About Living Years

My Experience

Anyone who consults a counseling professional needs to be assured that the counselor they chose has the knowledge and skills necessary to help them cope more effectively with the issues they are concerned about.

My experiences include:
  • Continuing education in the field of aging,
  • Long-term care settings,
  • Community programs,
  • And presentations to small groups, organizations, and professional conferences.

I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t interested in talking with people and listening to their stories, especially the “old people.” I grew up in small towns and rural communities of Kentucky and Missouri, the daughter of a minister and a school teacher. After completing undergraduate studies at the University of Kentucky, I began my professional journey as an Extension Home Economist in a small, rural county in northern Kentucky. I went on to graduate school at Michigan State University and and work in the inner city of Lansing which exposed me to other cultures. I then moved to Iowa and raised three very active little boys. My love of life-long learning led me to a Master of Social Work from the University of Iowa.

Why I chose to work with aging adults

During my studies, I became especially interested in the challenges of aging. I would spend the next 27 years working with, and learning from older adults and their families. Those experiences have helped me develop a better understanding of aging and many of the challenges unique to older adults and their families.

I discovered that the lack of available and accessible support for mental health was a widespread and growing concern among colleagues working with older adults.  I discovered there was not a mental health professional dedicated to aging in Ames, or in the surrounding area.  Living Years Counseling is the product of a growing concern about the about the lack of mental health care and support for our aging population.  As the saying goes, “… and the rest is history.”

I will be eternally grateful to the families I worked with for the things they have helped me learn, and for trusting me to help them, and their families, manage the challenges of growing older.

I consider it a privilege to be able to help them manage the challenges of growing older.