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Masterpiece Living: A Research-Based Program That Promotes Successful Aging

Post date: 3/17/2020

Who says getting older is a bad thing?

Masterpiece Living ®, a nationally-recognized program, is breaking down age stereotypes and fundamentally changing the way we look at our lives when we’re older. Based on research and results from the MacArthur Foundation Study of Aging in America, Masterpiece Living focuses on maintaining health and wellbeing during later stages in life.

Masterpiece Living fosters a culture for successful aging by creating a supportive environment, empowering individuals with tools and resources, and teaching each member about the impact of lifestyle choices.

Thanks to this study, we know that quality of aging is determined more so by lifestyle choices (70 percent) than it is by genetics, luck or fate (30 percent). Though some people may still think of aging as a steady decline, Masterpiece Living challenges that belief. By maintaining physical and mental skills, reducing risk for injury and disease and increasing engagement in daily life, individuals can not only grow, but they can thrive as they get older.

“If a community can provide the environment and culture that believes in the growth of their residents, the residents will respond to that,” says Dr. Roger Landry, President of Masterpiece Living. “That’s what Masterpiece Living is all about — a philosophy that believes in the growth in all areas of our lives and achieving this potential.”


How it works

Masterpiece Living is more than just a wellness program. It’s a lifestyle, a support network and a cultural approach to successful aging. Masterpiece Living creates a positive environment, empowers individuals with tools and resources and teaches each member about the impact of lifestyle choices.

Participants can use measurement tools that assess their physical health, social engagement, meaning and purpose, intellectual challenge, health risks and mobility. Masterpiece Living provides customized reports for each participant to track progress over time, and it offers national norms and research-based guidelines so participants can compare their results. The personalized process empowers people to make positive and healthy choices.

Many organizations, including Sun Health, partner with Masterpiece Living to shape communities that follow the principles of the program for those who want to participate. Residents can pair up with a successful aging specialist to ensure they are making the most out of the next stage of life. The specialists can help individuals analyze progress reports, identifying strengths and areas needing improvement.

Communities that follow the principles of Masterpiece Living also offer activities and resources to help residents reach their physical, social, intellectual and spiritual needs. Individuals can attend exercise classes, follow nutrition advice, socialize in communal areas and attend discussion groups to keep their minds sharp.

If you choose to live in a community with a Masterpiece Living program, you can confidently maintain a healthy lifestyle by focusing on physical activity, social interaction, intellectual stimulation and spiritual engagement.



Masterpiece Living recognizes and embraces the potential of everyone. No matter what your age, you can maintain or improve your physical and mental health. In communities that follow Masterpiece Living principles, residents and staff team create a variety of physical activities and exercise programs that meet individual needs and interests. Whether it’s a walk, water aerobics, mediation or puzzles, the programs are both enjoyable and effective.

According to Darcy Andelin, lifestyle and fitness coordinator at La Loma Village, Litchfield Park, “I read a Wall Street Journal article recently that stated less than three percent of seniors work out. Over 42 percent of La Loma Village residents participate in our fitness activities, so we must be doing something right!”



Lifelong learning can have a profound impact on successful aging, and it is the norm in communities inspired by Masterpiece Living. Members have the opportunity to attend lectures, small group activities and discussion groups to ensure intellectual stimulation. They can also choose individual activities that fit within their interests.

Cultivating a habit of learning isn’t just about creating a more interesting life. It can impact health, too, making the difference between successful aging and preventable decline, and slowing or avoiding the onset of dementia.

Harvard Medical School emphasizes the positive impact of learning on aging, stating challenging the minds of older adults with complex skills like digital photography or quilting stimulates the brain more than simpler mental activities like crossword puzzles.



Community is valued by Masterpiece Living, and residents are encouraged to create connections between one another. Whether you’re bonding with someone in a group activity or just chatting with the person next door, expanding your friendship circle can help create more life satisfaction.



Everyone has a different meaning and purpose. Within communities that follow Masterpiece Living, individuals are empowered to embrace his or her own spirituality. Whether you take part in organized religion or hold belief in a higher power, spirituality fills an important role for many people that goes deeper than attending worship services, according to Sun Health’s Corporate Director of Spiritual Life, Reverend David Klumpenhower.

At Sun Health’s community locations, Grandview Terrace, La Loma Village and The Colonnade, religion and spirituality is a common thread. Individuals can take part in religious holidays, bible studies and worship services for various faiths.


Masterpiece Living at Sun Health Communities

We’re proud of our partnership with Masterpiece Living, and of the impact the program’s principles have made on the residents who call our communities home and on Sun Health At Home® members. Residents and members report high levels of physical activity, intellectual stimulation and social fulfillment, with 94% of residents indicating they feel that the staff members in the community support their successful aging efforts.


Next Steps

If physical, intellectual, social and spiritual well-being are a priority for you, consider living in a community or joining a continuing care at home program that designs its lifestyle offerings according to the principles of Masterpiece Living. You owe it to yourself to reach your goals and grow as you age. Remember, age is just a number. Your lifestyle is what determines your success.

Ready to get started planning your future with Masterpiece Living? No matter if you choose to live at a Sun Health Community location or join Sun Health At Home, you’ll have every opportunity to experience the benefits of Masterpiece Living. Contact our friendly residency counselors to learn more.