Our elders are an integral part of our society who are sought out for their knowledge, life experience and wisdom. They have a role in our society, and need to be and feel valued, a need to be accessible.
This role we call ‘eldership’.
Eldership refers to the attitude of a person who has qualities of an elder. These qualities are of ageless nature, have endured the test of time. As such, they provide our culture with a compass, a guide to life and living. It is the vision of AgeSong to promote such eldership and help re-establish its role in our societies.
Re-establishing the role of the elder in society necessitates changing perceptions of aging. Rather than understanding the aging process as a decline in human abilities, AgeSong promotes a view that understands aging as affording us the ability to mature, to become more fully and truly human. Aging is understood as a positive attribute to living, as a deepening of our awareness of life, of meaning and purpose.
To help make this vision possible, AgeSong establishes residential care communities where elders are understood as our teachers. They teach us to care, love, and live a rich and meaningful life, to help us grow into future elders. As such, from the perspective of a life lived, elders help us stay focused on what matters in life.
With elders holding such a vital and deep value for our society, AgeSong would like to understand its elder care communities as a central force for and a resource in shaping social and cultural trends and movements. As a resource for the outer communities, people desire to come and visit our AgeSong communities. They do so in order to learn and grow from its encounters with our elders, through attendance of the AgeSong Elders Academy trainings, AgeSong’s Gero-Wellness internship and certificate programs, as well as AgeSong’s many forums on aging and living.
Nader Shabahangi Ph.D., MFT
Nader received his Doctorate from Stanford University, is a licensed psychotherapist, and is cofounder of AgeSong. His multicultural background has fueled his passion for becoming an advocate for marginalized groups and for creating programs with the purpose of caring more comprehensively for elders. As CEO, Nader ensures that the company's vision drives its decisions and plans for elder care services. In 1992, Nader also founded the Pacific Institute, a nonprofit organization that defines its mission as one of helping elders live meaningful lives. Nader is a frequent guest lecturer, including presenting at international conferences focusing on aging, counseling, and dementia. In 2003 he authored Faces of Aging, a book challenging stereotypical views of the aging process and of growing old. In 2008 he co-authored Deeper Into the Soul, a book aimed at de-stigmatizing and broadening our understanding of dementia. In 2009 he co-authored Conversations With Ed, a book challenging readers to look at dementia in different ways. In 2011 he published Elders Today, a photo and text book that cherishes aging and old age as a most desirable phase of our lives. Celebrating the intergenerational dialogue between young and old, Nader edited and published Encounters of the Real Kind in 2012. This book is a collection of stories and anecdotes that pay tribute to the deep and life-changing encounters between elders and those learning to become elders.
Sally Gelardin, Ed.D.,
Sally Gelardin, Ed.D, delights in bringing together people and ideas to make the world a better place. She believes in the immense potential of all human beings to contribute their unique strengths to the world, no matter how old they are, their level of education, background, and challenges. She says, " I care about building relationships among people of all ages and stages. Because of my family influences and my background as a nationally certified counselor and educator, I am able to empathize with those who have evolving abilities."
Dr. Gelardin is currently Enrichment Director for AgeSong Institute and AgeSong Assisted Living and Elder Communities. In this role, she plans and promotes "meaning-based relational enrichment programs" for members of the AgeSong communities, as well as for related professionals and the public. Dr. Gelardin coordinated AgeSong's Poetics of Aging Conference in 2011 and continues to perform outreach activities, as well as supervise volunteers and international visitors. She initiated AgeSong's Elders Academy Certificate Training Program for Volunteers and contributes to the AgeSong e-newsletter and blog. As Enrichment Director, she has livened up the communities with Enrichment Baskets on each floor that can be used by families and friends, as well as staff, to enhance the daily lives of members of the communities.
Dr. Gelardin is author of three books on mother-daughter influences, entrepreneurship, and empowering the shadow workforce of family caregivers. A National Certified Counselor and Career Development Facilitator Instructor, she earned an Ed.D. in International & Multicultural Education, M.A. in Counseling Psychology, and M.A. in Urban Teaching. She is trained as an Activity Coordinator, Exercise Instructor for Adults with Special Needs and Frail Elderly, and End-of-Life Planning Facilitator. She has served as President of the California Career Development Association and is active in national and international associations.
Marlena del Hierro, M.A.
Marlena received her Master’s of Arts Degree in Gerontology at San Francisco State University in May 2012. In 2011, she was a part of the National Association for Professional Gerontologists in taking action on the Age Friendly City Project for Los Altos and Los Altos Hill. She was recently selected to be a part of the 2013-2014 year-long LeadingAge California EMERGE program, which strives to prepare future generations of individuals to successfully lead highly engaged and innovative organizations. Marlena is committed to improving the quality of care and quality of life of elders as they age through program development and implementation.
Jennifer brings some ten years of experience working in accounting and controlling to AgeSong. From managing audits, preparing corporate and partnership tax returns, reconciliations, budgeting and working as controller and director of finance, she ensured accurate and timely monthly and year-end closings, assisted in the development and improvement of internal controls and incorporated policies and procedures. She supervised, directed and reviewed the work of accounting staff and holds a license as a Certified Public Accountant.
Donald R. Wilson, CPA
Mr. Wilson is a 1967 graduate of the University of Illinois, with a Bachelors Degree in Accounting, and began his career that year with the international CPA firm of Grant Thornton in Chicago. In 1970 he transferred to their office in San Francisco where he specialized in tax consulting for small businesses and audits of their financial statements. In 1978, Mr. Wilson started the firm of Wilson McCall & Daoro and grew this firm to a size of 41 personnel before leaving the firm in 1997. Mr. Wilson currently specializes in real estate and partnership taxation and advises several developers, owners and investors on their tax and accounting issues. The balance of his practice is made up of tax planning for high net worth individuals and tax consulting to wholly owned businesses.
Mr. Wilson is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants. He previously served on the Board of Directors of Special Olympics in San Francisco and Marin County for over 10 years.