International Leader on Longevity to Keynote WesleyLife 75th Anniversary Event

JOHNSTON, IA—Dr. Laura Carstensen, the Fairleigh S. Dickinson Jr. professor in public policy and professor of psychology at Stanford University, created ‘The New Map of Life,’ which predicts that people born after 2050 can expect to live 100 years or longer—and she challenges society to redesign itself to prepare for that new norm.

She’ll speak to this and other changing perspectives around aging as she keynotes WesleyLife’s 75th anniversary celebration next month.

Carstensen, who also serves as principal investigator for the Stanford Life-Span Development Laboratory, led her team in the creation of a framework by which people can expect to live longer—and can also ensure those extra years are lived meaningfully and purposefully.

“As WesleyLife celebrates our past while reimagining the future of our organization—and of attitudes toward aging!—Dr. Carstensen’s ‘Map of Life’ can help us all understand and invest in the bonus years that could be afforded to us by expanded lifespans,” said Rob Kretzinger, president and CEO of WesleyLife. “Dr. Carstensen’s work around not only longevity but quality of life speaks to what we continually work to accomplish as we strive to change attitudes toward aging. Her work supports WesleyLife’s health-and-well-being mindset, premise and goals, and ties perfectly to what we hope will be a vibrant, active future for all.”

WesleyLife, Iowa’s most comprehensive nonprofit provider of health and well-being services, will celebrate its 75th anniversary on July 7 at Horizon Events Center in Clive, with an afternoon of speakers and activities.

In addition to a catered lunch and addresses by Kretzinger and Carstensen, the event will feature a 70 foot long “story wall”—a chalkboard on which residents and team members from all WesleyLife locations, as well as individuals throughout Iowa and Illinois, have written answers
to the question, “What would I tell my future self?” The walls were delivered to each WesleyLife location, and events were held on those campuses to invite individuals from inside and outside the community to add their perspectives. The walls will be transported back to Des Moines and joined together for the event.

“As we prepare to celebrate, it’s crucial to draw in not only our own residents and team members, but also those who live beyond our walls to form the geographic communities that we are a part of,” Kretzinger said. “As a thought leader around perceptions toward aging, we want to invite others to think about life’s journey and what they’ve learned along the way. It will be poignant at the celebration to see a public display of perspectives from all generations about what it means to age.”