Mary Oliver

 If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty of lives and whole towns destroyed or about to be. We are not wise, and not very often kind. 

And much can never be redeemed. 

Still life has some possibility left. Perhaps this is its way of fighting back, that sometimes something happened better than all the riches or power in the world. It could be anything, but very likely you notice it in the instant when love begins. Anyway, that’s often the case. 

Anyway, whatever it is, don’t be afraid of its plenty. 

Joy is not made to be a crumb. 

Don't Hesitate.


Navigating the Transition into Caregiving


Personal transformation is usually an experience we actively seek out - not one that hunts us down. 

Storytelling Helps Hospital Staff Discover The Person Within The Patient


   "It gives you a much better understanding about the entirety of their life and how to help them make a decision," says Dr. Jim Maloney, a VA surgeon who performed Bob Hall's lung transplant in 2013.

Poetics of Aging and Dementia


 A core tenet of humanistic psychology and philosophy is the belief that human life is intrinsically significant. This meaningfulness extends to all we do and are in life.

Our Earth, Our Elders


 Our earth – our world and home – needs elders. It needs to know who elders are and what they do. It needs the wisdom they afford us, the teaching they can give us.  

More Encounters of the Real Kind


 Encounters of a Real Kind are exactly that: deep, life-changing meetings between human beings.

A program of the Elder Ashram Gero-Wellness training for psychology and social work interns places

graduate and post-graduate students in an eldercare community. 

Kindness as Avenue to Awe


 What would happen if schools focused on kindness and gratitude before achievement and academics? This is a question that Andy Smallman not only entertained, but also acted upon. 

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Seasons of the Soul


 Nature was Hesse’s first and foremost teacher: the garden, the forest, animals. An appreciation of, a devotion to, a never-tiring observation and contemplation of natural life inspired Hesse’s writing on every page. The young boy already fled the narrow streets of Calw to explore a less structured, less regimented, much freer playground for his limitless curiosity and imagination. 

Affect the Heart


  A century ago, the scientist Karl Pearson was studying cemetery headstones when he noticed something peculiar: Husbands and wives often died within a year of one another. Though not widely appreciated at the time, studies now show that stress and despair can significantly influence health, especially that of the heart.  

Health, illness and frailty in old age: a phenomenological exploration


The aim of this paper is to subject the clinical classification of frailty to scrutiny through exploring, via a

phenomenological lens, the lived experiences of older people who meet the objective, or clinical, criteria of


Co-creating Environments: Empowering Elders and Strengthening Communities through Design


 Working with elders around the world has taught me that those living in grass huts in Africa with children at their feet are often happier than people in assisted-living homes with a chandelier over their heads.  

My work in design consultancy and in fifteen years of running a nonprofit, Ibasho, that aims to co-create socially integrated and sustainable communities that value their elders has allowed me to learn much about how architects and designers can contribute to helping people live a good life in late life.

Diversity in Senior Living Communities


 As the United States overall population becomes increasingly more

diverse, there is no time like the present for Life Plan Communities

to begin to identify and address both perceptions and realities of

their own resident and leadership diversity mix. As best practices

evolve, there may be a growing opportunity for senior living

communities to serve older Americans in their areas more

inclusively, possibly achieving higher census by enriching their

offerings and evolving their internal cultures.

Don't Waste Your Suffering



The famous German-language poet Rainer Maria Rilke said “Don’t waste your suffering.”  If you took away his demons, he insisted, you also took away his angels. He wanted both. He wanted to be seen as a three-dimensional being, full and complete, with all his parts accepted unconditionally. Pain and suffering were not his enemies. Instead, they helped define him. 

  Rilke would have looked curiously upon our modern age. 

Pain relievers. Opioids.  Alcohol. Marijuana.  These are all popular substances used to deaden pain, something needed by far too many in a world of dissociation and distraction.