What do we say when our friends and loved ones experience times of transition, loneliness or loss?

Join us for Compassionate Conversations, a panel discussion where we explore how to care for people who are close to us who are aging and are experiencing transition, loneliness or loss. Panelists will share practical strategies for talking about various issues and how to have conversations with your family and friends about important life matters. 

Panelists include: 

George Fuller, Silver Compassion

     Dr. George Fuller is the founder and executive director of Silver Compassion. Silver Compassion is a        nonprofit organization that helps aging adults and their families navigate the complexities of the              second half of life through education, collaborative planning and by connecting to vital community          resources. George has been a minister since 1977. A trained Mediator since 2011. A Certified Senior            Advisor since 2012. He saw the need for Silver Compassion and developed his Life Compass Planning      Protocol during 13 years as a caregiver for he and his wife’s parents.

Rich Gwaltney, Transitions Life Care (formerly Hospice of Wake County)  

     Rich Gwaltney serves as the Community Engagement Representative for Transitions LifeCare                    (founded as Hospice of Wake County in 1979). He has over twenty-four years of experience serving in      non-profit organizations in both education and spiritual care. Rich received his graduate degree in            Educational Leadership from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio in 2000. Most recently he and          his family returned from a five year adventure in Malaysia where he served as the Spiritual Life                  Director at an international school. Rich has a lifelong passion to engage people of all ages                        concerning the issues that matter the most in life.

Beth Howard, Full Life Counseling

     Beth Howard is a licensed professional counselor here in Raleigh who specializes in grief counseling,      addiction and life transitions. She is an alumna of Meredith College and completed her graduate              work in mental health counseling at Pace University in New York. She currently works with Full Life          Counseling and Recovery in Raleigh. Beth became interested in the field of grief and loss when she          lost her father at a young age.  Since this time, she has dedicated herself to learning about the                  journey of grief, how friends and family members experience loss and how to help an individual                move with life again instead of moving on. Grief is not only something associated with the death of a        loved one, but also intersects with addiction and life transitions. Life transitions like aging and                  retirement, happen throughout our life, but often times they take us by surprise. Talking about the            grief journey and exploring fears of the unknown are an important first step on the journey.

Lauren Maxie, NC Planning

     Lauren is one of the few people that can talk about Estate Planning and Elder Law without putting          her audience to sleep. She developed an interest in legal planning early in her career and has                    become a key advisor to NC Planning’s clients. Whether it is drafting a complex estate plan, putting a      family foundation in place, or walking a client through the sale of their business, Lauren never breaks      under pressure, and she always remains a solid source of guidance for her clients. Her passion for            providing her clients with the highest level of service and expertise is what makes her such an                  excellent attorney.

Phyllis Mayo, Springmoor Retirement Community

     Rev. Phyllis Mayo is a former member of Forest Hills, and has worked at Springmoor Retirement                Community since 1984. She previously served as the Activities Director, and later as the Social                  Worker for Health Center. Since 1992, she has been Springmoor's chaplain. Rev. Mayo is currently a          member of Hayes Barton Baptist Church.

Questions for Panelists: 

  1. What do I do when someone I care about is getting older and showing signs of aging but doesn’t want to talk about it?

  2. I am getting older and feel like I need to do a better job getting my estate and last wishes in order. I feel overwhelmed by everything I think I’m supposed to do. (legally, financially, etc.) How do I bring this up with my close friends and family?  

  3. My parents want to continue living in their home. I'm not sure it's safe for them to do so. How can I tell when it's no longer safe or appropriate for them to live in their home, and how can I talk to them about this?

  4. Now that I am older, I feel like my children who are all working and caring for their families are just too busy for me. I invite them to come to see me and try to plan events for our family, but they always seem to have other things going on. How do I talk about this with them?

  5. Over the past few years, many of my closest friends have passed away. Sometimes I feel isolated and like my world is getting smaller. I know that many of my friends are thinking about this as well. How can we talk about it?  

  6. I'm not sure what my parents' wishes are for their funeral, end of life care, etc; they've never raised the subject with me, and I'm not sure how to bring it up. How can I talk about these topics that are so important to me with them?

  7. I often feel awkward or uncomfortable when visiting an older adult in the hospital. I don't know what to do, what to talk about, or what not to talk about. Do you have any advice or tips that will help me in these situations?

  8. My dad passed away a couple of years ago, and my mother who is in her 70’s and who lives on a fixed income is considering remarriage. I’m concerned that if she gets married again that it will have a negative impact legally and financially. I am also concerned about how it will impact our family. How do I talk about this important topic with my mother?

  9. I'm the primary caregiver for my spouse. How do I know when it is time for someone else to help with the care, whatever that may be?


Join us in the Fellowship Hall at Forest Hills Baptist Church on February 22 from 6:15 - 7:30 pm, as our panelists address your questions.