Becoming a Resident at AgeSong: Joy in Aging Series Video

Sharon of KRON Channel 4 speaks with AgeSong co-founder, Dr Nader Shabahangi and Paula Hertel what it is like to become a resident at an AgeSong Community.

Sharon asks “What is the process of bringing a parent or loved one into AgeSong? How is that done”?

Nader explains that AgeSong is really all about community building. For the person who is considering a move to an assisted living situation what is important is to ensure that there is a good fit for the prospective resident.

To ensure a fit AgeSong likes to get to know the individual. Who are they? What are their likes and dislikes? What are their joys? Shat gives them pleasure? How would they live their lives in these years? That initial process of getting to know the elder is really important to AgeSong.

Paula speaks about how it is about building the relationship; the relationship to us, to the staff, to the other residents, to building the relationship with the family. This is important because this is not just about renting an apartment, this is about us being in community together. It is about building community together. The character of each AgeSong community is based on the residents who live there and the staff that work there and the families that stay involved in their family members lives.

At AgeSong residents feel that we really take the time to ensure a good fit. For us that is more important than moving people in. It is more important to build those initial relationships and really get to know each other, the resident and the family.

As Nader mentions this process can take weeks, it can take months. Of meeting, coming together, showing people around, meeting other residents and meeting the staff, the carepartners and the interns. Really learning about what is this place like, who are the people living in this community? Again, AgeSong has an emphasis on community building so the resident is living within a larger community, not in an isolated way. That is very important.

As Sharon mentions “They begin to see themselves there [within the community].” Nader agrees that they begin to see themselves as a part of a larger community.

Sharon closes by thanking Nader and Paula for shifting her perception of  Elder Communities.

Find out more!

Discover more about AgeSong and explore the different AgeSong Communities here.

View more of the Joy in Aging Series videos.

Explore more videos in the AgeSong Video Library.

Aging with Grace: Joy in Aging Series Video

Sharon of KRON Channel 4 speaks with licensed psychotherapist and AgeSong co-founder, Dr Nader Shabahangi about shifting our perception and looking at aging as a positive thing.

Sharon mentions the numerous books that Nader has written about aging that outline his philosophy on aging. Some books that are presented as examples are Faces of Aging, Conversations with Ed, and Deeper into the Soul. They are all age embracing books.

Sharon starts of the discussion with a comparison between what is considered “normal” in terms of success in aging and an alternate view presented in Nader’s books. She mentions how successful you are is often measured in how fast you get something done, how beautiful you are, and how many things you can multi-task. She points out that there is a big departure from thinking of yourself like that and looking at yourself from Nader’s perspective. Nader agrees that there is currently a movement that judges your success in aging at 50, 60, 70, 80 in terms of values of twenty and thirty something individuals and we need to stop doing that. In this perspective you are set up for failure.

Sharon suggest that promoting a different value system for aging is one of the reasons why Nader has created AgeSong. To provide an environment where it is safe to age, safe to have a different value system than what you see everyday. Nader agrees with that and expands upon the idea that from elders we learn that we can go more slowly, to look more deeply, and how to be with someone instead of looking to the next thing. Nader mentions that the elders are always teaching him the importance of learning to live in the moment.

Find out More!

Explore Nader Shabahangi’s publications on Aging and Forgetfulness on the Elders Academy Press website.
View more of the Joy in Aging Series videos.

Explore more videos in the AgeSong Video Library

Family Relationships: Joy in Aging Series Video

Sharon of KRON Channel 4 talks with AgeSong cofounder, Dr Nader Shabahangi and Paula Hertel about family relationships and how those changing relationships are nurtured at AgeSong.

Paula speaks about how family relationships is a topic close to her heart and she loves to speak to it. She asks Nader how AgeSong assists in dealing with family relationships. Nader talks about how AgeSong feels family relationships are important to the elder and the community they live in. One thing that AgeSong does is create opportunities, through events and gatherings for family to take time to get together and really get to know each other. Particularly for residents who’s roles may be changing and lots of transitions going on. At AgeSong we give the opportunity and support for family members to come together to gather, to share some special moments together. This is really important part of the AgeSong mission.

