Mapping Your Aging Journey

On January 23, 2023, The McClelland Financial Group of Assante Wealth Management Ltd. was pleased to host our monthly “lunch and learn” event with speaker was Sue Lantz, BA, MPA, the Founder and Managing Director of Collaborative Aging.   www.collaborativeaging.com Sue is a trusted policy expert on healthy aging in place, educator and advocate, and the author of a guidebook called, Options Open: The Guide for Mapping Your Best Aging Journey © (https://optionsopen.org).

The topic was “Mapping Your Aging Journey” and the key themes of the presentation were based on the user-friendly Options Open handbook that helps older adults and their caregivers think through and arrange their aging journey as though they were planning a vacation – proactively and with curiosity.

Similar to travel planning, when planning is started earlier (e.g. in your 60s or early 70s) this allows time to envision ideas about where you will live, or how you will receive help during your later life. Using lead time wisely – you can be curious and jumpstart your navigation of aging related choices and plans. When you start with a positive attitude, you are not resisting aging.  And, with this constructive approach, you can lead the important conversations with others and make decisions in your own way, at the right times.

Sue encouraged participants to envision their own model of aging in place, and to draw upon models they have known in their own lives.  Drawing upon the model of her own grandparents, Sue highlighted aspects of their practical and holistic model that all of us can apply to our lives.

Sue also illustrated how to use Options Open five-strategy framework for making plans and taking action – over time – including:

1) Maintaining Your Best Health

2) Making Timely and Wise Housing Choices

3) Building and Maintaining Your Social Network

4) Selecting and Preparing Your Caregiving Team; and

5) Leveraging ALL of Your Resources

Participants were inspired about how they can view their own resources with a wider lens, including a wider array of more appealing options of housing and supportive services and care in the community.   The session illustrated how early navigating and preparing in these five inter-related areas of life allows for more room for creativity, including getting the best advice from experts such as financial advisors, realtors, home care providers and more.

The final part of the presentation showcased some innovative ideas, models, and options for organizing inclusive housing and or care in the community on a collaborative basis.  Below are a few of the links and enabling resources that Sue shared:

Sue’s organization offers similar community presentations, a workshop series, book club talks, and small group conversations on all of these topics. For more information, contact Sue Lantz at: sue@collaborativeaging.com

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