Although I am only 58 years old, I can feel the need to express gratitude growing in myself. The more time we take to appreciate what we have and let others know how important they are to us— the better our lives become.
Between ChangingAging Tour performances last year year I launched our first Gratitude Tour. I travelled up the West Coast (San Francisco to Portland) with a small group and every day we stopped at Independent Living communities along the way. Our mission— express gratitude for the elders we met along the way, and the people whose daily work makes the lives of those elders better.
This year I decided to try something new. Jude (my better half and the co-founder of the Eden Alternative) and I wanted to hit the road together AND we wanted to make Gratitude, multi-generational. With encouragement from our friends at Holiday Retirement we plotted a trip down the mid-Atlantic coast and we decided to start connecting our friends in higher education (students and faculty) with you, friends in senior living. We challenged ourselves to make eight visits in four days in three states.
The result was…. Fantastic.
There is a natural if, still embryonic, alignment that should be connecting young and old. We can, and should, be working hard to build that bridge.
Some of the highlights for us were; meeting some dynamic new leaders in the field of senior living, hanging out with elders and helping appreciate how important it is to Move, Eat, Sleep and Heal (MESH), listening to cool stories told to us by people of all ages. Addressing a packed house at the University of Richmond and connecting with the leaders who are disrupting aging in Richmond.
We loved this tour and I think we will do it again in the fall. If you are interested in connecting higher education with exciting developments in the field of aging and you would like Jude and me to come and see you, send us a note.
The road ahead is long and uncertain but we are grateful be sharing it with you.
Jan Hively says
The Gratitude Tour is absolutely the way to go! The only thing I miss from the story is a photo of Jude. How about one of you and Jude together?
Rabbi Dayle Friedman says
Bill, this is fabulous, and so inspiring! I am a great believer in the power of bringing olders and youngers together–my journey in this field began when I was a college student and was invited to participate with a group that led Shabbat services in what they used to call an “old age home!” Hope you come to Philly on the Gratitude Tour!
Gina Donaldson says
Hello Dr Bill You and your wife must come to Victoria in beautiful British Columbia. I would recommend that you reach out to two groups at the University of Victoria. Niki Anderson who is the Product Development Coordinator of CanAssist. They invent products to support people with challenges. ([email protected]). We also have the Institute of Aging and Lifelong Health (https://www.uvic.ca/research/centres/aging). Depending if you can come between Sept and Dec you could speak with the Elder Friendly Community Network of which I am a member. (http://efcncanada.ca) I will happily have you both over for dinner if you come.
Rhonda Caudell says
I love all things inter-generational: connecting the younger adults with the older adults. There is so much for both to gain by doing so. Mostly, it brings hope for the future to all.Not everyone has aging parents and not every older adult has adult children. But true connection, love, and respect for each other sure feels like family. Relationships are the most important asset.
Kate Rinaldi says
Please come back to Orange County. I have taken classes at uci extension called “living in the age of Longevity.” Perhaps you speak at uci Ollie campus
Karen Dean says
I have seen your tour multiple times in Hartford CT. If you are coming back we would love to have you visit Immanuel House. We are a HUD subsidized independent and assisted living for those over 62. Our resident would welcome a visit
Carol Pickard says
I see you go to independent living. What about assisted living?
Louise Colburn says
Have you visited Willow Valley in Lancaster,PA? We just moved here and already feel the great positive vibe! Gratitude abounds!! There are so many opportuniites to “Live Life Forward”.
Kathy Sporre says
Hello? Hello? This tour is a great example of why the Midwest is called “flyover country.” Rural adults and those that serve them matter, too. No, you won’t get the most bang for your buck here in terms of demographic density and exposure. What you will get is a unique perspective on how rural areas of the country are keeping up (or not) with the east and west coasts. There’s a lot of space between the two. Can you hear me now?
I hear you now! I’m in Reno still wondering what this movement is about and how it changes my life, if at all!
Diana Johnson says
I am so grateful for people like you! I have been a nurse aide for 31 years at the same long term care facility. The stories I could share of the changes over those years. We still have a long way to go but we will get there. Our elders deserve so much better. I love their wisdom and love they share with me daily. They have shaped my life to be a better person.