Shelf. Life

A look at what's happening at Willard

thirdAGE: Sharing the journey

Mary Peterson, of CareWell Services Southwest, talks at last year’s Aging Mastery Program.
Bette Davis gets credit for saying that "getting old is not for sissies," but the late actress was unlikely the first to make the observation, and certainly won't be the last.

My mother, more of a Vivien Leigh fan, has her share of occasions to impart this bit of wisdom. Age 76 and in otherwise remarkably good health, mom is coping with dementia, its form not entirely certain — there are some 150 types of dementia — but it's impact unmistakable.

It's cruel that a woman known for her wit and, like those icons, sharp tongue carries this burden, but mom was never one to shirk a challenge, and aging hasn't diminished her resilience or sense of humor.

"It just means I have an excuse to be dysfunctional, Michael," she laughs.

Humor is not a cure for the maladies that accompany aging, but it helps. So does staying active, cultivating friendships, pursuing new passions, eating well, and sharing their journey.

At its heart, Willard Library's thirdAGE learning series is about sharing the journey. Working with our partners including CareWell Services Southwest and Senior Health Partners, we offer programming that not only helps people navigate the challenges of living older but also opens doors to discovery.

Caregivers, for example, can find support in our monthly Caregiver Conversations support group while seekers can learn Tai Chi or join a conversation about spirituality.

Beginning Tuesday, April 16, Willard will offer its second Aging Mastery Program class, a free 10-week program that helps people improve their well-being, add stability to their lives and strengthen their ties to the community. You can register here.

The term "thirdAGE" — some use "third act" or "third chapter" — reflects the sentiment that life after a "certain age" isn't about closure, but about renewal. Challenges abound, but so do opportunities. The thirdAGE learning series is designed to help you make the most of them.

Mac is reading "Wayfaring Stranger" by James Lee Burke.

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Wednesday, 27 October 2021