Frequently Asked Questions - Staff

Who registers for our county?
The local program coordinator or person who has program responsibility.

Who funds Mid Life & Beyond?
Currently no outside funder has come forth, so please consider how Mid Life & Beyond can be carried out with current funding. We will continue to explore options for future funding.

How is this effort funded at ISU?
As a Families Extension and Outreach Program the Families Unit budget supports Program Specialists time and some of our travel to complete the work of Mid Life & Beyond. Likewise the counties provide for the County Coordinator’s time, travel and supplies to carry out the program in their county.

How much will it cost to offer Study Circles in my county?
Study Circles can be organized and carried out with limited funding. Things to consider include:

  • Meeting space for Study Circle discussions. Are there free spaces for small groups of up to 15 people to meet in your community? The only equipment and supplies needed are chairs for everyone and a way to take notes...preferably so all participants can see them.
  • Local marketing. Possibly the newspaper, posters around the community, emails to the clergy, local partners, and client lists.
  • Travel to Study Circle facilitator training.
  • Copies of the Study Circle discussion guide and other materials used in the program.
  • Staff time to arrange efforts and answer questions.

What additional expenses might be incurred in Phases 2 and 3?

  • DVD copies for use in your county.
  • Mileage for Volunteer Lifestyle Guides as they meet with groups in your county.
  • Regional or State meeting expenses for Volunteer Lifestyle Guides.
  • Staff time to arrange efforts and answer questions.

What dollars does a county need to plan for Mid Life & Beyond?
An Excel Expenses sheet was developed late in 2011 totaled $1,205. Contact Ruth Freeman if you would like a copy.

How will Program Specialists know which counties are participating in Mid Life & Beyond?
A map of counties participating in Mid Life & Beyond is on the Communities page.

How can Program Specialists be involved if none of the counties they serve register for Mid Life & Beyond?
If this happens, please let Ruth Freeman know and we will pair you with a county who would like assistance by phone or email.

Who would be good local Mid Life program partners?

  • Area Association on Aging
  • Clergy Association
  • Public Health
  • AARP

How many should we name to our local Study Circle planning team?
Recruitment takes time, but we believe the time you spend recruiting the planning team is critical to the success of the program. They will reduce the amount of time you will invest in the program going forward. Find 6-8 good people now and let them lead! One thing we hear time and time again from potential boomer volunteers is please let us use our skills! Those who are already retired yearn for volunteer efforts where they can be productive and make a difference. If you identify one or two of these people, they could make the program come alive with limited effort from you or your office staff!

Who would make good Study Circle planning team members?
Really anyone who has an interest in Mid Life and Beyond work. Think about people interested in the six domains of whole person wellness. Consider the following:

  • Several baby boomers – it is important to bring “midlife” people into leadership roles on this program
  • A couple of “& beyond” connected people
  • Clergy
  • Attorney, banker, CPA, broker or other business person
  • Doctor, public health, physical therapy, dietitian or other person interested in health issues
  • Someone interested in the social and intellectual wellbeing of midlife and beyond people in your community today and in the future
  • Public planners – could be elected or professional people who will consider services needed today and in the future as the boomers age
  • Local Area Agency on Aging representative

How large is the typical Study Circle?
Ideally 8-12 participants and 2 trained facilitators.

Do Mid Life marketing materials need to be used as written?
Yes, as many are IRB approved. Contact Ruth Freeman if you have concerns.

When would a county plan an action forum?
If a county has more than one Study Circle, they may like to host an action forum for all circles to meet after the four circle discussion to compare notes to identify future community efforts jointly.

Is the Action Forum a meeting for all the Study Circles in the County?
Yes, it is a time for everyone to come together to see if some goals can be worked on county wide. The group may decide to work on side ideas locally. In addition to Study Circle participants and facilitators, consider who else should be invited; decision makers – Board of Supervisors, City Councils, Public Health and other professionals who work in your county. Please invite interested members of the public also.

Do Action Forum participants complete a participant survey?
No formal survey of participants during the Action Forum.

Should we involve “local experts” during the Action Forum?
If you choose to invite “local experts” to the Action Forum, please ask them to participate in the process and ask them to meet with the planning group or groups where their expertise will be best used. Local experts may include someone from Public Health or the Area Agency on Aging as examples.

Should I bring a camera to the Action Forum?
A news release sharing the outcomes of the Study Circles and Action Forum would be a great way to share your Mid Life work with the public. A picture with the story will help report your success. If you show participant faces, please have them sign the model release form.

Can counties sign-up for Mid Life & Beyond later?
Yes, counties can register online anytime.

Do counties need to do all the phases of Mid Life & Beyond?
No, it is possible to be involved in one or two aspects of the program. Volunteer Lifestyle Guides will be trained in three ways:

  • General volunteer training will be provided by the Mid Life Team.
  • Subject matter training will come from statewide Connects or from local Program Specialists.
  • Additional training may be part of a State or Regional event.

When will Volunteer Lifestyle Guide training begin?
Volunteer Lifestyle Guide training will begin early in January 2013.

What is an estimate of time commitment?
The volunteers for the study circle steering committee will probably have 2-3 meetings to attend. Approximately 3-5 hours. The study circle facilitators will need to attend a 2-hour training. Then they will lead 4 sessions of a study circle. Approximately 12-15 hours total. County staff time could be reduced if volunteers are involved. Approximately 20 hours.

Will there be a crossover between planning committee members, study circle facilitators, and Volunteer Lifestyle Guides?
It is likely that people who get involved at any level will want to participate in other aspects of the phases. For example, a person who serves on the steering committee for the study circles may decide he wants to participate in an actual study circle. Then another person who participates in the study circle may choose to become a Volunteer Lifestyle Guide.

Will all the families program specialists be supportive and involved? Can a families program specialist come to an extension council meeting to talk about the program?
Families program specialists are aware of the program. It will be an individual decision as to what extent each one is involved. A brief presentation via telephone can work well for sharing with the extension council. This could be done by a families program specialist or a member of the Mid Life & Beyond team.

How will it work if a county wants to participate in the program at a later date?
Counties can choose to engage in the program at any phase.

Will there be additional training for the Volunteer Lifestyle Guides?
The training will be held via Connect several times a year.

Is this an interdisciplinary program?
Yes, there will be ways in which staff from Youth, Communities, and Agriculture can participate. Opportunities will unfold as study groups identify action items for their communities.

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