What is an Elder Circle?

Leslie Gordon and Linda Shannon-Hills

Elder Circles are engaging, respectful conversations guided by skilled facilitators that take place on a regular basis (generally once a month) for one to two hours each. Elder Circles allow elders to engage in an in-depth exploration of the elder years as an essential part of the human experience, discovering new roles and exploring the mental and emotional life that supports aging.

Elder Circles are unique. While they may feel like sacred or even magical spaces, they are not religious. While gathering together to speak openly about issues of aging is revolutionary, they are not political. While participants may process a range of emotions and may develop incredible camaraderie, they are not group therapy.

Elder Circles are a place to ask questions, share stories, and explore topics of interest related to aging, rather than problem-solving for the purpose of finding the “right answer.” They offer participants a safe place to share life experiences and celebrate the achievements of aging. The Circle is a place to learn to honor and respect the wisdom that comes with aging, while continuing to fulfill one’s potential. Each monthly discussion supports the identification of the gifts of aging and ways to use these gifts to continue to contribute to our family, friends, and community.

Elder Circles are open to anyone who desires to join in the adventure of aging, and to find joy in continuously learning and giving to their community. Please share with your friends. The SBR Wellness Roundup—Growing Bolder in Elderhood will hold the March Elder Circle for SaddleBrooke Ranch on Monday, March 23, at 3:30 p.m., in La Vista Room located in La Hacienda Club and facilitated by Carol Massanaric, a volunteer from Our Family Services in Tucson.

For more information, please contact Linda Shannon-Hills at [email protected] or 970-389-5131.