KPFK-FM radio co-host Dr.

Connie Corley interviews Joan on

the program, Experience Talks. 

00:00 / 21:39

As an elder in retirement, Joan Englander has moved into a contemplative life of reflection and poetry, wishing to leave a legacy of her life's work with elders.

 

As founder of Healing Companions, she developed a holistic pioneering vision for eldercare. For thirty years she taught elders and nursing staffs, served as in-service trainer for geriatric care facilities, gave presentations in Hospice, churches, synagogues and retirement centers. She is a holistic eldercare coach for families and friends.

 

A former journalist, musician and dancer, Joan Englander’s work included creative Tai Chi in wheelchairs, musical conversations with mentally disturbed elders, poetry, prayer, and humor for healing. She facilitated deep listening and dialogues on the meaning of life and feelings about death in care homes.

 

In 1983 she went to an ecumenical gathering in Rome as a journalist and later had a private, life-transforming meeting with Mother Teresa. A series of cataclysmic experiences including the death of a close friend and a serious injury brought her face to face with her own suffering. The healing she received for her own losses profoundly influenced her groundbreaking work as a Healing Companion.

 

As presenter and workshop leader at the Aging and Sage-ing Conference in North Carolina, at the Positive Aging Conference in Los Angeles and in a series of workshops at the Ojai Retreat in California, she brings forth her concept of Healing Companions to the broader public.

 

After a two-year pilgrimage to Egypt, India, and Israel where she studied spiritual healing traditions, she journeyed yearly for retreats to a Big Sur monastery in California, the New Camaldoli Hermitage. Those 25 years at the Hermitage, in addition to a Jungian perspective, helped inform her work. Currently she lives in Ojai, California.

 

—Dr. Bernie Siegel, Ph.D., author of  Love, Medicine and Miracles speaks of her book, Joy in the Evening of Our Lives: “An excellent guidebook for achieving a full life. Read it now and learn to live before your sun sets. Loved the work and the stories.”