How do you get from working with youth to the Gray Panthers? It may sound contradictory, but Sally Brown, the current Minnesota Convenor and national Executive Director of the Gray Panthers, found her way to the Gray Panthers because of her work with teenagers! If that does sound wrong to you, you need to find out more about the Gray Panthers. Digging way back in my long-term memory, I remembered the Black Panthers as rebellious and possibly even violent. Not thinking of senior adults in those terms, the Gray Panthers always seemed sort of a “cute” name for a senior organization. Having come in contact with Sally Brown, my opinion has changed.
Gray Panthers are Intentionally Intergenerational
Brown did come to her involvement with the Gray Panthers through her work with youth. This actually makes complete sense because the Gray Panthers work to make things better for all, not just senior adults.Read More»
Are adult diapers covered? Depends…pun intended. If it’s assisted living—no. If it’s a skilled nursing facility (nursing home/SNF)—yes. That’s just one example of a surprise that you discover when you become a caregiver. Mary Abbey was surprised on a regular basis after she became a caregiver for her parents. She was determined to help others avoid similar experiences.
Her first shock was becoming a “sudden-onset” caregiver. If your parent/spouse/other loved one has a stroke or accident, you often become a caregiver unexpectedly.Read More»
What legacy do you want to leave behind? How do you want to be remembered? What impact do you want to have on those around you or the world? Cathy Manning, our current Elder with Wisdom, wants to help you uncover your legacy.
Through her experience with people 55+, Cathy discovered everyone has a story to share. Even though Cathy’s original experience dealt with long-term care insurance and financial issues, she became aware of the importance of other aspects of her clients’ lives. We often automatically think of financial planning when we think of planning for our retirement. However, there are so many more developmental aspects as we enter and pass through our retirement years. Gene Cohen, in his book The Mature Mind: The Positive Power of the Aging Brain, describes developmental stages of adulthood, picking up where earlier developmental psychologists stopped. One of the tasks that becomes important to us as we age is leaving a legacy—passing on something to future generations.Read More»
Today’s Elder with Wisdom is Mary Ann. She took out a reverse mortgage about 10 years ago and loves it. She used to pay almost 40% of her income on her mortgage payment. Being a single retired female, that might not be an unusual situation. Many retired people live on their Social Security income only. Mary Ann has not accessed the money to pay property taxes or home improvements in order to stay in her home like many people might. She just feels liberated because she can pay her bills more easily now, mainly because she does not have that large monthly mortgage payment any longer!Read More»
Julie Roles, today’s Elder with Wisdom, likes to make things happen. That’s how she got connected with the Vital Aging Network (VAN). In her mid 50s Julie started to tweak her consulting business to better fit her passions for innovative and strategic thinking. Trained in business and design and an experienced writer and graphic designer, Julie turned her focus to the design and implementation of programs.Read More»
Ed, today’s Elder with Wisdom, retired with some “encouragement” from his company a few years before reaching 65, the eligibility age for Medicare. He was lucky enough to have retiree health insurance from his employer. So he was able to continue his health coverage with no health screening or gap in coverage. Often people who are laid off or encouraged to retire after age 50, but before age 65, have difficulty finding health coverage.Read More»
“Rusting” in retirement? Ron Strand, the subject of today’s Wisdom of Elders blog post, says following your passion in retirement does not leave time for rust to get a start.
The current trend of people postponing retirement has more than one cause. With the recent economy, many people feel the need to continue working to rebuild their 401(k) due to loss from the stock market or depletion from unemployment after age 50. Then there are those who continue to work because they love what they do—they have a passion for it.Read More»
What is The Fourth Act? It follows the “Terrible Gift.” Jeanne Wiger, an octogenarian, is finishing her book, The Fourth Act. The Fourth Act does not always come when you are old, but it always comes after a life-changing event, the “terrible gift.” Wiger received her “terrible gift” 2 years ago when she landed in the hospital for more than a month, potentially facing the end of her life. The Fourth Act is the blessing of an opportunity which provides passion and energy to re-engage with life in a new way. For Wiger, the result is writing two books that share her Wisdom of Elders.Read More»
“Thank you! Thank you! Thank You!” That is what Marion McCarthy hears every time she runs into Loretta, a student from one of the Lifelong Learning classes that McCarthy established. Loretta thanks McCarthy for providing a resource that would not be available in her Detroit community otherwise.Read More»
Happy New Year!
In other societies the Wisdom of Elders is a valued treasure, but not so in the United States. We worship youth. For the New Year, I hope to bring to life retirement topics by presenting the stories of people age 50+.
We all enjoy staying and looking as young as possible for as long as possible. But reviewing news stories of some of our young celebrities, we realize that we tend to learn a little about living gracefully as we age.Read More»