Sunset Stories

Finding Purpose in Aging

Posted by Gayle Young on Sep 27, 2019 10:05:24 AM

Autumn has arrived in Northwest Ohio, and the growing season is winding down for the raised flower beds that line the grassy courtyard at Sunset Village. Accordingly, the hard-working curators of this unique garden are busily preparing the beds for cooler temperatures.

You might recall from a previous post that Sunset Village resident Letty lovingly oversees the maintenance of the gardens. She, Pat, and a few other fellow residents handle the planting and constant upkeep. Village artist-in-residence, Jo Ann, sketches pictures of the flowers.0B2A3447

As it turns out, the diligent work is doing more than contributing to the beauty of the Sunset Village campus. It's adding meaning and purpose to those caretakers' lives.

For many older adults, experiences such as retirement, a spouse's death, losing driving privileges, and the onset of physical or cognitive constraints can lead to profound loneliness. Chronic illnesses and the various stigmas associated with aging often provoke self-isolation. Residents of senior living facilities are not immune to those responses.

Capture One Catalog0132Finding significance in our lives can offset feelings of detachment and isolation. As we age, we tend to seek ways to create legacies we can leave behind. Discovering a purpose—tending a community flower garden, say—helps fulfill our need for meaning.

We witnessed that phenomenon recently when coming upon Letty, Pat, and Jo Ann in the garden. Letty was fussing over a few unwelcome weeds, while Pat fussed over Letty’s fussing. And Jo Ann sat drawing some fresh blooms in her sketchbook. Each woman went purposefully about her work, involved in something meaningful.

At Sunset, it's our goal to help residents find purpose in their daily lives and to help them feel fulfilled as they age. Contact us to learn more.

Photos: Top, Pat (left) and Letty in the garden at Sunset Village. Middle, Letty begins preparing the garden for fall. Bottom, Jo Ann sketching in the garden.

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Topics: Continuing Care Communities, People, Aging, Sunset Village, Life Plan Communities, Loneliness, Isolation