The maintenance-free lifestyle of an Episcopal Retirement Services community means residents have greater freedom and flexibility to pursue their interests and hobbies. For many residents, pursuing new passions means finding opportunities to benefit the well-being of others—both in their residential community and also in the community at large. Here’s how one Marjorie P. Lee resident is living with purpose in creative, passion-filled ways.
Meet Marjorie P. Lee Resident Kate Powers
Kate Powers has a knack for connecting with people. The self-proclaimed extrovert—who was voted “busiest” in high school—wasted no time making connections with her new neighbors when she moved into Marjorie P. Lee with her husband, Jim, a little over two years ago. She also has a passion for singing and has pursued choral opportunities throughout life’s different seasons, from the glee club at Walnut Hills High School to the chorus at Marjorie P. Lee.
Last March, Kate melded her passions for singing and human connection by creating a program for Marjorie P. Lee’s memory care residents called Fun with Music. The program, which she co-leads with longtime friend Elizabeth Archer, happens every Friday afternoon and welcomes roughly a dozen residents and staff members to sing and connect through music.
“It’s fairly clear that people who have memory loss still retain the memories of music that they heard growing up, so we sing a lot of really familiar songs,” Kate says. Songs like “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” and “You Are My Sunshine” are fan favorites each week.
The program’s structure is relaxed and flexible. Participants are welcome to sing, dance, play instruments, or even “take a nap!” Kate says. “It’s a time we set aside to hopefully enhance their experience of pleasure and comfort.”
What’s most important, Kate says, is that people experience connection and purpose through Fun with Music. She relishes moments when participants “come to life” and take initiative to choose songs and lead rounds of harmonies.
To Kate, Fun with Music embodies Marjorie P. Lee’s mission and reflects the community’s culture at large. “There are so many people leading lives of purpose here in very quiet ways,” she says. “There are people who visit fellow residents when they’re sick, who send them notes, who push them to the dining hall if they’re in a wheelchair. There’s a spirit here that I’ve really seen be animated of caring for others.”
A Montessori-trained teacher with more than four decades of experience, Kate also volunteers in the infant/toddler program at Cincinnati Parent Child Center in Mt. Washington and has begun exploring the parallels of human development between infants and aging adults. “It’s something I hope I can continue to learn about and help integrate into the experience here,” she says.
Joining the Marjorie P. Lee community has enabled both Kate and her husband (a retired historian) to deepen their pursuit of individual passions, yet they maintain special routines in their schedules to share their experiences with each other and “have really lovely encounters,” Kate says.
At the end of the day, Kate feels that her time in Fun with Music touches her life just as much as she touches others’ lives. “I always come back feeling better,” she says. “I think I have a richer life for doing a little bit of reaching out.”
Live Purposefully at Marjorie P. Lee
Naturally, most seniors prefer to age in place for as long as possible. But if and when the time comes to consider moving to a senior living community that offers more support and peace of mind, you have options. Independent living at Marjorie P. Lee is life on your terms—and it may be the perfect mix of independence, personal growth, and real community to help you or a loved one live purposefully.