Did you notice? Did you see it at the very top of the Spotlight?
We have used a number of phrases to describe Lifespan’s mission, but we believe we have found one that describes our work today!
Lifespan has been building community since it first began in 1981. All of the congregations who joined together to create Lifespan were interested in providing opportunities for older adults to grow, learn and share knowledge. The primary issue of that time was to assure elders that retirement could be stimulating and rewarding, giving them the chance to support each other, teach each other and grow into a community. That vision continues today and we still see Lifespan as our community. But wow, how things have changed! The community around us is different, we are confronted by new opportunities and challenges, and there are more of us who are considered older adults than ever in our history. Lifespan today continues to build communities – communities that welcome us as we age.
What does that mean specifically here at Lifespan? We live in a city where transportation continues to be one of the most significant challenges for older adults. So, Lifespan is committing resources to grow our Medical Escort Transportation Program (MET). The strategy is to build community exactly where we find it, like the MET Neighborhoods we keep talking about. Get a group of 3 to 5 folks together who are willing to be volunteer drivers and provide an opportunity for the older adults in that community to get to their doctor appointments even though they can no longer drive themselves. That is a community that welcomes us as we age.
We live in a society where often age isn’t seen as a sign of wisdom, but as a detriment. So we continue to create an educational program, Lifespan Academy, that values the knowledge of our elders. It’s an educational community that doesn’t see grey hair as a negative, is willing to wait until you complete your thought, and spends more time looking at each other rather than looking at our devices. But don’t get us wrong, we also learn how to use those devices in our technology classes—classes that teach technology with patience and repetition. That is a community that welcomes us as we age.
We continue to honor every member of our Lifespan Community—the ones who have been here through our history and the new members who are joining in to build the newest communities that welcome us as we age. Thank you for your support to continue that work.