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Spa Business
2016 issue 4

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Leisure Management - Deborah Szekely

Spa people

Deborah Szekely

Deborah Szekely, co-founder, Rancho La Puerta, & Debra Koerner, host, Senior Moments

Koerner (left) and Szekely, 94, (right) will appear on a US TV show focusing on healthy ageing
Szekely set up Rancho La Puerta more than 70 years ago

Spa industry veteran Deborah Szekely, co-founder of the iconic Rancho La Puerta destination spa in Mexico, is to appear on a new US TV show Senior Moments.

Hosted by Debra Koerner – co-founder of both education firm Imassage and the Well World Group consultancy – Senior Moments focuses on healthy ageing.

“We have to do something right now to empower and educate our older population to keep them healthy and in their homes for as long as possible,” says Koerner, who’s also executive producer of the show.

“When I began thinking about segments for Senior Moments, the story of 94-year-old Deborah Szekely immediately came to mind,” she adds. “I’ve always held the desire to share her story with a larger audience.”

Speaking on the programme, Szekely says: “Everyone wants to make a difference in their life and I’ve been lucky – I’ve been making lots of differences.” She goes on to tell Koerner that inner peace is her personal definition of wellbeing.

“First you have to know why you want a long life,” Szekely says. “What is it you want to do? What fascinates you? And then you can work towards it. It’s making deposits like in a bank. You’re setting up not money, but preparations for that long life... and if you’re enthused enough, then it’s worth the work.”

Szekely often speaks to guests at Rancho La Puerta about 60 being the ‘breakthrough year’.

“At 60, you should be ready to say what you want,” she explains. “So for me, my emancipation – my freedom to be me, to get to know myself – was when I turned 60. But at 60, if you can sit back and say, ‘Wow, what now? It’s wonderful. And you can look forward to it and then your years 60 to 90 are the best years of your life, because you picked them.”

Koerner says she believes the spa industry has valuable stories that need to be told to a wider audience, and that spas can play a vital role in the journey to healthy ageing.

Spa software company ResortSuite has underwritten Senior Moments, and the International Spa Association is supporting it by helping cover crew travel costs. Skin Authority is also on-board as the show’s exclusive skincare partner.

Originally published in Spa Business 2016 issue 4

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