By Dorene Harkness, Lifestyle Director at The Addington at Wellington Green


Our society in America tends to celebrate and value youth over age and wisdom. As a result, older West Palm Beach residents sometimes need help feeling valued and appreciating and celebrating all that they are.

At any age, nurturing a positive outlook is healthy for your self-esteem. But it’s even more important for people in their 80s and 90s. That’s why at The Addington at Wellington Green, where I oversee the daily activities for our assisted living facility, we work hard to promote and embrace an environment of fun and positivity.

One of the simple but really important ways we do this is through a lecture series we offer twice a month through our partner, PlumbTalk. PlumbTalk is a unique speakers bureau and production company led by Palm Beach resident Dr. Shelley Plumb. Patients in our post-acute care center who are recovering from surgeries or injuries are also welcome to attend these lectures to lift their spirits too.

We recently hosted a PlumbTalk Lecture on “Living in Your Own Love and Light.” The speaker’s message of self-love and appreciation struck a chord with a resident who shared that she’s often comparing herself to other people and this can make her want to avoid others rather than seeking out their company and socializing. Before long, another resident was speaking up to say how it took her nearly a lifetime for her to truly value herself.

The next thing I knew our speaker was giving each of them a hug!

These are more than just pep talks. They help our residents get to know each other more deeply and banish the insecurities that can hold all of us back from living our best lives—no matter what age.

The bottom line is that it’s really important to be inspired, be motivated and stay positive at any age but particularly for older Americans. In our society, seniors may experience loneliness and need that shot in the arm we all feel when someone shows us that we are valued or loved.

Fortunately, at The Addington, our residents can expect at least five and, some days, as many as 10 daily activities. Many of these include outside visitors, like our lecture series, pet therapy or entertainment programs. When family can’t visit regularly, these activities help keep residents engaged with one another and involved in their community.

The philosophy that I stress to residents and staff is that we’re your family and we’re here for you so don’t get down on yourself or on life.

Our next PlumbTalk lecture is July 23 at 2 p.m. and titled “A Pocket Full of Joy.” It features professional speaker Lyn-Dee Eldridge who is Chief Happiness Officer and founder of Happiness Jungle. If you’d like to join us or are interested in a tour, please visit or call (561) 795-3360 for more information.