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THE WOMEN OF TTN

Our members are the heart and soul of The Transition Network.  Our chapters are born, nurtured and grown through the vision and energy of these exceptional women. And they come to TTN with wonderful life stories of successful careers, diverse families, and plentiful life experiences to share.  

Browse through our Member Profiles to learn more about what brought our members to this point in their lives, what they are hoping to accomplish next and how they view their impact on the world.

Joy Loverde


Meet Chicago member Joy Loverde. Joy owns her own business, www.elderindustry.com is a well-known mature market consultant and expert in the area of positive aging. Her second book, Who Will Take Care of Me When I’m Old? (Da Capo Press, 2017) was published in October. Her own life transitions have led Joy to the work she is doing today. The interview was conducted and written by Nancy Gendimenico, TTN Marketing and Operations staff member.
 
NG - You share in your new book Who Will Take Care of Me When I’m Old? the significant transitions you've made in your own life. It’s so fitting given our mission at The Transition Network is to support women 50+ in their personal and professional transitions. After 20 years in the advertising business, what led to your work in the positive aging field?
 
JL - Certain incidents opened my eyes and stayed with me. As a 14-year-old, I volunteered at a nursing home as a school assignment on Thanksgiving. When I went to the home with my teacher, Sister Dorothy, I saw seven people sitting in the dark. I knew something was wrong. Where were their families on this day of giving thanks? This question continued to plague me for the next 20 years. When I turned 40 and was unfulfilled in my advertising career, I sought the advice of a career coach which led to writing my first book, The Complete Eldercare Planner (Random House, 2009) now in its 6th edition.
 
NG - What motivated you to write your second book?
 
JL - As I was conducting parent-care keynote presentations around the country, adult children would come up to me after my talk and say, “My parents have me. Who will help me when I am old?” But the timing to write about this subject matter wasn’t quite right. Even subject matter has transition qualities! I watched the trends in solo aging and the topic on eldercare was evolving. I was also observing my role models, older people who were successful as they aged. One key was that they were spending more time on their actual transitions rather than complaining about the changes that were happening to them. We know change events are external, whether that’s living with a chronic disease or losing a spouse. Transition is internal. We may be in transition but living in limbo for a while. Sitting with uncomfortableness can be constructive or destructive. This is the book that addresses all the transitions we deal with as we age.
 
NG - How long did the writing process take from idea inception to publication?
 
JL - Four years. My book proposal alone took a year and half to clarify content, format and identification of future trends. My agent’s feedback helped to shape the proposal. Then my agent took it to Da Capo and it got bought right away. The publisher wanted it in nine months. I had to get the complete support of my husband, friends and family. I spent time in Scottsdale, Arizona for 4-6 weeks periods to write. I’ve had five editors, including my husband who is first line editor and thanks to all the support, I was able to turn the book in ahead of time.
 
NG - We have many TTN members who are writers. What advice do you have for those who want to complete a book and publish in today's market?
 
JL - Consider why your book should exist. Writers need to understand the process and the many moving parts in publishing. If a writer wants to go the traditional publishing route, getting an agent is a must. Read up on finding an agent. Once an agent is secured, you may need to take feedback from the agent on the proposal and get that done before writing the book. And when it comes to promotion of the book after publication, you can’t write a book today without being active on social media.
 
NG - What kinds of reader feedback have you received since the book launched last month? Are you surprised by the comments and questions on your topic?
 
JL - The book reviews have been extremely positive. I sought the blessing of many experts on the content. As part of my book-writing process, I also read the bad book reviews on Amazon on similar subject matter topics and the same for relevant articles. This helped me as I didn’t want leave anything salient out.
 
NG - Who Is Going to Take Care of Me When I'm Old? is chock full of valuable resources and references. How much time did you spend on research versus the writing?
 
JL - 50/50 time split. I had to stay on deadline with publisher, but I had to keep resources up to date until the last day before printing. After that, I use social media to update my info. By the way, your work is not done after the book launches. A new phase starts with the promotion. As part of the promotion process, I’ve taken the book apart to do videos, articles, blog posts, interviews, talks and key notes, all to help readers digest the material.
 
NG - Speaking of resources, references and inspiration, the lovely depiction of your friend Martin in Chapter 1 stuck with me. Who else has inspired and influenced your work, be it lay people and experts?
 
JL - Many people have a “Don’t” plan as they age. I have a “Do” plan. I surround myself with people who are at least 20 years older and 20 years younger than me. People in positive aging and eldercare are helping to make changes in the medical and housing communities. I have been spending many waking hours with people in the aging field and end of life. I can talk about it all day long. My mom is greatest teacher in terms of transition. She says she is proud of me and I love that she can be with me at age 91. We have an ideal housing scenario which allows her to foster her own independence. Mom and I live in the same apt building four floors apart. She moved in after her husband died. I have encouraged her to take better care of herself and been influential in introducing Mom to the treadmill.
 
I truly believe in TTN’s mission to support women in their many phases of change after 50. I want to help women and foster that the transition is not over – there are many elements and it can take on a life of its own. Other situations with our health, finances, caregiving, relationships, and housing come up left and right.
 
NG - What suggestions do you have for those in partnered relationships when one partner is more focused on aging consciously than the other? In other words, how do you encourage a partner who is not interested in being the CEO of his or her body to change their thinking?
 
JL - We are all influenced by different things. Are you an influencer for your loved one? Different people may be influencing you regarding work or exercise. When you don’t have influencers, we suggest finding others who might take on that role. For example, a grandchild can be influential in getting a grandparent to quit smoking. They can be very helpful in showing us how to use social media and other technology. My advice is if you don’t have a grandchild, go rent one!
 
NG - For those with a chronic illness, or receiving a diagnosis such as pre-diabetes, what's the very first step you'd recommend they take?
 
JL - Address the money issue. Understand how much your care is going to cost. Go to various associations for support. These organizations have a wealth of information. For example, the American Diabetes Association, Alzheimer’s Association, and Parkinson’s Foundation. are great resources.
 
NG - Towards the end of the book you discuss the art of slowing down. Are you following your own advice? What's next for you now that you have written two books and are a recognized expert in positive aging? 
 
JL - I have made a commitment to this wonderful concept called sleep. I take long walks and build in more time to walk where I want to go in the city. I am letting my new book do its work and I’m open to where it will lead me next. I’m not afraid of long periods of silence since the book got published as I know people are thinking about what I wrote. It’s exciting to see things happening in the aging field and the professionals coming up with more ideas about solo aging. I’m open to them telling me how I can help.

More and more isolated groups are putting together communities, like TTN’s women. Utilizing more than one brain mean the outcomes can be much bigger. My book opened a can of worms to facilitate solutions for solo aging and I’m glad to encourage the conversation.