By Kalí Rourke
Austin Groups for the Elderly, now known as AGE of Central Texas won the Impact Austin Health & Well Being Grant in 2010. AGE exceeded its goals in the two-year grant and was able to do even more than planned with Impact Austin’s support.
AGE of Central Texas has become a thought leader and pivotal support for aging Central Texans and their Caregivers in the ensuing years. As they learned about the stress and challenges that often fall on women in families and Caregiving, the leadership of AGE envisioned what has become an annual event.
She Thrives: The Art of Aging is hosted by AGE and equips women of all ages and backgrounds, as well as the men who support them, with resources, information, and community as they navigate their life’s journey through aging and caregiving.
The She Thrives experience includes a Summit that will take place on Wednesday, October 26th and a fundraising dinner that will take place on Friday, October 28th.
AGE Executive Director Suzanne Anderson says about the She Thrives events, “AGE of Central Texas wants to support women as they age and caregive so thoroughly, and in such a personal way, that they can thrive rather than just survive. She Thrives is designed to offer women the community, love, support, and education they need to proactively plan for their own aging and caregiving journeys so we can age the way we choose and deserve.”
She Thrives Co-Chair, Fayruz Benyousef, was asked, “Why do we need She Thrives?” Fayruz answered, “Because everyone either is now, or will be at some time in life, a caregiver! And don’t we all want to have the resources and support?”
The Summit - free in-person and virtual event
Attendees of the She Thrives Summit will have access to three sessions that will feature panels of subject matter experts who will speak to topics impacting women as they age and caregive. This year’s sessions will focus on the following topics which are pillars of interest for women caregivers.
Realistic Resilience: Know when to go and when to say no
Mental health, for women in particular, is a top concern throughout the aging and caregiving journey. This pillar will use the guidance from a panel of subject matter experts to explore the differences between healthy and unhealthy resilience. In addition, panelists will be asked to offer tools for how to address and avoid burnout, how to recognize and combat unrealistic expectations, and how ask for and accept help.
What’s happening to my body? The changes we never talk about
This pillar will explore the often-unspoken physical challenges and struggles women face while aging. A panel of subject matter experts will break down the most common changes women experience while growing older such as shifting hormones, changing skin and hair, and evolving bodily functions. Panelists will highlight the benefits and importance of preventative health care while offering guidance on how women can and should prioritize personal health.
BeYOUtiful: How to keep your identity through life’s challenges
This pillar will explore the challenges women face with maintaining their identity, finding joy, and living up to society’s expectations as they age. A panel of subject matter experts will offer insight into why women often lose their identity as they become wives, mothers, and caregivers. In addition, experts will share tools for how women can defy restrictive age-based stereotypes while finding their joy throughout their journey.
In addition, attendees will have access to a vendor fair to learn more about local resources and participate in activities designed to offer self-care improve their legal and financial health, and more.
Attendees will have the opportunity to connect with one another over a catered brunch, building community and gaining support and inspiration from others experiencing similar challenges. More than two hundred women from diverse backgrounds, income levels, and ages are expected to attend. AGE’s hope is that each will leave feeling empowered to take proactive steps to better prepare themselves and their families for the aging and caregiver journey. Tickets are FREE and the event is accessible both in-person and virtually.
Impact Austin is thrilled to note the free public education offered online by AGE. Follow them on Facebook at @ageofcentraltx for regular posts that are helpful to aging adults and caregivers alike. On their website, find caregiver resources here. Bravo to our 2010 Community Partner sharing so much information to benefit our aging neighbors and those who care for them.