If only we were having active conversations about these topics.
Why? Because we need to be having this dialogue now if we are to uncover how we, individually and as a society, will deal with the dilemmas of aging.
Whether we are talking about ourselves, our community or even society as a whole, aging brings with it a bucketload of dilemmas. We all have our own opinions about developing affordable healthcare and housing, finding work for aging Americans, managing the challenges of caring for a loved one with chronic diseases and even dealing with cultural biases against the old.
It’s easy to see what a challenging time we live in. The population is graying, and there are as many reasons to address the changes we need to make as there are not to.
But one thing is certain: ignoring issues regarding aging won’t make us better as a community.
I’m a firm believer in Stephen Covey’s Habit 5: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Often in my quest to understand, I learn new information that influences my opinion or, at the very least, gives me new context from which to view the situation.
That’s why I brought Boomer Bootcamp to our community.
There are two annual “perspective influencers” in my life: the Aging in America Conference and the International Conference on Positive Aging. Long before I held my job at Senior Concerns, I attended these events, each time returning with a richer, deeper understanding of the challenges we face as our society ages.
So, I thought, how can I bring some of that perspective from experts around the nation to our own community?
With support from the City of Thousand Oaks, last year for the first time we were able to bring national viewpoints on the dilemmas of aging, while at the same time offering presentations on the possibilities and richness of the aging experience.
Once again this year, on Wednesdays, Nov. 6, 13 and 20, at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza Scherr Forum Theatre beginning at 7:30 p.m., three nationally regarded experts on aging will educate and entertain on topics important to all of us age 50 to 100.
On Nov. 6, in a presentation titled “A New Vision for 21st Century Aging,” David Baxter of Age Wave will share his organization’s thoughts on the world’s aging and its impact on society, business and our lives. Age Wave is the world’s leader in understanding the effects of an aging population on the marketplace, the workplace and our lives.
Age Wave consults with presidents, corporations and world organizations. Baxter’s presentation will shock and inspire you.
On Nov. 13, David Solie, author and national leader on the psychology of aging, will present “Magical Thinking and Aging Parents.” Solie will share his insights on the later stages of life, helping us to understand the psychological journey of seniors and giving us tools to relate to them.
If you want to understand what’s in the hearts and minds of a senior, you won’t want to miss this presentation.
On Nov. 20, Carol Orsborn, best-selling author of “Fierce With Age,” will talk with caregiving professional and radio host Cindy Laverty, uncovering why some people thrive as they age while others find themselves thrown by the challenges of growing older.
For all of you living in denial, Orsborn’s rich, intimate stories of growing older will inspire your own journey.
The emcee for all three nights will be Mary Olson, general manager of 88.3 KCLU-FM, who will be thinking about each night’s issues as she rears a 15-year-old son and 9-year-old twins.
A Boomer Expo will be held at 6 p.m. before each event. If you are a regular or occasional reader of this column, I highly encourage you to attend this series.
To learn more or to purchase tickets, which cost $60 for the series, go to www.seniorconcerns.org or call (805) 497-1089.