Creating a Meaningful Life

This is partially reprinted from my blog. Click to the whole post at the end.

There is a Taco Bell Super Bowl commercial in which a bunch of elderly folks get rowdy while the song “We Are Young” by a band called Fun plays in Spanish. It’s irreverent, but it is fun! The English lyrics read:

Tonight / We are young / So let’s set the world on fire / We can burn brighter / Than the sun.

On most days you probably don’t feel like you can set the world on fire. But caregiving doesn’t have to be a bad experience. Caregiving is an opportunity to give back and have a closer personal relationship with the person to whom you provide care.

Over 20 years of performing for elders in nursing homes and assisted living communities, I’ve learned a number of life lessons. One woman who was blind and in a wheelchair had a better quality of life — in a place we associate with death — than many I know on the “outside.”

I have observed eight traits of elders living a quality life that can teach us all something. In fact, I turned these lessons into a keynote presentation called “The Meaning of Life,” which I give for caregiving groups and long-term care professionals.

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