The Many Faces of Aging

I recently attended “The Many Faces of Aging” seminar hosted by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Council on Aging and The Ivey.  It was an extremely well attended event and had a panel of nationally recognized experts in topics of aging.  I attended initially because I am familiar with one of the speakers, Ron Manheimer, who is the retired ED of the NC Center for Creative Retirement at UNCA.   This was my first interaction with Sandra Timmerman, ED for the Metlife Mature Market Institute.  Both are nationally recognized experts in the field of aging and were wonderful sources of information and education.

What I learned is that while Charlotte is not typically seen as a “destination” for retiring adults like Asheville or Pinehurst might be, there are a large number of senior adults in the city who are interested in improving their overall situation.  This search for improvement encompassed topics like finding ways to connect with other seniors, locating appropriate and enjoyable volunteer opportunities, and learning more about the community services available to enable “aging in place”.  I appreciated that the seminar was set up to solicit input and ideas from the participants and that the goal was to identify a few actionable items to take away and implement for the city of Charlotte in the future.

One desire heard time and again was for a centralized clearinghouse for the information seniors need and want.  While there are a host of internet sites currently where a particular piece of information can be found, there is nothing centralized so that a senior can go to one place to learn about the many volunteer opportunities, or needs, that have been identified.  In the same vein of connection, seniors also expressed a desire for a centralized location for interacting with other seniors.

I do believe that work will continue in all the areas which were raised at this conference and the hosts have committed to updating the website www.manyfacesofaging.org as progress is made.  As an advisor who assists senior clients with many of these issues, I am hopeful this will be a great resource for our clients going forward.

FYI:  Did you know that AARP now has a Charlotte presence?  Mike Olender is the new NC Associate State Director and spoke about Charlotte’s long need for an office, the appeal of having AARP here and some of the programs that are offered.  To check out their offerings, go to www.aarp.org/nc.