Resources on aging are everywhere

Conference on Successful Aging participant work

Resources abound

The “aging” population has more resources at their fingertips to age successfully than any other demographic group. There’s a Council on Aging,  an Office on Aging and The OC Aging Services Collaborative. The California Department of Aging, the OC Vital Brain Aging Program and the OC Aging and Disability Resource Connection offer even more options. And, it doesn’t end there.

One local non-profit has a mission to “engage” seniors as they age. A senior-living property company promotes “vibrant living” for their residents. Iris-OC, a local nonprofit, has rebranded elder folks as the “perennials.” And, seven years ago, a national “village to village” network was created to connect seniors to their community to help them age in a place.

The Center for Successful Aging stands out

Everywhere you look, the elder population can choose an organization with a mission to help them connect and thrive. However, the Center for Successful Aging at Cal State University/Fullerton takes it to a whole new level. They have created an educational, research and service center to enhance and promote the health and vitality of older adults. Their whole-person wellness program, designed by Jan Montague, integrates six key dimensions of wellness, specifically intellectual, social, emotional, vocational, spiritual and physical. It’s about creating balance, moderation and the importance of personal commitment in shaping one’s total health and well being.

2017 Conference on Successful Aging

I had the honor of presenting at their 2017 Conference on Successful Aging last month. The attendee’s participated in a therapeutic painting workshop designed to evoke an emotional response through abstract, guided, structured exercises. Ten participants jumped in, played with acrylic paint, and immersed themselves in the creative process.

Everyone walked away learning and feeling something new about themselves. The feedback received included…”It was freeing not to have it look realistic”; “It made sense of my deepest thoughts and feelings”; “I felt very happy after the workshop.”

As their creative catalyst, I, too, was rewarded simply by witnessing the artistic journey of ten willing souls eager to explore. It was, indeed, a perfect fit for this year’s theme, “Enhancing Your Aging Experience.”

To learn more about the Center for Successful Aging, visit

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