Who among us couldn’t use a Glow Guide? Not someone who tells you if your blush complements your hair color. Not a savior guiding you through a sea of concert-goers after you lost your phone and your glow stick.
The Glow Guides I’m referring to help you tackle the challenge of growing—or in their parlance “glowing”—older: planning for what life will look like for your aging parent, or yourself.
My attempt to broach this topic with my husband last week met with stiff resistance, so I’ve deferred the discussion for now. Why spoil our present-day bliss, by mulling over potential incapacity in the future? The subject is a non-starter in our household, and we need help.
And my mom, our only living parent, is safely ensconced in a beautiful, new independent living community, but is she happy? Not really. If we’d had a Glow Guide, maybe she would have retrofitted her beloved Victorian house, hired a personal chef and a gardener, and stayed in the place she loved, among friends. Plus it would have cost her a lot less!
As we continue aging, living a bold life for as long as possible requires a bit of effort and some planning.
Caring for an Aging Parent—Or Our Own Later Years
Nancy Griffin, founder of Glowing Older and host of the Glowing Older podcast (heading into its 15th season), understands that talking about potential limitations in our later years can make us stick our fingers in our ears and go LALALALALA. Hate to say it, but we all have to grow up some time, and that includes having hard conversations with our parents and our partners.
We want to empower individuals and families to prepare for all stages of life with poise and resilience.
“We want to empower individuals and families to prepare for all stages of life with poise and resilience. It’s essential to have open dialogues and confront these fears head-on,” says Nancy.
Glowing Older’s Glow Guides are highly skilled at facilitating conversations that blend emotional sensitivity with practicality. These professional guides help demystify all the uncertainties, enabling us to confront our fears head-on, with compassion for ourselves and our loved ones.
“Everyone’s vision of their later years is unique, and we want to help individuals realize their aspirations. Our Glow Guides consider all aspects—health, finances, living arrangements, and even end-of-life preferences—to craft comprehensive plans that reflect personal values,” Nancy says.
Whether it involves maintaining an active social life, exploring new passions, or securing the finest care when needed, these guides offer resources to cover it all. They’re not financial advisors, but they can help navigate the complexities of retirement funds, long-term care insurance, and estate planning, and they can lead you to experts if you’re not already set up.
“Our goal is to provide a sense of peace to our clients, knowing that their financial future is secure,” Griffin says.
Glow Guides can also serve as empathetic companions, offering reliable emotional support to people (mostly women) who are caring for older parents. They encourage individuals to engage with peer groups and local resources, cultivating a robust network of like-minded souls in similar life stages.
“We believe in the power of connection and community. Our Glow Guides foster a sense of camaraderie and belonging, acknowledging the importance of connection during the aging process,” Griffin emphasizes.
Helping People Age Well
Her passion for helping people age well was deeply rooted in her own experiences and challenges while navigating the process with her own family, and the difficult conversations that ensue. They even offer a conversation starter, which I plan to download, called “10 Tips for Having Difficult Conversations with Aging Loved Ones.”
I could see NextTribe communities. Women who love to travel. It’s a values-based approach.
Her vision for Glowing Older extends far beyond individual planning. She is passionate about expanding the Glow Community and creating opportunities for meaningful connections. Through local events, workshops, and online forums, Glowing Older provides avenues for individuals to connect, share experiences, and learn from one another.
“Everybody’s different. We want to help people create a life they love, not just to survive. By addressing these topics openly and early on, we can make informed decisions that align with our values and aspirations,” Griffin emphasizes.
Griffin and her partner are well-versed on trends in planning for aging. One trend she’s noticed is more intergenerational housing using two levels of adult dwelling units, and more communities with common interests.
“I think we’ll see more affinity-based living. I have horses and I’d like to live in a horse community! There’s even a community in Virginia for retired postal workers. No UPS or FEDEX allowed. And no dogs! And I could see NextTribe communities. Women who love to travel. It’s a values-based approach,” she says.
A women-only retirement community full of NextTribers?
Yes, please. Sign me up!