Aging Better Together By Design or Destiny: Janice Blanchard and Ann Zabaldo

This full day pre-conference intensive (Thursday, May 18, from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm) requires an additional fee of $125. You may register for this intensive separately without registering for the full conference. If you have already registered for the conference, you can register again for any intensive.

Presented by Janice Blanchard, President, Aging Better Together
Ann Zabaldo, Mid Atlantic Cohousing

Intensive Description

For most Americans, particularly women, care giving and growing older has become a solo journey. Humans, however, were never meant to travel these roads all alone; caring for one another and companionship throughout the lifespan is a journey meant to be shared. Like most other mammals, our power lies within our collective social intelligence – we are stronger and better when we live, work and play together, from cradle to grave. When thoughtfully planned and coordinated with like-minded others, caring for an elder or someone seriously ill, can be a profoundly spiritual experience that expands our human capacity for love, empathy, compassion, patience and perspective about what’s important. Moreover, it offers individuals and the community alike the opportunity for deeper meaning, purpose and connection.

Whether by design, as in the case of senior cohousing, or by destiny, as residents in intergenerational cohousing communities begin to face the challenges of aging, learning how we can best support one another as we grow older is an increasing topic of concern. This is particularly true when we begin to need assistance beyond the occasional ride to the grocery store or someone to change a light bulb. In today’s political environment in which bedrock programs such as Medicare, Medicaid (the number one funding source for nursing homes and long-term care services and supports) and Social Security are being threatened to be dismantled, how, by whom and where care will be provided becomes even more important.

In this full-day interactive workshop, participants will explore how aging in community principles and strategies can provide the framework for everyone to ask for, receive and give care. Attendees will learn how to get the conversation started in their community as well as gain knowledge about tools, programs and other resources that can expand their capacity to care for themselves and each other. Moreover, they will learn how to expand their circle of care by tapping into supports and services beyond the cohousing community.

About the Presenters

Janice Blanchard, MSPH, is a gerontologist who is passionate about promoting a new paradigm of aging that values elders for their wisdom, experience and as vital members of their community. Distinguished for her seminal work in developing the concept and practice of Aging in Community, Blanchard is a contributing author and editor of the book, Aging in Community (2013) and a nationally sought after speaker, author and consultant on this and other aging issues. Her career in aging has spanned across the country and globe, for such diverse organizations as the University of Western Sydney, the Older Women’s Network, the National Governor’s Association Policy Academy and the National Center for Creative Aging.

Ann Zabaldo is both a pioneer volunteer and a paid professional in the cohousing movement. She specializes in outreach education, marketing, and fueling the fires of burning souls. Past president Coho/US; Board of Directors, Mid Atlantic Cohousing; founding member and resident Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington, DC.

Additional Information

This pre-conference intensive offered on Thursday, May 18, from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm requires an additional fee of $125. You may register for this intensive separately without registering for the full conference. For those who have already registered for the conference, you can add this by registering again and only signing up for this intensive. Lunch is not included but a buffet is available at the hotel restaurant, currently priced at $13.00.

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