One example is a tea ceremony program that emphasized taking time to be together. A focus on just the act of making tea and being there for that moment. An opportunity to be really present and in the moment. There a many such similar programs going on in the AgeSong communities.

Spending time in the moment is a good way to help with the changing family roles. Conversations start when you give them time to happen naturally and sharing time is a great way to assist with the transitions that are happening during this time of changing roles.

Find out More!

View the recent WoodPark Calendars to see current running AgeSong Programs
Explore more posts and articles about Engagement at AgeSong

View more ofthe Joy in Aging Series.

Explore more videos in the AgeSong Video Library

Dealing with Emotions, Part 2: Joy in Aging Series Video

Sharon of KRON Channel 4 and Nader Shabahangi continue the conversation about the emotional component that is present when making a decision like the placing a loved one in an assisted living situation. Sharon mentions that for her many emotions come up like failure, guilt, sadness, loneliness and more. Nader agrees that these are emotions that can come up in when we have to make a difficult decision like placing a parent in an assisted living community.

What makes AgeSong different is we address the emotional component, not just in working with our elders but especially with the family members who bring their loved one to live in the community with us. It is deep work. And the work doesn’t stop on many of the issues we were dealing with when we were young and continue to deal with as we are adult children of our parents. Now they need our care. What do we do now? How do we address those issues too? Do we put those issues to the side?

AgeSong realizes we are more than just the body we are the mind and our emotions and those need to be addressed in the elder as well as the adult children. At AgeSong we have clinical directors who are licensed therapists that are trained to talk with the family as well as the elder about the issues and emotions that this transition can bring up.

Find out More!

View more of the Joy in Aging Series.

Explore more videos in the AgeSong Video Library

Dealing with Emotions, Part 1: Joy in Aging Series Video

Sharon of KRON Channel 4 speaks with Nader Shabahangi about emotions. No matter how old you are there is a enormous emotional component to placing your loved one in a care home or assisted living community such as AgeSong. How do you deal with the resulting emotions?

There comes a time when community living and professional care givers can be of great benefit to elders. The programming at AgeSong is intensely focused on the emotional care component, for example. There is also the community component to assisted living; rather than the person being isolated at personal residence they will be and feel part of a larger community. They can talk, relate, and go on outings together. The quality of life can be greatly improved by being involved in a community and having specialized care. And when you visit your loved one you can be really present there with them. You are not stressed or exhausted, you are really there.

To help with the transition you should go in first and talk with the people at the assisted living community. It is important to feel you have been heard and your specific needs can be met. That feeling of being held while making this decision is very important. AgeSong includes a therapeutic component in it’s communities and works to make every transition as easy as possible for all involved..

Find out More!

View more of the Joy in Aging Series.

Explore more videos in the AgeSong Video Library

Eldership: Joy in Aging Series Video

Sharon of KRON Channel 4 speaks with Dr Nader Shabahangi, cofounder of AgeSong about Eldership and what it means to AgeSong.

Nader describes the concept of eldership. The idea that there is an older person who you can come to for advice or help. The idea of the wise old elder, being there in the family. The elder is someone family can go to and ask basic deep questions about life. That has not been so present in society in most recent times.

Eldership is trying to speak to that role in society. Nader want to bring elders back into society. A society where elders are to be revered, to be loved and sought out so that those of us who are younger can learn from them. We can learn from their life experience, from their knowledge from the decades of the ups and downs of life that all of us experience. We can use that knowledge for ourselves. Eldership is a powerful concept that Nader would like to have more present in society. We ourselves can grow to become elders and still have a part within society.

AgeSong embraces the idea of eldership as a foundational tenant and approaches the residents as teachers, and approaches them as people who have so much more to give to the world as teachers to those younger than themselves.

AgeSong allows for eldership to also expand out and invites the outside members of society in to connect with the elders living in the communities and to learn from them.

Elders and the Arts: Joy in Aging Series Videos

Sharon at KRON channel 4 speaks with licensed psychotherapist and AgeSong cofounder, Dr Nader Shabahangi, about the emphasis on the arts at AgeSong.

Why the emphasis on the arts?

AgeSong wants to emphasize not just the health of the body but the health of the mind. There are programs to keep residents stimulated that also keep them connected and related to others. The ongoing programs include art therapy and music programs. At AgeSong we see the arts as the core of life, because they are creative. The arts emphasize that artistic creative spirit that is inside all of us. Plus, there are no restrictions to art so we have the Freedom to Be.

