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Sonoma County Gazette

Conscious Aging for Sonoma County Seniors

Mar 4, 2019


By Lee Brewster

Here’s some interesting statistics regarding the aging population in Sonoma County:

  • Thirty-two percent of Sonoma County seniors are age 75 and older.
  • Females aged 60 and older significantly outnumber males (56% to 44%). 
  • The newest generation of American seniors (“baby boomers”), who began turning 60 in 2006, has a total life expectancy of 84 years.
  • The number of Sonoma County seniors age 85 and older is projected to triple between the years 2010 and 2050.

​Just as in the seventies (when the boomer population was young) there was a surge of interest in changing the way birthing happens, so now, there is interest in changing attitudes and stereotypes of aging, dying, and death.  Why should we change the way we do our aging, dying, and death? Because the traditional ways do not fit who we are now. Just as many of us have worked to become more conscious about such things as food, health care, community connections, and spiritual development, so now we are raising consciousness around the way we leave this precious life.

What matters now, in later life?  Who are we now, at this stage? Who are our true friends? These questions among others are addressed in  Conscious Aging retreats facilitated by  Ronni Sands and  Lee Brewster, Sebastopol friends who have been leading these retreats for a few years.  For them, it is a chance to help people set aside time to gather and reflect with one another about how to live the last part of one's life fully and well. In their view, the rush of daily living prevents most of us to have time to do anything more than take care of daily business, leaving the bigger questions unattended. It requires focus and intention to think through the possibilities of ways to attend to death and dying for oneself and it requires the support of a community that cares and understands the value of reflective thinking about such topics.

Lee and Ronni are leading another retreat for women April 5-7, 2019. The retreats are limited to 10 participants, and are held in Sebastopol. To contact regarding the upcoming retreat, email Brewster@sonic.netor text 707-217-7064. 


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