Did you know that vocational wellness is an important part of living life to the fullest, regardless of age?
“A vocation is a calling, and fulfilling your life’s calling is deeply satisfying,” said Community Life Supervisor Jill Cameron. “That’s the core of vocational wellness.”
“Everyone has knowledge, skills and interests they contribute to their communities and the world at large,” she added. “That shouldn’t end when you’re ready for a life change such as retiring or joining a senior living community.”
At Friendship Village of Dublin, vocational is just one of nine dimensions of wellness that make up The Village Way. Together, these dimensions support a vibrant lifestyle with the freedom to enjoy life your way.
Researchers have identified a multi-dimensional, comprehensive framework as critical to helping seniors achieve wellness in all aspects of their lives.
“We think about the whole person and all the various ways your life is full,” Jill said. “Vocational wellness speaks to using your special skills and competencies, or perhaps finding a new interest for personal fulfillment.”
Many Paths to Vocational Wellness
At Friendship Village of Dublin, vocational wellness programming encourages residents to stay active by engaging in activities they find meaningful and rewarding.
“Vocational wellness looks different for every single person,” Jill said. “It’s incredibly personal. No two people come in with the same set of skills and life experiences.”
Some enjoy paid or volunteer work using skills they developed over a lifetime.
We also are fortunate to count many former teachers and professors from nearby The Ohio State University and other colleges and universities among our residents. Some of our educators enjoy sharing their knowledge with others as much as their peers enjoy their presentations.
Employing Your Existing Skills
“Many of our resident enjoyed high-powered careers or managed large households before coming to Friendship Village of Dublin,” Jill said. “Some continue to find satisfaction by using their skills here or in the wider community.”
For example, Bill E. had a long career in accounting and tax preparation. He volunteered for many years with the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program.
Since moving to Friendship Village of Dublin, Bill has organized tax preparation services on our campus, and is even teaching other residents to become tax preparation experts.
“Bill found his calling in his career and has continued investing in his calling through retirement,” Jill said.
Although George B. retired from the faculty at Heidelberg University, he remains interested in medicine, history and a wide variety of other subjects.
“George researches topics he finds interesting and then gives presentations to share his discoveries with other residents,” Jill said. “He’s a wonderful presenter! I could listen to him talk about paint drying.”
Discovering New Vocations
“For example, we have a beautiful and well-stocked Arts and Crafts and Woodworking Workshop rooms. Some of our folks who never painted or made furniture have uncovered a genuine talent within themselves after taking classes here.”
One resident, Dick W., began painting in his 90s after coming to Friendship Village of Dublin. He specializes in painting vibrant landscapes.
“One day he said to me, ‘Would you believe I would discover this about myself in my 90s?'” Jill said. “And that’s what’s so special about our vocational wellness programming. We help people discover and express their true selves.”
Making a Community Feel Like Home
One of our residents, Lois M., has a talent for making people feel welcome and at home.
“Lois serves as her floor representative and is constantly coordinating opportunities for people to get to know one another,” Jill said.
“She also creates and coordinates holiday decorations for her floor, building, and all of our dining rooms. These cheery decorations add a homey touch to help us celebrate the seasons and important dates.”
Volunteering as a Vocation
Friendship Village of Dublin offers multiple opportunities for residents to contribute through volunteering. Residents can serve on 15 resident-led committees that help manage and organize our community.
For example, Bonnie P. provides leadership to two groups: the Needleworkers and the Village Garden Committee.
The Needleworkers produce an unbelievable variety of items for donation to good causes. In 2020, the group donated 1,557 items, including:
- Baby quilts, blankets, bibs and more for Touching Little Lives, an Ohio preemie charity
- Hats for Charity Newsies
- Blankets for Project Linus
- Knitted and crocheted rectangles to be sewn into afghans for Warm Up America
- Dresses for the Dress a Girl Around the World Project
- Blankets for My Very Own Blanket
- Quilts for Stitching Sisters
The Village grounds include over 40 raised garden beds. Residents can sign up to maintain a garden and use it as they like.
Some cultivate flowers, which attract beautiful butterflies and bees. Others grow vegetables and herbs.
“During the spring, summer and fall, you’ll almost always find someone out working in the gardens,” Jill said.
Some residents bring existing volunteer roles with them. For example, Jack P. has volunteered for many years at the Jack Nicklaus museum in Upper Arlington, Ohio.
“He organized a museum tour for our residents,” Jill said. “They found it so much more enjoyable to have one of their peers give them an inside view.”
Some of our residents join us after incredibly vibrant careers and lives, and continue with outside volunteer work or investing in their church.
“You don’t always have to find your specific vocation at The Village,” Jill said. “Bring something that you love with you – or find something new here. We support anything that gives you a sense of personal satisfaction and enrichment.”
Living Your Best Live through Vocational Wellness
“Feeling like you are useful and skilled and competent and purposeful is crucial to being fulfilled throughout your life,” Jill said. “That satisfaction helps us to feel whole. We need that in all levels and all chapters of life.”
She said there is a misperception that once your career is winding down, or your children have moved out, that you may not have another opportunity to do something great.
“At The Village, this could not be farther from the truth,” she said. “Every day, we see our residents turn a page and begin a new chapter. They are so unique and talented and wonderful. They have so much to give. They’re doing remarkable things!”
Learn About Vocational Wellness The Village Way!
There’s so much more to vocational wellness at Friendship Village of Dublin than we can fit into a short blog post.
Why not explore our premier senior living community for yourself?
We invite you to schedule a safe, socially distanced visit to learn about all we offer!