The Passions Project: Inspirational Images of Older Adults Living with Purpose

January 7, 2015 | Found In:  Be Inspired

theatreAt Changing the Way the World Ages, we embrace a positive view of aging – one focused on independence, purpose and continued passion. Photographer Heidi Wagner aims to promote this same view through “The Passions Project”.

“The Passions Project” is a series of portraits depicting older adults doing the things they enjoy, whether it be acting, volunteering or spending time with feline friends. This project is designed to honor seniors and inspire people of all ages to live their lives to the fullest.

Heidi’s vision for the project was the result of her time spent with the residents of Frasier Meadows Retirement Community in Boulder, Colorado. She saw these older adults leading active, full lives and wanted to share this positive view of aging, filled with vitality and passion, with the rest of the world. Soon enough, “The Passions Project” was born and the hallway of Frasier Meadows was adorned with portraits of 41 residents engaging in the hobbies and activities they enjoy most.

When Heidi conversed with individuals featured in “The Passions Project,” she did not focus on any potential physical or cognitive deficits, but rather on what made these seniors feel most alive. As participants revealed their passions, they often became enlivened and were eager to share more about themselves. As interest in “The Passions Project” grew, the collection of portraits was moved to the Leading Age National Meeting, an annual conference dedicated to improving the way the world ages. Individuals of all ages who happened upon the collection took interest in it and could connect with seniors who had passions similar to their own, knocking down boundaries of age. 

“It’s inspiring to see people living their life to the fullest, to find their passion, and live a full life,” says Heidi. 

“The Passions Project” also includes images of seniors from Northern Colorado and Iowa. Heidi plans to continue her mission to change views on aging and bring meaning to people of all ages by taking “The Passions Project” to more locations, such as Texas and California. To view some of the portraits from The Passions Project, visit

Maintaining a sense of purpose as we age is one of the many lifestyle factors that contribute to healthy longevity. What are your passions?

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