An Elephant Never Forgets: The Power of the Herd (Breakout Session)

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

Session Description

For most Americans today, caregiving is a solo journey. For those who have navigated the terrain, it’s one they will never forget; and most likely, not want to hike thru again.

Humans, however, were never meant to take on such treks all alone; caring for one another is a journey meant to be shared. Like a herd of elephants, our power lies within our collective social intelligence – we are stronger and better when we work together. When thoughtfully planned and coordinated with like-minded others, caring for another human being 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.

This session explores how the principles of aging in community can provide the blueprint for everyone to ask for, receive and give care. Attendees will learn 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 Presenter/s

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

"An Elephant Never Forgets: The Power of the Herd" is the second of three in a series.
While all three are designed to stand alone, their full power is realized in attending all three:
#1 - The Elephant in the Common Room: Old and in the Way
#2 - The Elephant Never Forgets: The Power of the Herd
#3 - The Elephant’s Graveyard: Bringing the Old Bones Home