It’s been proven that seniors who are included and who feel respected and valued live longer, richer lives. But unfortunately, older folks in the United States aren’t always treated this way.

That’s where Wish of a Lifetime comes in. This organization’s mission is “to shift the way society views and values our oldest generations by fulfilling seniors’ dreams and sharing their stories to inspire those of all ages.” By offering rewarding and exciting bucket-list experiences to those over 65, Wish of a Lifetime gives seniors the nudge they need to continue living their lives and pursuing their passions.

Wish of a Lifetime has granted more than 1,000 wishes from seniors across the country. From reuniting with long-lost friends or family members to returning to a place that brought them joy or engaging in a favorite activity again, these adventures often feel like a pipe dream for many of the recipients, who thought their adventures were over and done with.

One 90-year-old woman, whose family was part of the French Resistance during World War II, parachuted for the first time to honor those she had helped many decades before. A couple, who lived in separate senior living facilities because of their different health conditions, reunited on the beach where their love blossomed more than 60 years ago. Another gentleman with end-stage emphysema was able to experience the joys of travel again when he received almost 2,000 postcards from complete strangers in 90 countries around the world. He said that the postcards and their messages have allowed him to look at life differently and given him a feeling of hope.

These once-in-a-lifetime experiences often force seniors a little bit out of their comfort zone, giving them the opportunity to interact with new people, relearn old skills and do things they’ve never done before, which can be beneficial on so many different levels. While the wishes are often transformative for seniors, Wish of a Lifetime hopes that the impact will extend far beyond the wish recipients, causing society as a whole to view aging differently, recognizing the contributions seniors have made and are still making.

To read the stories of wishes granted or learn how you can nominate yourself or someone you love for a wish, visit Wish of a Lifetime.

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