The Evolving Elder

Applying What Really Matters to Life

By David “Lucky” Goff
Eldership Academy Press (2017)
$18.95 USD Softcover, plus shipping

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Congratulations! Your curiosity has led you to stumble onto something extraordinary. Once in a while, a passionate and poignant description of something that is happening on a global and evolutionary scale occurs. The Evolving Elder captures a transition that is preparing the way for a new phase in humanity’s life. By focusing upon the changes that are occurring in the longer lives of some old people, the movement of evolution is being revealed.

Instead of dwelling on the prejudices that impede the old, this work describes elderhood in fresh terms, which reveal the many positive aspects of this important stage of human life. There are gains, which make the losses that accompany aging meaningful and essential to human well being. There are many surprises involved with aging —developments that enhance life, and expansions that change the assumptions about what the human experiment is about. It is way past time for a new look at the phenomenon of aging, an examination that reveals the ultimate dignity of human life.

Such a look also reveals the organic process that is going on. It shows natural forces at work, pushing growth and especially integration. The latter stage of life has its own developmental tasks, its own challenges, its own urges, which demonstrate that human existence is embedded in the larger processes of Life itself.

Human nature is stretching out, via a prolonged life, and gaining a bigger relevance to what is going on. This enlarged viewpoint alters the view of the human place in Life! Reading this book will clue you in to a fundamental shift in the way humankind, especially in the elder stage, is occurring. It will also reveal the profound change that is altering the connection between humanity and evolution.

Surprising discoveries accompany aging. There is an elder awakening happening – older people are vital like they have never been before. Greying turns out to be ripening into something special!!

Providing a necessary corrective for the wide-spread prejudice that demise corresponds to the latter stages of life, The Evolving Elder describes in rich and inspiring prose how evolution has created a period of life that reveals the true dignity of human existence.

What Experts are Saying

“If you want to look forward to what lies ahead for you on reaching 50, 60, 70 and 80, The Evolving Elder is the book for you. Goff not only has brilliant insights into later life, but he writes beautifully as well. I’ll enter my 80th year in 2017 and this is the most inspiring and useful guide for Elderhood I’ve found.”
William Idol, Founding Member, Center for Third Age

“Goff provides a bold and refreshing look at aging, drawing from his deeply moving, personal experiences of becoming an elder. He also put the process into a larger context- the evolutionary significance of elders for humanity: no other species has such a long post-reproductive life, underscoring the crucial role elders play in human survival. It is a resource we need to foster more than ever in these perilous times.”
Allan Chinnen, MD, Author of In the Ever After, Once Upon a Midlife, and Beyond the Hero

“If you hope to become an elder, this guide to the power and wisdom of elderhood is for you! It’s a realistic appraisal of both the challenges (cultural, mental, and physical) and the unexpected joys and rewards of aging. Read it: laugh and weep, celebrate and grieve, and embrace the journey towards the inevitable end of life that we all must make, Goff’s affirmation of life in The Evolving Elder is movingly written, a pleasure to read, and uplifting for individuals and communities alike.”
Dr Susanne Cook-Grueter, Int’l authority on Mature Adult Development

“Goff takes us on an inner journey into our own unknow lands of aging and elderhood. Each journey is unique with its travails and triumphs, losses and gains, but something stirring inside impels us to ripen. Taking this journey in community, learning to surrender, and accepting what is are challenges that can lead us to the boons. Lucky’s message is that there is much to gain by ripening into elderhood, and that personal fulfillment is available if we will welcome it.”
John Sorensen, Coordinating Director, Conscious Elders Network

The Evolving Elder
By David “Lucky” Goff
Eldership Academy Press (2017)
$18.95 USD Softcover, plus shipping

Now Available in Paperback!
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Applying Deep Democracy in Human Services

Diversity, Inclusion and Innate Powers


By Julia Wolfson, Ph.D.
Eldership Academy Press (2017)
$18.95 USD Softcover, plus shipping;
Australia/Oceania Softcover $35 AUD (includes postage)

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One billion people across the globe of all ages – one eighth of our human community – are dependent on health, disability and/or care and protective systems and providers. For millions of people, everyday survival depends on caregivers, supporters, care programs and funding. The need may be temporary, longer term or lifelong. Many people in care systems and assisted living settings are lonely, isolated and long to feel at home in a community with meaningful opportunities to participate and contribute.

Mistreatment, exploitation and neglect in protective environments and institutions, has come to light in a sweep of shocking revelations and inquiries worldwide. Applying Deep Democracy in Human Services is relevant for caregivers, educators and direct support professionals, and people who rely on support and care. This book is also important for family members, policy makers and community developers, facilitators, leaders and administrators involved in this ever-growing and expanding field of human services.

