There are many articles and even entire books devoted to helping you enjoy your retirement. While the specific guidance they offer for active senior living varies, they generally have these two points in common: the importance of relationships and of finding purpose in daily life.
At Atria, our vibrant senior living communities provide daily opportunities for the kind of meaningful connection and expanded learning that support creating a purposeful life. These topics are discussed in our Next Chapter series, which explores how residents are making the most of their retirement – and how Atria fosters their ability to do what they love. Here’s a look at how these older adults are enjoying retirement.
“When you live as long as I have lived – for 94 years – you live many lives within one life.”
That 94-year old is Sarah, a passionate artist and Atria on Roslyn Harbor resident. Her many lives include raising a family and being an accomplished illustrator, teacher and fine artist specializing in sculpture and painting.
Sarah says she lives her life as though she’s going to live forever, because she doesn’t want to think that her age is holding her back from pursuing what brings her joy. For Sarah, this joy includes spending time with family and her continued passion for painting.
Atria is delighted to support Sarah’s interests and to offer our community as a venue for her upcoming art show. Living at Atria has also helped her develop some very dear friendships. As Sarah explains, she was living alone, but the wonderful friends and community staff bring her a sense of security and make her feel like she’s part of a family.
The power of music
“Music is life itself,” is a Louis Armstrong quote that resonates deeply with Ira. When he made the move to Atria, music was Ira’s key to making new friends and renewing his sense of purpose.
Music was a powerful bond between Ira and his father, and it’s what inspired him to create a music appreciation group called Musical Memories. Beth, the Engage Life Director at Atria Forest Hills, encouraged Ira every step of the way. Soon, others were looking forward to tapping their feet, clapping their hands and singing along to Ira’s playlist at the group’s regular gatherings.
Atria helped Ira share his childhood joy and fostered meaning in his life through the many new friends he’s touched with his love of music.
“I’m finally the person I’ve always wanted to be.”
Nanci, a resident at Atria Tanglewood, expressed this sentiment while reflecting on her life – a life filled with great joy and the intense challenges she faced after being diagnosed with Lupus in her 20s. After raising a family as a single mother, Nanci later remarried. When her second husband passed, she made Atria her home.
The person Nanci has become is one who is sharing her love of the written word by reading to the first-grade students at a local school. She is finishing up a very special storybook – a gift to the many enthusiastic children who so enjoy her regular visits.
Nanci appreciates the support Atria provides and regards the community staff as family. In addition to volunteering at the school, she has found meaning in serving on the resident counsel and helping new residents discover the many opportunities her vibrant community offers.
A personal pursuit
Retirement is a time to learn fun new things and share one’s passions with others. Atria is delighted to support the interests of so many of the world’s wisest people, like Dorothy, who recently fulfilled a lifelong dream of publishing a second book.
Then there’s Sarah’s community neighbors Eleanor, Doris and Phyllis, New York natives who became fast friends at Atria but have very different interests; Shirley, who enjoys sharing her love of film with her neighbors; Bob, a veteran who just took the flight of a lifetime; and Linda, who loves teaching her Atria neighbors how to make beautiful watercolor paintings.
As these residents’ experiences show us, retirement is truly a time to begin writing your next chapter. Atria is dedicated to providing the support and opportunities to make retirement as enjoyable and gratifying as it can be.