How We Grow Old

Stories of Aging in Oregon and Beyond

What are the stories that shape how we think about growing old? How do we acknowledge the unique differences among aging individuals and separate the true stories from the myths? How do we accept the wisdom of our elders’ experiences while also recognizing new ideas about what it means to age in America? No matter our age, we all hear and tell stories about growing older that reflect our own ideals and fears—and the ideals and fears of our communities. Join facilitator Melissa Madenski as we look at the power of story in a conversation that will ask you to share your own experiences and ideas about aging and listen to the perspectives of others in your community.



Melissa Madenski | Portland

Melissa Madenski is an educator who has worked throughout the Northwest in public and private schools. As a Northwest Writing Institute Associate at Lewis & Clark College, she taught graduate core classes and facilitated grants that took writing programs to rural Oregon towns. At the coast, she built library programs for families, taught life skills to incarcerated adults, and prepared young adults—who had immigrated or sought asylum—to enter college-level writing classes. Most recently, she coordinated programs for the Multnomah County Library to assist patrons pursuing personal goals in literacy, including citizenship study, English language practice, improving reading levels, and obtaining GEDs. Her poems and essays have appeared in magazines, newspapers, and anthologies. She raised her family on Slab Creek Road, a neighbor to the Siuslaw Forest where they lived at the edge of South Tillamook County. 

Program Themes

Community , Health , Justice

Equipment Needs