The nine innate powers explained, are a concrete way to address one of the core questions people in care institutions, educators and helping professions are grappling with: How best to respond to people who require assistance and care in a strengths-based, individualized and respectful way. Applying Deep Democracy in Human Services is a humanising and pragmatic response to addressing and preventing abuse and awakening inner resources for a self-directed life, rich with meaning, friendship and contribution.

From the Foreword

“This is an important text for the future. On a global scale we are discovering that relationships and connections with other people, opportunities, and resources provide the best guarantee of health, safety, and growth and development. We are also discovering that we can no longer afford to continually enlarge the disability bubble. We will need to master the material that Wolfson provides us if we intend to explore sustainable lives and relationships beyond that bubble. This book will help people reframe the key issues in human services around the themes of self-direction, relationships, and social capital.”

– James F. Gardner, PhD, President, J Gardner & Associates, LLC, and Past President and CEO, Council on Quality and Leadership, 1989–2012

What Leaders in the Field are Saying About the Book

“Dr. Wolfson’s book Applying Deep Democracy in Human Services shows how certain skills and metaskills using ‘deep democracy’, can help those in need, caregivers and whole organizations thrive!”

— Drs. Amy and Arnold Mindell, Founders of Process Work, deep democracy and worldwork

“A refreshing and thought provoking must read if you or your friends or a family member is in a care environment.”

— Drs. Ellen and Max Schupbach, Founders of the Deep Democracy Institute International

“Finally, after working for over 40 years with people with challenging behaviors, predominantly in the field of Intellectual Disability, I am awed and heartened by this book. Rich with insight derived through direct practice and capable of being extrapolated to all nature of oppression and abuse of power, Dr. Julia Wolfson uses her own rich life and work experiences to expose the painful abuses and misguided power-over in interpersonal relationships that often commingles with well-meaning care-taking intentions for people with different abilities. Through her powerful storytelling she simultaneously exposes us to pain and suffering, as well as the hopefulness of the healing path when truth is heard in a facilitated environment. This book is very important for us all to read, especially if we hope to help humanity develop to its fullest potential. I will assign it to my students in our MSW program as well as to our clinic interns as a strategic guide to transformative leadership, and recommend it to everyone I come across who is trying to help change the world.”

Dr. Beth Barol, Associate Dean and Director of Social Work, Widener University, Pennsylvania, USA.

“For more than a decade the author has worked with our organisation in a village in Africa, for children, youth and young adults with different abilities, bringing us together to discover at progressively deeper levels what the core of our work is. In this book she shares the treasures and insight of many decades of work supporting organisations to bring out the strengths of vulnerable people. It is a remarkable book that should be required reading for all who work in this field.”

— Agas Groth, CEO Camphill Communities, Botswana.

“This masterpiece promises to make a significant contribution to the most difficult existential questions of our time. In a fascinating weave of experiences from her professional life and deep, personal accounts, Julia provides a roadmap for a journey of a universal kind. The inquiry is both confronting and comforting. The authenticity of the voice in this narrative demands of us as readers that we, too, ask ourselves: how can I be safe and free? What does it mean to be alive? Can I become an agent of change? Can I grow my own power or must I wait for this to be authorized by another? This book should be on any reading list that aims to educate people within the social sciences. It applies not only to the education and care sectors but in any context within which our aim is to serve others. With its refined approach to inclusion, this book applies to any culture or nation where there are individuals who put their work in service of their fellow human beings. Courage and love in equal measures has made this book what it is. Read it and be changed.”

Charlotte von Bülow, founder and CEO, Crossfields Institute, Awarding Organisation for specialist qualifications, Stroud, United Kingdom.

“Bringing in her personal and professional experiences with people of diverse ages, backgrounds, abilities, sexual orientations, political and spiritual beliefs, Julia discusses ‘nine innate deep powers,’ giving concrete examples in her work and suggesting ‘on-the-spot practices’ that can be used to apply these powers. As a counselor, multi-cultural educator, and mother/grandmother of a family with varying abilities, I identify with and will continue to learn from Julia and the people and situations that she describes.”

Dr. Sally Gelardin, AgeSong Community Engagement Director, 
San Francisco, USA.

Applying Deep Democracy to Human Services
By Julia Wolfson, Ph.D.
Eldership Academy Press (2017)
$18.95 USD Softcover, plus shipping;
Australia/Oceania Softcover $35 AUD (includes postage)

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Encounters of the Real Kind Book 3

Encounters of the Real Kind: Musings, poetry, stories about elders, forgetfulness and life, Book 3Encounters_cover_front_only

Edited by Nader R. Shabahangi, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2015)
150 pages; $16.95 Softcover, plus shipping

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Elders Academy Press is excited to present the third volume in the Encounters of the Real Kind series; a shared tome of stories, poems and musings from the 2013/2014 participants in the Pacific Institute Gero-Wellness Program at AgeSong.

