Youngsters Learn from the Wisdom of Seniors
01 October 2014
PR Newswire

BRENTWOOD, Tenn., Oct. 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- To understand the secrets to a fulfilling life, ask someone who has lived a long one. This idea sparked "Just One Thing," an e-book filled with insights from people in their older years, about how to select a mate, raise children, take risks, and other meaningful topics. Much of the wisdom, which has drawn kudos from young readers, comes from residents of Brookdale senior living communities who range in age from their early sixties to 105.  "Just One Thing" can be read on Brookdale's website.

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"Just One Thing" was inspired by a 2011 project in which associates at Brookdale's communities met monthly with residents to ask for their wisdom on a variety of subjects. Thousands of insights were gathered from across the organization, including from people living with Alzheimer's disease.

"In reading through all of the wonderful pieces of wisdom contributed by our residents, we realized it would be important to share their insights with the world and so we began to plan the book," said Carol Cummings, who spearheaded the project.  Cummings is senior director of Optimum Life Engagement, Brookdale's philosophy of whole person wellness that supports well-being through six dimensions: purposeful, emotional, physical, social, spiritual, and intellectual.  

Over subsequent years, additional resident interviews were conducted.  In addition to dozens of comments from Brookdale and Emeritus residents, the book includes a section with reflections by actors, musicians and other public figures.

Recent readers of "Just One Thing" include 11-year-old Devin and Clayton, who give it a thumbs-up.  The boys participate in the Landis Child Development Center, an intergenerational program located at Foxwood Springs, a continuing care retirement community Brookdale operates in Raymore, Mo.

"It tells the truth about lives," said Devin, noting that, "a lot of people in the book say that age can't stop you."

After reading the book, "I have a better perspective on older people," Clayton said.

"Older adults have such a wonderful understanding of life and can tell us what's most important," Cummings said. "It's an honor to have worked with our residents to share their wisdom with 'Just One Thing.'"

Sample quotes from "Just One Thing":

On choosing a mate:
"Let the men chase you and choose your favorite." Dorothy, age 83
On raising children:
"Be respectful. Remember where you were at that age." Kathleen, age 84
On taking risks:
"It's better to do something and fail than succeed at doing nothing." Elise, age 89
On vacations:
"Pack three bags and leave two at home." Albert, age 87
On getting older:
"I'm not old. People 10 years older than me are old." Jan, age 92

For more information about Brookdale, visit

Brookdale Senior Living Inc. is the leading operator of senior living communities throughout the United States. The Company is committed to providing senior living solutions primarily within properties that are designed, purpose-built and operated to provide the highest-quality service, care and living accommodations for residents. Currently Brookdale operates independent living, assisted living, and dementia-care communities and continuing care retirement centers, with approximately 1,150 communities in 46 states and the ability to serve over 110,000 residents. Through its ancillary services program, the Company also offers a range of outpatient therapy, home health, personalized living and hospice services.

Contact: Kristin Puckett, 615-564-8481,


SOURCE Brookdale Senior Living Inc.

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