Creating Opportunities for Vibrant Lives
"In this building there is purpose. That's the most important thing about this building."
- Judy, a CommonBond resident
Throughout life, we’re all looking for a feeling of belonging and purpose. But as we age, that sense of being part of something can change. Kids grow up and start their own families, getting out and about isn’t as easy as it once was, and finding opportunities to engage in new experiences becomes harder.
But we don’t think growing older has to be this way.
You’ve likely heard us talk about our Advantage Services before. All of the services we offer are rooted in four main goal areas: stability and independence, education and advancement, community building and engagement, and health and wellness. For older adults especially, we’ve seen that focusing on all of these areas is critical to maintaining independence and combating loneliness.
Over the last year, 600 CommonBond residents participated in at least one of our Health and Wellness programs, which are broad and varied to encourage whole-person wellness. While we certainly do focus on physical health (for example, Tai Ji Quan classes to improve strength and balance), we also know learning new skills and connecting with others is equally as fulfilling and important to maintaining a life of meaning and purpose.
This is why we’ve worked hard to build an exploratory arts program at many of our senior-specific sites. We use culturally relevant themes in the classes and find common denominators among participants in areas such as storytelling, music, visual arts, and other arts forms. We actively seek out teaching artists from a wide range of cultural backgrounds to broaden engagement with a variety of cultural perspectives for the participants.
So, that’s 600 residents actively taking steps to not only improve their strength and coordination, but also to be part of something with other CommonBond community members—and to grow skills they might not have known they had.
But don’t just take it from us! Of the residents who participated:
- 74% formed new or stronger relationships
- 92% improved their creative expression
- 85% increased their confidence in creating art
- 91% increased skills in the art form
Further, research has shown that seniors who participate in intensive, participatory lifelong learning programs report improved health, fewer doctor visits, and less medication usage.
With a rapidly growing senior population in the Midwest, it’s critical that we all do our best to promote opportunity and wellness for older adults. Want to get involved? Consider donating by clicking here—your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar, which means double the impact. Will you support residents by creating opportunities to strengthen their whole selves—body and mind?