The Gero-Wellness Program interns at AgeSong come from a variety of schools and universities in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. The participants are interns and doctoral students with backgrounds in psychology, gerontology, counseling, grief and loss support, and human development. Through their practicum experience at AgeSong, they show an authentic interest and passion in their work with the aging population.

The Pacific Institute Gero-Wellness Program interns are part of an engaged movement that views aging with respect and awareness. All residents at AgeSong Eldercare Communities have an opportunity to connect with the interns who provide emotional and therapeutic support individually and/or in group settings.

A Note from the Editor about Encounters of the Real Kind

AgeSong programming for eldercare seeks to return meaning to aging and “Old Age.” In so doing, the hope is to return to the centrality of meaning in all of our lives.

Meaning is not to be found in either the pure philosophical contemplation of life or just the practical, everyday activities of earning a living. Rather, meaning must be grounded both in concepts and in experience. What makes the Gero-Wellness Program so unique is that students who are learning about the social sciences, such as social work and psychology, can combine these intellectual concepts with the depth of experience presented to them by elders. Residential care settings such as AgeSong provide such opportunities.

AgeSong and its partner Pacific Institute address the marginalization of the elderly in modern society; here, students and interns learn from elders, while in turn elders feel valued and respected for being the teachers they are.

In these stories and poems you can see how the AgeSong Elders are teaching the timeless qualities of being human: being in the moment, in the here and now, relating deeply with others and oneself, being kind and generous, giving and accepting, loving and caring. These ways of being are so very much needed in our modern-day societies, which are increasingly fast paced, materialistic, and cerebral.

“Elders show us what our heart needs, what it yearns for. As such, elders may be the solution to many of the problems we face today. All we need to do is listen, to spend time with them. Our lives may never be the same after such encounters of the real kind.”
—Nader Shabahangi, Editor, CEO AgeSong

“Days spent as an intern at AgeSong are unpredictable. Any given day may hold moments of joy, connection, challenge, affection, sadness, and delight — often in rapid succession. The experience of being there is collage-like, with many elements co-occurring simultaneously. My arts background gives me the freedom to look at things through my own lens, paralleling the creative freedom memory loss can give some of our forgetful elders. The collages reproduced in this book are visual anecdotes created to process my experience of a day’s worth of encounters with members of the AgeSong community.”
-Ivy Tiegel, MFTi Expressive Arts Therapy Intern

“So how can we come to understand and cherish, accept and love our frail and forgetful seniors? The answer: by appreciating who they are right now—not compared to days, weeks, or years ago. We need to meet and appreciate them as they are today and not worry about yesterday or what will happen tomorrow. We can deal with that as it comes. Most importantly, we need to celebrate who they are now, accept their limitations, and rejoice in what they still have—what Age Song calls “personhood.”
As the educational component of the AgeSong/Pacific Institute collaborative, Pacific Institute actively promotes the recognition of “personhood,” making the experience for residents of AgeSong-managed facilities full and enjoyable. Furthermore, Pacific Institute seeks to spread this philosophy of care to all who desire to connect more intimately with seniors. That philosophy is reflected in these stories, poems, and observations, contributed by our interns. Enjoy them!”

—Peter Szutu, President Pacific Institute

Encounters of the Real Kind: Musings, poetry, stories about elders, forgetfulness and life, Book 3
Edited by Nader R. Shabahangi, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2015)
150 pages; $16.95 Softcover, plus shipping

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Conversations with Ed – Waiting for Forgetfulness: Why are We So Afraid of Alzheimer’s Disease?

Conversations with Ed Waiting for Forgetfulness: Why are We So Afraid of Alzheimer's Disease?Conversations with Ed – Waiting for Forgetfulness: Why are We So Afraid of Alzheimer’s Disease?
by Ed Voris, Nader Shabahangi, and Patrick Fox,in collaboration with Sharon Mercer
Elders Academy Press (2009)

126 pages, $25.50 Hardcover, $19.50 Softcover, plus shipping; $9.95 eBook – ePub & Mobi

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How can we not be afraid of Alzheimer’s Disease? How can we not dread aging? By posing these questions we are invited alternate ways of seeing Alzheimer’s disease as well as aging. In so doing we do not want to minimize the suffering that people may experience watching a loved one become forgetful. Nor do we want to minimize that becoming forgetful and growing old can be pain processes. Rather, Conversations with Ed wants to create a positive cultural space for people with dementia, for those who accompany them on their journey and for those who fear being afflicted with it.

Read more about Conversations with Ed in this article, “Consensus Smiles” by Sally Gelardin, Ph.D. on the AgeSong Today blog.

