Did you ever meet somebody so motivating that it completely changed your viewpoint on life? It could make you pause and ponder what it is about that person that provides them with the drive and energy to stand out from the crowd.
At the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center at Columbia University, research workers decided to examine this further with their “Exceeding Expectations” venture. They observed 20 elderly New Yorkers from diversified backgrounds and cultures for a two-year time period. Here are the important life lessons they learned about the resiliency of these incredible individuals:
- They don’t let their hurdles define them. One example is Jacquie Murdock, an 87-year-old previous professional dancer and current fashionista – which is how everyone recognizes her – who also happens to be vision-impaired and a cancer survivor. Dorian Block, director of the project, points out, “Some people live with health and other challenges as the main plot of their lives. For so many other people, it’s just the background.”
- They know that wealth isn’t linked to joy. The study revealed that the participants’ genuine joy came from sources that had nothing to do with their bank accounts: singing in a church choir, sharing jokes, and visiting with friends and family.
- They acknowledge the lonesomeness that can accompany getting older. Aging and loneliness are a frequent pairing, for a variety of reasons – health conditions that hinder the ability to go out and visit as often as they would like, local friends who relocate to care facilities, and, most notably lately, pandemic-related social isolation. Facing loneliness head-on paves the way to problem-solving and to discovering creative solutions to foster socialization opportunities.
- They face the reality of their mortality. Surprisingly, nearly every older adult in the project felt comfortable speaking about their own eventual demise and expressed no fear of the inevitable. They are thankful for the full lives they have had so far and for each day they continue to live and thrive.
We are grateful for the life lessons we have the honor of learning each day from the seniors in our care! Let us know if someone in your life could benefit from one of our caregivers; we love getting to know our area’s older adults, to listen to their stories, and to provide them with the support and care they need and deserve.
When you’re looking for home care agencies in Victoria, BC that offer customized in-home care solutions, contact award-winning Serenity Home Care any time at 250-590-8098 to schedule a consultation. For a full list of all of the communities where we provide care, please visit our Service Area page.