Story Corps: Documenting the Stories of a Lifetime

Story Corps: Documenting the Stories of a Lifetime

When it comes to healthy aging, quite honestly, there’s a lot to do. You’re supposed to make sure to keep your body active and your brain engaged all while maintaining your social connections as well. Sure, the benefits to your overall well-being are worth the effort, but retirement is supposed to be a time with less responsibility on your plate, right? Well, it turns out that in senior living you can have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. Here’s how programs like our Vivid Life make keeping active, engaged, and connected easy and fun! 

Benefits of Healthy Aging 

Good things happen when you focus on healthy aging. In addition to feeling better overall, which in and of itself is a win, other benefits of keeping active, engaged, and connected include:  

  • Improved ability to do everyday things ​ 
  • Reduced impact of illness and chronic disease​ 
  • Enhanced mobility, flexibility, and balance
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased energy level
  • Reduced feelings of depression and stress
  • Increased feelings of happiness and self-confidence
  • Reduced risk of cognitive decline 
  • Increased mental adaptability and cognitive reserve 
  • Improved memory recall and problem-solving skills 
  • Improved concentration and attention to detail  

How Senior Living Can Help 

At home, particularly when living alone, it can be hard to stay as active, engaged, and connected as you’d like. From lack of opportunity to lack of motivation to lack of transportation to mobility challenges, and more, it’s tough, we get it! That’s why we created the Vivid Life program in our senior living communities. It’s composed of three parts: Vibrant Body, Vibrant Brain, and Vibrant Connections. Here’s what each entails:  

Vibrant Body We offer amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, a pool, walking trails, gardening opportunities, and even a dog park to help you stay active. A sample of activities includes:  

  • Walking club – Daily walks at different outdoor locations using pedometers to measure steps. 
  • Yoga – At least once per week for gentle yoga, and once per week for mindful breathing. 
  • Fitness classes – At least two times per week using a variety of hand weights, resistance bands, and circuit-type exercises. 
  • Tai Chi – At least once per week with a live instructor. 
  • Non-traditional exercise – Dancing, gardening, etc. at least two times per week. 
  • Physical games and sports – Golf, putting, bowling, croquet, bocce, and ping pong available daily with organized events one to two times per week. 

Vibrant Brain We offer monthly calendars filled with classes, events, creative arts, and enrichment opportunities to help keep you engaged. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Visiting lecture series – Twice per month with topics such as cultural, historical, local interest, career-oriented, etc. 
  • Creative art series – At least one per week with a theme that runs 3-6 weeks, such as poetry writing, storytelling, painting, digital photography, etc. 
  • Learning series – At least three times per month with an emphasis on learning something new such as foreign language, sign language, technology, hobbies, etc. 
  • Games – At least one time per week and may include poker, bridge, Scrabble, etc. 
  • Mindfulness – A meditation class once per week and gratitude discussion group twice monthly. 
  • Church service – At least once a week through visits by local churches. 
  • Stress reduction – At least once per month class that offers deep breathing exercises, nature walks, music appreciation, spa-type treatments, etc. 

 Vibrant Connections We offer resident-led clubs, social events, outings and volunteer opportunities for any interest to help you stay connected. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Outings – At least twice per month and may include going to concerts, art shows, museum visits, theatre productions, etc. 
  • Intergenerational programming – At least once per month and focuses on building relationships between young adults/children and residents. 
  • New resident welcome party – At least once per month to formally introduce all new residents, and includes ice breakers, social games, etc. to encourage connection. 
  • Philanthropic program – At least once per month provide residents the opportunity to give back to the community, such as volunteering for a local food bank or pet shelter. 
  • Resident-led clubs – May include game clubs, professional clubs, common interests, etc. that meet at least monthly.  

What’s more, it’s all right outside your door (or transportation is provided offsite) and all in a supportive environment with home maintenance, housekeeping, and restaurant-style dining freeing your time to make it even easier to stay active, engaged, and connected. 

Learn more about Vitality Living’s Vivid Life programs. Or find a Vitality Living community near you today to schedule a tour. 



As we grow older, most of us wonder what legacy we will leave behind. How will we be remembered by loved ones and friends is a question many ask. Feeling as if we’ve made a difference in the world is important.

Sharing memories and family history with the younger generations can help forge intergenerational bonds and build a legacy. Reminiscing is a great way for older adults to do this.

Benefits of Reminiscing

Let’s first talk about the mental, physical, and emotional benefits of reminiscing with an older loved one:

  • Promotes self-esteem: Giving an older adult time to share their memories makes them the center of attention. For seniors, having an interested audience can be a boost to their confidence and self-esteem.
  • Builds relationships:nThe very act of sharing memories builds bonds, especially across the generations. It can help the younger generations better understand the contributions an elder has made to the family and to the world around them.
  • Mental exercise: For adults with dementia who may struggle with short-term memory, going back in time can help stimulate memories not yet lost. It can evoke happier times and leave the elder feeling positive and connected.

When a senior in the family has dementia, however, families often worry their stories will be lost for good. When a senior in the family has dementia, however, families often worry their stories will be lost for good.

This is where the StoryCorps Memory Loss Initiative (MLI) can come in.

What is StoryCorps?

StoryCorps is a non-profit organization dedicated to “collecting, sharing, and storing” people’s stories. In 2006, StoryCorps launched the MLI to make it easier for families and caregivers to preserve the stories of adults with memory loss.

MLI interviews can be conducted in person if you live in San Francisco, Chicago, or Atlanta; by participating in the Mobile Studio Tour; or by using the StoryCorps app. All of the interviews are then archived in the Library of Congress to become part of the nation’s oral history.

The StoryCorps Mobile Booth moves across the country each year utilizing a renovated Airstream as the recording studio. It typically visits 12 cities each year.

The StoryCorps mobile phone app makes it possible for anyone with a smartphone to record their loved one’s interview. The app features a sharing button that instantly uploads the interview to StoryCorps and the Library of Congress collection.

DIY Legacy Planning

If you prefer to go it alone when it comes to documenting your family’s stories and history, you can still use some of StoryCorps questions to create your own legacy project.

Sit down with your senior loved one and record the interaction on your smart phone or camera. Or better yet, have someone else record both of you talking. You might even want to have other members of the family participate in the interviews. Then share the results with family and friends via social media or email.

Follow Vitality on Facebook

Interested in seeing how Vitality Senior Living residents continue to create new stories? Follow us on Facebook! You’ll see the stories and memories our residents, families, and caregivers make every day.

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