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South Jordan Journal

Why this 97-year-old South Jordan resident says secret to long life is making others smile

Jul 08, 2019 02:52PM ● By Jennifer Gardiner

Jim Broadwater (Photo Courtesy Sagewood at Daybreak)

By Jennifer Gardiner | [email protected]

When someone lives almost a century, it always seems to come to mind to ask them what the secret to a long life is. For one South Jordan resident, his answer is simpler than you might think: to make others smile. 

But based on his daily routine, that’s probably not the only reason this 97-year-old is still around to make others happy. Jim Broadwater spends a great portion of his time staying as healthy as he can. Residents that live in Broadwater’s community said you can often find him as early as 5 a.m. swimming his daily laps in the pool at the wellness center. When he is done, he takes a 45-minute walk around the lake near the senior living property and back to the wellness center to attend the balance and exercise class. 

All of these activities would be a lot for most people, but for Broadwater, age is clearly just a number. While his daily routine certainly plays a role in how long he has lived an active life, Broadwater said it's his love for giving back to others is keeps him going. 

"I love having the ability to make other people smile and brighten their day," he said. "It makes me feel good, and what better way can I help others than by making them happy? Visiting my friends in memory care and taking them a few sweet treats is the highlight of my day.” 

On top of his morning ritual, Broadwater makes it a priority to pack up fresh cookies and fruit and then personally delivers them to the community's memory care residents. 

“It's with this simple act of kindness that Broadwater begins each day,” said Sarah Jackson, executive with Sagewood at Daybreak. “Reminding everyone who crosses his path that a little compassion goes a long way in making a difference in the lives of others.”

Broadwater is known to have a great sense of humor, which is all a part of his ability to make others smile. He said he believes making others happy is genuinely what keeps him going. 

“I plan to keep at it as long as I can,” he said. “When I worked in sales, my motto was always 'How much can I give and not get.' Life is about love and making others happy, and I plan on doing so for a long time. I've currently got a bet going with my son that'll make me a millionaire if I make it to 105, and I intend to win."

According to those who are around Broadwater at Sagewood, they say one of the most remarkable things about him is his service to others which is on full display in his apartment, where friends can find stuffed animals of all kinds. 

Broadwater gives the furry, fluffy critters away to anyone who visits the community or to someone whose day needs a little more sunshine. Once he runs out, his daughter is gracious enough to fill up his supply. 

Broadwater is always looking for ways to make life better for others. He lives in the senior living community at Sagewood at Daybreak in South Jordan. They say he fits well into their “Art of Living Well” philosophy, which allows seniors and their families to thrive as a family in their own neighborhood. 

 "At Sagewood at Daybreak, our aim each day is to ensure that our residents are able to live life to the fullest," said Wade Vest, executive director of Sagewood at Daybreak. "Jim Broadwater is a prime example of a life well-lived and is an inspiration to all of us for what it means to show kindness and compassion to others. People like Jim are the ones who are making a difference in our world, and we hope that by sharing his story others will be inspired to find new ways to give back and make someone else smile."