St. Louis resources offer help to find passion, live healthfully later in life | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis resources offer help to find passion, live healthfully later in life

Sep 24, 2018

Deb Gaut recently founded a business that aims to help people over the age of 50 pursue their dreams whether it’s a different job or exciting hobby.

Paul Weiss, Deb Gaut and Dr. Ken Druck (not pictured) joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh on Monday.
Credit Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The business, Boomalally, offers workshops, counseling and a digital magazine to help people with a transition later in life.

“We want to be financially settled and healthy but at the same time there’s that something else, that one more chapter I want to write,” explained Gaut. She and a panel of experts joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh on Monday.

She was joined by Paul Weiss, president of Oasis Institute, a national nonprofit organization based in St. Louis that focuses on healthy aging, and by Dr. Ken Druck, a psychologist, consultant and the author “Courageous Aging: Your Best Years Ever Reimagined.”

“Summoning newfound courage is the challenge of every season of life including the third and fourth quarter,” Druck said. “The decision about whether we face into those fears ... is really a critical decision of our character.”

Continuing the sports analogy, Gaut explained that her company is more about making the transition from halftime to the third quarter.

“It’s the whole concept of being a kid at heart and [to] not stop dreaming,” she said.

Healthy Aging

Although aging is an inevitable part of life, there are also many ways to do it successfully. To that end, the Oasis Institute offers a variety of programs that encourage people to take classes, volunteer and connect with others.

“Oasis is focused entirely on having older adults increase the footprint of their lives and continuing to be learners, acquiring new skills, engaging in healthy habits and [making] their lives more enjoyable,” he said. He added that creating real social impact is also one of the organization’s goals.

Living healthfully into the latter half of life also includes knowing and developing skills to deal with grief – the grief of losing a loved one but also with oneself.

“Sometimes the biggest loss is grieving the loss of our younger self,” Druck said. He explained that people should celebrate what they’ve done in the past and figure out a way to live an engaged life going forward.

“It’s communicating with our families, it’s putting our houses in order ... the legal and financial matters and the spiritual and interpersonal matters,” he said.

Weiss explained that Oasis aims to help people avoid the “toxicity of social isolation.”

“If you can get people in a room learning together, exercising together, volunteering, meeting new people, engaging with youth – you’re avoiding one of the hardest parts of old age: of being alone,” he said.

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Alex HeuerEvie HemphillLara HamdanCaitlin Lally and Xandra Ellin give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.