I'm a retirement & aging champion, believing it's a process to be celebrated. I studied with an aging "master" (my mother, Sis) but I also have a formal education in gerontology at Ryerson University, continuing and adult education at University of Victoria, and psychology at Lakehead University. After 30+ years working with seniors in a variety of capacities, I retired from full-time work as a community developer for the city of Thunder Bay and launched my business, Age BIG, to help others.
I'm a Certified Retirement Coach, helping folks plan the non-financial aspects of retirement. I'm an aging consultant, creating community events and activities that bring people together. I'm a communicator (speaker, writer, blogger, storyteller) and I specialize in stories about seniors.
First place and the People's Choice award at the 2019 Social Innovation Challenge (United Church of Canada)
Superior Northerner Award 2017, presented by the Hon. Patty Hajdu, MP
Influential Community Trailblazer Award, Influential Women of Northern Ontario Awards 2015
Teaching Award of Excellence, Confederation College, 2000
Thunder Bay Press Club, Best Radio Feature, 1995
My mother, Sis Angus, lived BIG - Boldly, Inquisitively, Gratefully.
Her journey started in 1918 in Emo, Ontario, a small community on the shores of the Rainy River in northwestern Ontario. Until February 2020, she packed so much into every day. She is a role model and mentor to many, and she demonstrated by example how to live BIG every day. At 101+ she still inspired folks to live by her 5-word philosophy: Hug. Smile. Walk. Talk. Help.
I have created a blog inspired by her teachings and all those funny stories we encounter along the journey of life. You don't have to have known Sis to enjoy her advice and learn from her. Look around and find someone like Sis who inspires you in your backyard. You can even be a Sis for someone else! Start now.
Join our effort to create a "Sis-Wave" for healthy seniors and socially connected communities!
I also work with a team that I call the Sis Squad: Kassandra Fernandes, MPH, PhD Student in Health & Rehabilitation Sciences, and Melissa Dafoe, BSW. With educational and practical experience in gerontology and community health and wellbeing promotion, we work together on creative, innovative projects that engage older adults and support them in aging BIG. Contact me to learn more about our services!