Class at OLLI Asheville: Life Long Learning and Exploring the Option to Age in Community

This year, starting on September 25th, a series of classes will be held for older adults in the Asheville area to explore the various options that are related to aging in community. I have the privilege of kicking off the event by teaching the first class at the Osher Life Long Learning Institute (OLLI) in Asheville.


OLLI was created many years ago and originally called The Center for Creative Retirement. It was developed because of the large influx of Boomers moving to the Asheville area to pursue their dreams of retiring in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Each class is presented by volunteer instructors and centered on lifelong learning and the expansion of the community that is already here.

Registration for these series of classes is open and available from now until October 6th.

My class will help kick-start your thoughts to create a plan for your future. How do you envision community as you age? Where are the people you already count on located? What kind of action plan can you create starting in the next three months? Six Months? We will also look at your home now and how it might change as the years go by.

agingincommbookThe classes will also be based around the ideas presented in the book Aging in Community by Janice Blanchard. Participants are encouraged to buy and read this book as part of the class.

The facilitators of the classes are Linda and Rebecca and the series will have six volunteer instructors, including myself, all with a variety of expertise. Each week the guest lecturer will explore options for meaningful and interdependent lifestyles in our later years, from staying in your own home to a variety of other options. Using the articles including in the book as a jumping off point, participants will work toward a personal action plan with the help of readings, discussion, and a virtual field trip. The course is open to anyone interested in options beyond isolation or the nursing home.

My class is an offering from the Culture Change Network of Buncombe County (CCAN BC), a group dedicated to educating the community about the fundamental change in values and practices to create a culture of aging that is life-affirming, satisfying, and meaningful. It is the furthering of a seminar led at Warren Wilson College in 2011 by Dr. Bill Thomas, the self-described ‘Nursing Home Abolitionist’ who I wrote about in the CCAN BC newsletter (click here to read article). He presented about the possibility of creating a Green House in Asheville. Since that time the group has offered a number of area workshops to spread the idea of aging in community and fulfilling the missing.

If you live in the Asheville, NC area and have thought at all about what your life will look like as you continue to age, the OLLI series may be perfect for you. Register now and get a copy of the book today!

Or there may be an Osher Life Long Learning Institute in your home town.


  1. Love what you’re doing in Ashville. I hope to create a community like this for myself!

Women For Living in Community