Archived Sections, Lutherans in the Twin Cities

Augustana Health Care Corporation prepares baby boomers

Baby boomers will live and work longer than any generation before them.
Born between 1946 and 1964, baby boomers will need to plan for retirement
differently than anyone prior. In order to help this generation ease into
retirement, the Augustana Health Care Corporation recently created the
Augustana Health and Longevity Institute (AHLI).
A new education and research division of the Augustana Health Care
Corporation, the AHLI, along with its alliance partners, is a full-service
resource for people in their second half of life. The Institute holds
educational programs, seminars, and work- shops with the intent of
promoting a deeper understanding of topics such as wellness, purpose, work,
finances, and leisure for those in the second half of life.
One of the key educational programs through the AHLI is the “Working on
Purpose” workshop, created through a strategic alliance with the University of
Minnesota–Center for Spirituality and Healing, and The Inventure Group.
This workshop, along with the many other resources promoted through the
AHLI, was developed as a way to help people find fulfillment in their the
second half of their lives. It allows participants to discover their natural gifts
and abilities, and aligns them with what they are currently doing in life. It is a
self-reflective, participant centered, interactive workshop that explores
possibilities and paths for the second half of life.
The AHLI describes “purpose” as the “reason why we are all here… not a job
or a role. It is a cradle-to-grave, round the clock unifying principle in our
daily lives. Purpose is that deepest belief within us where we have a profound
sense of who we are, where we came from, and where we’re going. It is a
source of deep meaning and vitality.”
Research has shown that having a “purpose” in life is essential when it comes
to the transitions and challenges of aging. Studies indicate that when people
believe in something larger than themselves, it strengthens their ability to
cope with transitions and change. With aging comes inevitable transitions and
purpose can sustain people through these transitions and help them to grow.
The workshop, which lasts about seven hours, spends time allowing
participants to reflect on their gifts, or the things that one enjoys doing so
much they lose track of time. A series of exercise and self-reflection then
guides each participant through the use of these gifts.
Workshop facilitator Elizabeth Craig says these workshops give people a
chance to realize what they really love doing. Craig said one participant in a
“Working on Purpose” workshop was an elderly man who through the
workshop found that he not only enjoyed playing the bass, but that it is his
Before the workshop, he dedicated a small amount of time each day to
playing his bass. Since finding that this was not just a hobby, but a passion,
the man now plays for four hours each day, has joined a group of bass
players and mentors young people who are learning to play the bass.
“Sometimes it is something so simple that can totally change a person’s life,”
Craig says.
The next “Working on Purpose” workshop will be held at Prince of Peace
Lutheran Church (ELCA), Burnsville, Minnesota, October 3-4. Richard Leider
of The Inventure Group will be signing his latest book, Something to Live For:
Finding Your Way in the Second Half of Life on Octber 4. More information is
available at
The Augustana Health and Longevity Institute will offer similar educational
programs and resources. Current programs under development are “Mapping
Your Retirement,” which helps participants develop a concrete retirement plan
based upon values, interests, and resources; and “Life Keys,” a spiritually-
based comprehensive program that is a multi-faceted approach to
understand the best ways to add meaning and purpose to life. More
information on all of the organization’s programs can be found on its Web
site stitute.
The Augustana Care Corporation provides seniors with facilities, programs,
and services that supply residents with a continuum of lifestyle choices in
healthcare and housing. It is a Lutheran-based organization that was
founded in 1896 as housing for young Swedish women immigrating to the
Twin Cities. It continues to hold to its Lutheran roots by providing seniors
with healthcare, housing, and other services in a Christian environment.