Take Charge/Age Well Academy

You need to take charge of your aging, or it will take charge of you.”

— Bertha Johnson, Iona client

Take Charge/Age Well AcademyYou’re independent, healthy, and active…for now. You’re also realistic. You know that there could be a time when you need extra help or care. But it might not be clear who your likely helper will be down the line. That’s why you need to plan.

Who will help me if I have a health crisis? Is it time to make a move? I want to age in place, but who can provide help if needed? What can I afford?

These questions—and countless more like them—inspired the launch of Iona’s Take Charge/Age Well Academy back in 2013. The Take Charge/Age Well Academy is designed for people who want to plan for their later life, with a focus on those who are “aging solo.” Since then, we’ve helped hundreds of older adults make a plan and find the support they need. And you can be one of them!

Aging Solo

Aging Solo is the centerpiece of the Take Charge/Age Well Academy. It is a six-week educational program to help ease your worries about your future and better equip you for whatever lies ahead. Aging Solo covers the practical aspects of planning for aging if you don’t have the support traditionally provided by family.

Specific topics include:

  • Strengthening your social network
  • Building a support network
  • Aging in place
  • Making a move

When you enroll in a Take Charge/Age Well Academy workshop or presentation, you’re giving yourself an hour or two a week to focus on yourself and address your very real concerns about the future.


Take Charge/Age Well Academy demystified the aging process. It reinforces that we are not alone, moves you to be more proactive, to be lighter, and enjoy aging.”

— Michelle Dompierre,  Take Charge/Age Well Academy alumna

Other programs

In addition to our Aging Solo curriculum, Take Charge/Age Well Academy frequently offers special single-session workshops on other valuable topics like:

  • Getting your legal documents in order
  • How to get rid of a lifetime of clutter
  • Financing long-term care
  • Preparing healthy meals for one or two people
  • And more!

Additionally, class participants find comfort meeting other people who have the same concerns about the future. Candid conversations among participants often lead to new friendships and ongoing meetups and social activities, facilitated by class participants or by Iona.

You are not alone

Maybe you’ve never been married or partnered. You might be widowed, childless, or far from family who can help. Perhaps you do have family or other loved ones right here in Washington, DC—but you don’t want to depend on them. No matter your situation, you need a plan for your aging. Take Charge/Age Well Academy can help you get started, and Iona’s other services can be there down the line.

Get involved

If you’re ready to take charge of your aging, take a look at our upcoming classes and programs below. Unless otherwise noted, all programs are held at Iona (4125 Albemarle St. NW, Washington, DC 20016). If there aren’t any classes listed, you can sign-up to receive Iona’s eNews for information on upcoming events, blog posts on planning ahead, and more. To sign-up, visit iona.org and scroll to the bottom of the webpage. For more information, please contact our community engagement coordinator at community@iona.org or call (202) 895-9448.