Wellness Roundup: Growing Bolder in Elderhood

Leslie Gordon and Linda Shannon-Hills

So, what is elderhood? Now recognized as a life stage which is as legitimate as childhood and adulthood, Louise Aronson, in her book Elderhood, asserts that this life stage is long, vibrant, creative, active, and challenging. Once recognized, elderhood is not a progressive decline, but an opportunity for new growth and mastery just as childhood and adulthood.

Growing Bolder embraces a forward energy as we change our grip on life. We bring many decades of experience and skill to mastering new expectations such as retirement, relocation, and changing family relationships. There will be new things to learn as we become the patriarchs and matriarchs, even as we assist our own parents in their senescence.

But why do we want to grow bolder? To take charge of our own lives and how we live. Work towards healthy aging, enabling us to have a purpose and passion in our lives. We have grown up to think we have to slow down in our later years in life and have someone take care of us. When you do this, you don’t have control of the life you really want to live. Being our own advocates for our health, wealth, and mental growth gives us power to be the captain of our team of service providers.

Boldness in Elderhood is not just an attitude, it is a skill set. Preparedness is everything. Speakers in the Growing Bolder in Elderhood series will address topics such as getting a grip on your vital documents, managing health in a changing medical system, juggling transitions as we retire and relocate, confronting mortality and coping with grief and loss. The series also offers opportunities to develop practical skills for this new life stage. Work groups will be aimed at preparing for what we can expect, and how to quickly locate resources and support for dealing with the unexpected. Ongoing small group discussions will be available for those who want to participate. One such gathering is the Elder Circle.