AgeSong Marin is a discussion and support group at Family Service Agency where seniors meet in small groups to talk about what’s really important at this stage of life.
Most of us have faced some loss by this age: retirement, the death of a close friend or spouse, physical disability, or simply a loss of place in the world. By talking about it with others who have experienced similar issues, we feel more understood and can meet our challenges with more creative solutions.
In numerous studies, psychologists and epidemiologists have shown that people with social connections live longer and healthier lives. Together, we create a community where we can feel connected to others and experience mutual understanding.
What We Do
Each group of six to eight participants (plus two facilitators) meets during the day for 90 minutes once weekly for 8 weeks. At each meeting, the facilitators introduce a topic, generally accompanied by a newspaper article, poem, or excerpt from a book. These act as a springboard for discussion, encouraging us to look at our life situations, decisions, and selves. We can’t avoid aging, but we can change how we live by becoming more aware and making conscious, informed choices.
In the group, you may be as quiet as you like; active listening is what’s important.
We hope that you will attend the full series of eight meetings, though we do recognize that occasional absences occur.
Who We Are
Our participants are independent seniors, who desire connections with others, and are curious about what’s available to them at this stage of life. In this supportive learning environment, we encourage one another to reflect on life experiences and to share current concerns. All participants sign a commitment of confidentiality.
Our facilitators are volunteers, most of whom are retired or semi-retired mental health or education professionals experienced in leading groups. Ranging in age from late sixties to mid-eighties, these leaders participate as an AgeSong Marin group member before becoming a facilitator. They have varied interests and accomplishments in such areas as the arts, education, and health care; they like to travel, spend time with children and grandchildren, and work hard at being healthy. Several have mothers in their nineties, and one even celebrated her mother’s hundredth birthday.
Karen Weinberger, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, has provided ongoing consultation once a month since 2009.
“New” and “Ongoing” Groups
New Groups are for first-timers and Ongoing Groups are for those who wish to continue. Our volunteer coordinator will return your call, let you know the date and time of the next available New Group, and arrange for a facilitator to meet you so that we can become acquainted. The New Group starts within a couple of weeks of your interview. If you wish to continue beyond the New Group, you may join an Ongoing Group; many participants have continued to meet for a year or more.