Losses of later life can prove overwhelming to older adults. Some elderly persons seem to cope with these losses with a spirit of acceptance and serenity. The purpose of this study was to identify qualities in selected nursing home residents that allow them to transcend difficulties and continue living with some degree of contentment and satisfaction. Qualitative data were obtained in taped interviews from 95 functionally impaired residents (mean age 82.16 years). Content analysis resulted in several themes supporting the spiritual perspective of Reed's theory of self-transcendence: generativity, introjectivity, temporal integration, body-transcendence, and relationship with self, others, and a higher being.