What started off as a service project for gifted students has evolved into so much more. “Originally, it began as a way to share what was happening in the younger generation and show how technology is now helping today’s students learn with seniors. But it actually grew from this original idea. Friendships were built!” says Darla Williams, a teacher at Rose Park Elementary School in Billings, Montana.
Each stage of life presents new challenges, but it's all part of life's journey. And every new chapter can be an opportunity to grow. The senior years, in particular, can bring more time to spend with family, especially grandchildren, and more freedom to explore interests, travel, and hobbies. It can also bring new changes, like the need to downsize or perhaps even move from a home of many years. Changes like that can bring feelings of sadness or isolation. However, there are resources to help those feelings be addressed and overcome.
Topics: Spiritual Wellbeing
As we age, many of our experiences are beautiful and rewarding, like welcoming grandchildren into the world, or having the time to travel or focus on our favorite hobbies. At the same time, aging can bring tough losses, especially the loss of friends and family through death. These losses can understandably lead to a sense of isolation, which Hutch Walch, Director of Spirituality for the Goodman Group, and his team of Spiritual Directors try to address daily within our communities.
Topics: Spiritual Wellbeing
How often do you take time in your day to just sit and be present? Even setting aside just five minutes to meditate can offer many benefits for one’s wellbeing.
The definition of spirituality can be expansive. At Goodman Group managed properties, we recognize the various ways individuals express faith and spirituality, and encourage residents to explore past and new experiences. We talked with Hutch Walch, National Director of Spirituality, and our Spiritual Directors more about this the Soaring™ program.
“Through serving others, these acts help raise our sense of purpose and meaning,” says Hutch Walch, Director of Spirituality for The Goodman Group.
“Friendships and spirits seem to soar when our residents are volunteering and giving back.” Volunteering is mutually advantageous, offering both those serving and those being served a benefit. Residents have reported they feel happier and healthier when volunteering.
It all started with an extended conversation between Gretta Freeman and her 18-year-old granddaughter, Jenny. She was about to leave home for college and filled with the excitement of new experiences, friends, and learning. She was also uncertain about leaving behind friends and family, meeting the challenges of a higher education, and “about a million and ten thoughts and emotions I couldn’t begin to articulate,” as she later wrote. But the conversations she had with her grandma Gretta put those concerns to rest. As Jenny put it, “by talking through things with grandma, I went to college more relaxed, more focused on what I wanted, and above all, more confident that I would be OK.”
Spiritual Directors and Chaplains work to nurture and develop the spiritual needs of our residents. It's our goal to provide compassionate care and relevant, life-enriching experiences.
As the 76-million person baby boomer generation crosses the over-65 threshold, many of our aging loved ones may feel alone in the crowd. One of the primary reasons for this is that social contact tends to decrease as one ages for a variety of reasons, including retirement, the death of friends and family, or lack of mobility. Many may discover themselves searching for renewed purposes.
Hutch Walch, our Director of Spirituality, is excited about the possibilities.