Bay Area, Cal. – Shondaland features At Home With Growing Older’s Founder & Executive Director, Susanne Stadler, as a Head Turner in an article by Jessica Ritz.
JESSICA RITZ: How do you suggest families and caretakers begin to have conversations about aging and housing?
SUSANNE STADLER: What I do concerns everybody. I look at age-friendly design or age-friendly homes through a much broader lens. Normally, people just look at safety — and safety is super-boring. Safety is a grab bar in the shower and maybe a ramp. Nobody gets excited about grab bars even though they’re really important.
Put it in [the] context — and this is my first principle of age-friendly design — of connection. How does this keep you connected to yourself and the community if you can take care of yourself if you’re not afraid when you walk into the bathroom? If you feel confident and strong, how does this make you feel?
Also, I emphasize that delight is an important age-friendly principle. This is often completely neglected. So, if I ask you what you like about your home, this kind of conversation is a great way to start. Your body changes, and your senses change.
I see in workshops that people get excited when you ask them what they think. They get engaged in the solution and when they are asked to set priorities. What is your passion? What would you like to continue doing as you grow older? For some people, it’s their garden. For other people, it’s cooking, reading, or watching TV. This personal approach really helps people to take action and motivates them.
Meet AHWGO’s Head Turner, Susanne Stadler
- Founder & Executive Director of boundary-breaking nonprofit, At Home With Growing Older
- One of the newest Head Turners featured by Shonda Rimes’ global media company, Shondaland
- Architect, including for the Wallis Annenberg GenSpace, an innovative community space for older adults in Los Angeles
- Advocate and facilitator of Aging 360 workshops on age-friendly design
What makes a Head Turner?
Head Turners are women crushing it in their careers and chosen to have in-depth interviews featured on Shondaland, the pioneering storytelling company founded by Shonda Rhimes who has produced, along with Betsy Beers, award-winning series including “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” “For The People” and “Station 19.”
The interview highlights Aging 360, a workshop that teaches older adults about simple adaptations to their homes that allow them to live longer independently. Aging 360 was developed by age-inclusive architect, Susanne Stadler, and members of At Home With Growing Older’s interdisciplinary team and has been facilitated successfully both in-person and online.
Susanne Stadler recently contributed her expertise to the design of the innovative Wallis Annenberg GenSpace, a new LA based senior community center that is all about connecting visitors through its spatial design and programs. Read more in these articles by the NYTimes and Inside Philanthropy.
The age-friendly design practices, connection, safety, comfort and delight that participants work with in the Aging 360 workshops were also the core-principles in the design of the Wallis Annenberg GenSpace.
“…to me, the current success of GenSpace is partly a testament to the power of good design.” – Excerpt of article by Wendy Paris, Inside Philanthropy
AHWGO is looking to a future where everyone can be ‘at home with growing older’ in a home and community of their choice.
For more information or questions regarding AHWGO’s Aging 360 workshop, please contact Susanne Stadler.
Follow @AHWGO on social media for announcements about upcoming events.
Gallery photos of AHWGO’s Aging 360 workshop at the Wallis Annenberg GenSpace in 2023 by Brandon James.