St. John’s ‘Happiness’ Experts Join John Leland on WXXI’s Connections

In anticipation of author/reporter John Leland’s visit to Rochester and free presentation at Brickstone by St. John’s on Monday, September 26, John joined Connections with Evan Dawson on September 16 to discuss his book Happiness is a Choice You Make. John also talked about some of the central themes of his book, with several voices from the St. John’s family included to add their unique perspectives to this unique discussion.

Listen to the full hour of WXXI’s Connections with Evan Dawson with John Leland and St. John’s residents and staff

Joining the conversation were Brickstone by St. John’s residents Sue Bovay and Liz Sabo along with St. John’s Vice President of Skilled Services Nate Sweeney.

During the hourlong conversation, John, Sue, Liz, and Nate discussed important topics like embracing happiness, learning lessons from past experiences,  resiliency, the importance of helping others, and finding purpose later in life. Sue and Liz both described their experiences living at Brickstone and spoke to the wonderful support they have benefited from during their independent living journeys.

John Leland: “I had this idea that I would do stories about the ‘woes of old age’ but I realized I already knew how those stories went. I said I’m just going to follow six people for a year and just write about where their lives take me. It ended up running for seven years and 21 articles. And, as far as I know, it may be the longest running series that’s ever run in the New York Times.”

Sue Bovay (Brickstone by St. John’s Resident): “I’ve been at Brickstone for ten years. I’m a founding member! Wonderful neighbors, wonderful living spaces. In a neighborhood that I knew and could get around. I’m very grateful. There are so many things you can do.”

Nate Sweeney (St. John’s Vice President of Skilled Services): “St. John’s has a continuum of care– we have independent living at Brickstone and (St. John’s) Meadows as well as assisted living. Skilled nursing has rehabilitation and dementia care.”

Liz Sabo (Brickstone by St. John’s): “What I thought I needed was a place where I could take care of my husband more easily and a place where I could easily have contact with other people. My daughter-in-law recommended Brickstone and I came up and took a look at it. I was the one who moved us from New Jersey to Rochester.

Evan Dawson: “John Leland’s book is a treasure and he is coming to Rochester . . .  and I suspect someone you know would really, really enjoy it.”


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