Published on October 24, 2018

A newfound passion and happiness

You might call Dorothy Daniels, 69, a late bloomer.

Dorothy DanielsShe discovered a hidden talent at the Mercy LIFE – West Philadelphia Day Center, along with a new and happier life.

Dorothy enrolled in the Day Center four years ago. Complications from a stroke had left her partially paralyzed and had affected her memory. She also struggled with depression.

“Sometimes I just burst into tears,” she recalls.

But today, Dorothy will greet you with a big smile because she’s found a passion—painting—thanks to a weekly art class at the Day Center.


Dorothy had never picked up a paintbrush before joining the class. But she’s been busily painting ever since, with wonderful results. Last May, one of her paintings was on display at the Philadelphia Corporation of Aging’s annual art festival.

The festival featured more than 150 works of art created by older adults and exhibited throughout the city. Dorothy’s rendering of three women at a nail salon was one of the pieces that sold—and for $200. Given her skill, that was likely a bargain.

But Dorothy’s real windfall may be the sheer joy that painting gives her. Her son and daughter are thrilled with the emotional progress she’s made since her first days at the Day Center.

As for Dorothy, she couldn’t be happier with all that the Center offers, from the chance to explore new interests to the friendships she’s formed with her fellow members.

“I would recommend this place to anyone. It’s wonderful.”

- Dorothy Daniels