to the leg, arm and back muscles
- Normatec Legs: a compression device that one slips on like thigh-high boots, then sits back with legs extended, while the device massages away aches and pains
Each Watermark community in the pilot offered the devices in a different way. At Parkview in Frisco, a Texas community, there was a community life partnership where residents could rent the devices and use them on their own. At Woodbury Mews, a New Jersey community, home healthcare workers used the devices on residents. And at The Preston of the Park Cities, a Dallas community, HealthPRO Heritage physical therapists used the devices on residents.
“The pilot program was unbelievable,” said Hyperice’s Director of Business Development Brendan Bergson. “If you’re looking to avoid opioids, narcotics and other controlled substances, these are incredible data points that look at the natural ways of using technology to heal the body. So many people don’t know this type of recovery technology exists, and we’re proud to make it available to support them in their daily wellness journey.”
Jazid Arshad, a physical therapist at The Preston, said the Hyperice equipment seemed most beneficial to the higher-functioning active residents, all of whom were ambulatory. “Venom was most commonly used post-workout for comfort,” he said.
He added that the Normatec is a passive way to help relieve swelling in the legs and increase blood flow to the lower extremities prior to therapy. Swelling can build in the joints from living a sedentary life, having had surgery or dealing with a chronic condition affecting circulation in the legs, among other things.
“A lot of these individuals have had joint replacement surgery 15 or 20 years ago and they’re still experiencing some of that pain,” said Bergson. “Residual swelling can even be mitigated by using something like a Venom if you don’t want to sit down for a full Normatec session, which can last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour—though 20 minutes tends to be the sweet spot.”
One resident said the Normatec compression technology makes his knees feel better, which helps him walk further. Overall, the feedback from the pilot was positive and residents who used the technology reported feeling better with increased mobility after application. Arshad said he tried the devices on himself and enjoyed Venom the most of all, as it helped address stiffness and mobility after use. The Venom series is the most popular with residents at the Preston, Arshad said.
With the success of the pilot program, Watermark now offers these five Hyperice devices at their communities with outpatient physical therapy through HealthPRO Heritage.
Bergson said that it’s often helpful to have someone with a clinical background deploying these technologies, especially with an older demographic that may not be tech savvy. For example, a couple of years ago, Hyperice came out with an app that allows users to view video tutorials in order to use these products most effectively. But for those unable to use the app, having a therapist use the product on them may mean the difference between benefitting from it or not using it at all. Additionally, some of the products may be too heavy for older adults to lift and use on themselves. And the Normatec leg compression system can be cumbersome-looking and intimidating.
“But once they get that first five-minute session,” Bergson said, “they feel the immediate benefits of the leg massage—at a lot of these communities, you see a line out the door for a session.”