“At Senior Lifestyle Advantage magazine, we speak to those who are 55 and older, encouraging them to live a healthier, more balanced life with hope. Each issue shares expert advice, easy recipes, travel, and feature stories about living with joy.”
These words are the short version of the message that Judith Stanton, founder and publisher of Senior Lifestyle Advantage, wants to spread. Stanton’s magazine focuses on the ways in which aging can be positive and fun, a viewpoint that is sorely needed at a time when ageism marginalizes a large percentage of our population.
Reading the spring publication of Senior Lifestyle Advantage magazine inspired me to arrange an email interview with Stanton. I wanted to find out what was behind her positive take on the aging process, and she was happy to comply.
HealthCentral: Judith, what is your background? We’d like to know what made you want to start a magazine with this hopeful message about the aging process.
Judith Stanton: When our daughter went to kindergarten, I decided to finish my college education. My goal was to become a registered nurse (RN), although I chose to become a Certified Nursing Aid (CNA) as I went back to college. I believed working as a CNA would improve my critical thinking and listening skills, relationships, and occupational growth. I was excited to work full-time as a CNA earning some money, helping our family, and take nursing classes during the day, evenings, or online.
I ended up working as a CNA for almost 12 years. During this time, I helped many people who were battling chronic illnesses and death. Although nursing and healthcare were my focus, I also appreciated the opportunity to volunteer in communities and learn all I could from profit and nonprofit organizations.
Life changed our family, suddenly, when my husband was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis. I put my education on pause again to work longer hours as a CNA and become a caregiver for my husband. Our children, who were between the ages of 5 and 10, also would help care for their father when I was working.
We finally found an arthritis specialist for my husband who would provide individual attention and care interventions. The specialist has provided my husband with aggressive treatment, and he has maintained his quality of life since the diagnosis. We live one day at a time with gratefulness.
Learning extensively about chronic illnesses and taking care of patients who were living with chronic diseases every day helped me gain a better understanding of the need of providing education for our family.
I finally finished my Bachelor’s Degree in Integrated Community Service from Morningside College in 2013. It was an exciting time to seek a professional career opportunity in community and health. In 2013, I accepted a position as an assisted living administrator. Even though I had health care and community experience, managing an assisted living facility was another huge learning curve. While there, I developed resources for our residents and staff. I also got involved by volunteering with the Blue Zone in Sioux City and the American Heart Association, as well as by serving on the committee “Aging with Grace.”
I always believed that if we could make each day be their best day, our seniors would feel hope, joy, and love. I was committed to bringing in outside resources to fill their days with dignity. It only takes one person to walk across the room to make a difference in someone’s life.
I decided to continue my postgraduate education at Morningside College, where I received my Clinical Outcomes Certificate in 2014. I developed a program called “Coping with grief and loss through Alzheimer’s disease.”
This program was created and developed for families who are the caregivers. It provides an opportunity for them to express their needs for support on an individual basis. I have enjoyed volunteering with the Alzheimer’s Association and helping families find support for their parents. I wasn’t finding the ideal job, so I began the journey of entrepreneurship and founded Senior Lifestyle Advantage LLC.
I spent hours and days developing resources while traveling and networking with people in health care, assisted living facilities, and communities and became known by marketing our services. To publish a magazine for seniors was not on my radar, but I believe that God always has a plan, and this one developed into publishing. Focusing on seniors has been my passion.
HC: Who is your primary audience?
JS: Our demographic is people who are 50 and older. But we also focus on families and caregivers taking care of their parents, friends, support groups, and people who support our health and wellness and who encourage us in the best years of our life.
HC: What are your primary topics?
JS: We cover many topics, such as travel, delicious recipes, events, small business, health and wellness, faith, seasons, and sharing together. The fact that the magazine is original and changing is a big part of our vision.
HC: Do your readers prefer celebrity advice or “regular person” advice?
JS: I recently had a young lady who is about 85 years old ask, “Are you for real?” Yes! We always search for real people and consider special guests. We tell real stories, of hope, joy, success, and real life.
HC: Do you think ageism affects your readers and that your magazine may help remind them that aging isn’t all bad?
JS: Aging happens to all of us, so why not understand the individual journey and make every day your best? We are changing the way we think about aging.
HC: How can people obtain a hard copy?
JS: Printed copies of Senior Lifestyle Advantage magazine are available by request for $24 per year. Free copies are available at various locations for a limited time.
HC: Can readers download an issue, or do they simply read it online?
HC: When is your next issue coming out?
JS: Spring 2017 issue is available now. Fall/Winter 2017 issue will be available September 1, 2017.
HC: What are your goals?
JS: Our future goals include publishing a quarterly magazine. We want to produce a quality magazine that our readers, customers, and advertisers appreciate, so we are moving carefully. It takes time to design and put together all the pieces from our contributors, freelance photographers, writers, and advertisers, and we are proud of our creative team. Together we will reach our goals, making each magazine an inspiration for our readers.
HC: What makes you feel best about what you do?
JS: I am really excited to wake up each morning knowing we are making a difference as we age. I am thankful for the journey God has put before us. I am blessed by the wonderful support of my family, and friends. Our creative team brings every experience to life. Senior Lifestyle Advantage magazine is a great read, and it is my hope that our sponsors, small businesses, contributors, and seniors embrace life through our vision.
HC: Thank you, Judith Stanton, for putting your heart and soul into improving the lives and attitudes of those who are aging and those who are helping their elders enjoy aging. I hope that you continue having fun in your mission to help others.
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Carol Bradley Bursack is a veteran family caregiver having spent over two decades caring for a total of seven elders. She is a longtime newspaper columnist and the author of Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories as well as a contributor to several additional books on caregiving and dementia. Her websites can be accessed at www.mindingourelders.com. Follow Carol on Twitter @mindingourelder and on Facebook Minding Our Elders.
Carol Bradley Bursack is a veteran family caregiver who spent more than two decades caring for a total of seven elders. She is a newspaper columnist and the author of Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories. Bradley Bursack is also a contributor to several books on caregiving and dementia, and is passionate about preserving the dignity of elders. Her website is www.mindingourelders.com. Follow Carol on Twitter @mindingourelder and on Facebook at Minding Our Elders.