by Chad Ketcher
Why do we dread getting older? Part of it may be our youth-obsessed culture, which shames people for aging – as if it were something to avoid. We lift our faces and color our hair to hide the advancing years.
But another reason may be our fear of the unknown. The fear that we are racing headlong into unpleasant things we cannot control or avoid – dementia, poor health, or loneliness. The fear that we won’t have any choices for our own lives.
They call them our Golden Years. Wouldn’t it be great if we could face them confidently, with a sense of empowerment?
The second annual Aging Gracefully conference (Saturday, May 9 at St. John the Evangelist Church in Naples) was created with this in mind. In this powerful three-hour presentation, women in their forties, fifties, and beyond will learn strategies for managing their overall wellness into their later years.
Event guest speaker Mary Lawyer has seen it firsthand through her work with The Blue Zones Project. “The communities where we see improved longevity are places where family is important, the elders are not just discarded, and people have a high sense of purpose and belonging.” In that environment, she shares, people live healthier, stronger lives and “have fewer bad years at the end of their lives.”
“Our goal is [to empower women] to take actions that contribute to longevity and well-being, both for themselves and their communities.”
One thing that makes this conference unique is that it takes a holistic view of a woman’s life. Women are complex beings, and just like the various dimensions of their lives are interwoven, the Aging Gracefully conference embraces that wholeness by weaving together the topics that concern women.
Take health, for example. Event speaker and co-organizer, Gaynell Anderson shares, “Current research relates our posture to the essential health of our bodies, affecting every physiological function, from breathing to hormonal balance to nervous system function, and the disease process starts with postural distortion. My passion is helping people reach their optimal posture and functional ability to promote optimal health and well-being.” She continues, the keys to maintaining good health are the same today as they were for our grandmothers, but have been largely forgotten in modern medicine. Going back to that lost wisdom will help keep our cost of healthcare low.
But healthcare isn’t the only financial consideration. We wonder, do I have enough money to retire? What if my spouse passes away or becomes chronically ill? How can I pass along my experiences in a way that my children can learn from? Event speaker and coorganizer Jill Ciccarelli-Rapps will share the “Seven Steps to Your Family’s Financial Success,” gleaned from her family’s decades of work in financial planning.
“This year’s theme, ‘Wisdom through the Generations,’ really represents those powerful lessons that mothers pass to their daughters and granddaughters,” she continues. “As women, we all are miracles and each of us have gifts. We pass along stories and lessons about becoming self-confident, and encourage the women in our lives to uncover and share their gifts.”
The conference will also feature 30 organizations from the Naples area that offer resources and services to help women approach their golden years gracefully.
“Think of it this way,” says Ms. Ciccarelli-Rapps, “Where else can you spend a morning with a room full of wise women that have lessons to share, to improve life for you, your children, and grandchildren? It’s a great way for mothers and daughters to spend Mother’s Day Weekend together.”
Wisdom through the Generations
When: Saturday, May 9th
Time: 9 a.m.-Noon
Where: St. John The Evangelist Ballroom
Conference is complimentary, but reservations are
required. All are encouraged to bring a donation for one of our featured charites.
Reserve your seat today at aginggracefully2015.eventbrite.com or call 239.262.6577.