How do you make the arts accessible to those with mobility challenges?

When considering art for individuals with changing mobility the key is finding the thing that is particularly good for that individual. For example sculpture works well for someone who does not see very well, it has the ability to stimulate other senses by it’s tactile nature. There is art programs for all care levels at AgeSong it is that important to the communities.

AgeSong focuses on both Engagement and Enrichment in all it’s programs

Programs in general are a big part of each community. Each community has an Engagement and Activities director who ensures that there are favorite programs running as well as new events, programs and experiences to be had each day.

Find out More!

View the recent WoodPark Calendars to see current running AgeSong Programs

Explore more posts and articles about Engagement at AgeSong

View more ofthe Joy in Aging Series.

Explore more videos in the AgeSong Video Library

The Freedom to Be: Joy in Aging Series Video

Sharon of KRON Channel 4 speaks with AgeSong cofounder Dr Nader Shabahangi and Paula Hertel about the idea of “The Freedom to Be” and how that is manifested at AgeSong.

Fundamental shift away from having a resident fit within a rigid structure and instead at AgeSong we find out about the individual, what they like to do, likes and dislikes, what would the resident like to do. The resident teaches the staff at AgeSong who they are and we at AgeSong adapt and try to offer that to you. That is allowing the resident to be who they are. Over the years at AgeSong we have worked with the residents to find out what programs and what type of community would support the elders. The residents have come up with some core values and core areas they really want AgeSong to focus on.

The Freedom to Be

  • Having beautiful communities, beautiful surroundings, that really makes the residents feel better.
  • To have person-centered care and services; to really understand who they are.
  • To be engaged; to have programs that challenge their creativity that spark enthusiasm.
  • To have opportunities for community building, both within the communities and out in the larger world.
  • To continue learning; that they can be teachers, they can be students that they can be part of this society.

Especially important is this attitude shift that we are a always a learning community. At AgeSong we can learn from everyone: from the Carepartners, from the residents, from the staff, and from the volunteers about what it means to be living, to be in a community, to aging. Allowing the uniqueness of each individual allows all of us the Freedom to Be.

Find out More!

View more of the Joy in Aging Series videos.

Explore more videos in the AgeSong Video Library.

Aging Philosophies: Joy in Aging Series Video

Sharon at KRON Channel 4 talks with Dr Nader Shabahangi, author, psychotherapist, philosopher and cofounder of AgeSong. Today they are talking about looking at aging as a positive thing.

One of the fundamental missions of AgeSong is to change the perception of aging. AgeSong offers a fresh community centered, humanistic view of aging instead of looking at aging through the lenses of biology alone. As we age we grow in our emotional intelligence and we grow spiritually, creatively; all of the aspects of what it takes to be a human grow as we age.

There are many views of aging today that are negative and can be found in magazines, newspapers, and movies. To change that view we start with ourselves. We can be less critical of the outward appearances of aging and look to our inner lives as a source of inspiration for embracing the positives of aging. This is a philosophy of aging that is found within the AgeSong Communities.

Find out More!

Explore Nader Shabahangi’s publications on Aging and Forgetfulness on the Elders Academy Press website.

View more ofthe Joy in Aging Series videos.

Explore more videos in the AgeSong Video Library

AgeSong Programs: Joy in Aging Series Video

Sharon from KRON Channel 4 speaks with Dr Nader Shabahangi and Paula Hertel about some of the programs that AgeSong offers the elders and their families.

AgeSong is curious about who we are and who the residents are as individuals. Engaging in a process to learn. AgeSong offers programs like the PhotoVoice program where elders use a camera and through that process they show how they look at the world.

If you allow yourself to look and listen, the programs allow some deep relationships to develop. This is a less cerebral, less intellectual and its more connected to your emotional side and is closer to who you really are. Allows for discovery and a rich connection between people. Which is the purpose of all the AgeSong programs to develop deeper connections.

Find out More!

View the recent WoodPark Calendars to see current running AgeSong Programs

Explore more posts and articles about Engagement at AgeSong

View more ofthe Joy in Aging Series.

Explore more videos in the AgeSong Video Library