 

Conversations with Ed – Waiting for Forgetfulness: Why are We So Afraid of Alzheimer’s Disease?
by Ed Voris, Nader Shabahangi, and Patrick Fox,in collaboration with Sharon Mercer
Elders Academy Press (2009)

126 pages, $25.50 Hardcover, $19.50 Softcover, plus shipping; $9.95 eBook – ePub & Mobi

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Elders Today: Opportunities of a Lifetime

Elders Today: Opportunities of a Lifetime book coverElders Today: Opportunities of a Lifetime
edited by Nader R. Shabahangi, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2011)
58 pages, $12.95 Softcover, plus shipping; $9.95 eBook – ePub & Mobi

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Elders remind us of the big questions of life: what really matters to me? What gives me a true sense of contentment, of feeling useful inside? What are the moments I cherish and how do I remember those as guideposts for living my life? How do my actions, thoughts, and behaviors further who I would like to become? What is the vision I have of myself, of the society within which I live, to which I would like to contribute? What are the values I hold dear and for which I want to stand? What would I like to leave behind when I part from this world? These questions are central, I believe, to living a life that is worth living. It is in joining with the elders of today that each one of us can be enriched and deepened, that our culture and societies can be reminded of what makes us essentially human. Elders Today poses these complex, quintessential questions, helping us not only learn to appreciate what it means to be an elder; we can’t help but actually look forward to becoming elders ourselves.

Elders Today: Opportunities of a Lifetime
edited by Nader R. Shabahangi, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2011)
58 pages, $12.95 Softcover, plus shipping; $9.95 eBook – ePub & Mobi

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Poems For and About Elders

Poems for and About EldersPoems For and About Elders
by Tom Greening, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2014)

34 pages, $4.95, eBook – ePub & Mobi

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Tom Greening is a wonderful role model of an elder, poet, philosopher and educator who shares personal, honest and lyrical contemplations on later life issues.

The poems in this collection grew out of his serving as a training director at Agesong, his psychotherapy practice, and his own aging. He and his dachshund are gradually getting used to being “elders.”

About the Author

Tom Greening studied at Yale University, the University of Vienna, and the University of Michigan. He has been a psychotherapist in private practice in the same office since 1958, and was Editor of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology for thirty years. His poems have been published in many places including The American Scholar, Los Angeles Times, and The Lyric, and translated into six languages. Collections of his poems include Tolstoy’s Lament and Words Against the Void, both available in Russian translation. He also published Nasreddin the Psychologist, a collection of stories about a famous Persian fool whom he turned into a modern psychotherapist.

Poems For and About Elders
by Tom Greening, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2014)
34 pages, $4.95, eBook – ePub & Mobi

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Gems of Wisdom: A Book of Elder Poetry and Prose

Gems of Wisdom: A Book of Elder Poetry and ProseGems of Wisdom:
A Book of Elder Poetry and Prose

edited by Nader R. Shabahangi, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2011)

132 pages, $11.95, plus shipping & handling

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Gems of Wisdom is a celebration of eldership and the wisdom that accompanies life experiences. Elders throughout California submitted prose and poetry to inspire readers to reflect and embrace their own creativity.

A portion of the proceeds from Gems of Wisdom will help AgeSong Institute fund its Expressive Arts Programs throughout the Bay Area. The goal of the Expressive Arts Programs is to combine creative expressions such as writing, painting, arts and crafts, dance, music, and sculpture with psychotherapy and life coaching.

“I think creativity is the key to the fountain of youth. Gems of Wisdom reflects the creative genius, and wisdom that comes with age. This anthology is a marvelous, brave book, a testimonial to the power of age, and to the spirit. The prose pieces in this book bring the reader into the dreams, hopes and insights of those who embrace age. As we live in an anti-age society, this anthology is important as it represents the age pride and the importance of the creative process. This is a masterpiece! And everyone at every age should read this book.”

-San Francisco Author of The Viagra Diaries and Founder/Age March

“We would like to acknowledge all of the offerings submitted for this publication. Though we could not include all pieces submitted, we the judges and editors were enchanted by the many memories and stories that we were privileged to share..”

-Kimberly Kinser – Poet, Writer, Amherst Artist and Writers Workshop Leader.

“The anthology by AgeSong abounds with playful poems of times well lived! It’s a fine thing to read the poem stories that sing of love songs along with hardship from people who are now in their seventies and eighties, even nineties. The humor will delight you. You may wonder what you’ll be saying at that age!!”

-Janell Moon, Poet Laureate of Emeryville for 2011-2012, Author of Salt and Paper: 65 Candles

Gems of Wisdom
edited by Nader R. Shabahangi, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2011)
132 pages, $11.95, plus shipping & handling

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