Monday, June 23, 2014

Bertha D. Cooper - Ready for the Young of Old Age

Taking the Plunge

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My first impression upon meeting Bertha Cooper was her open and joyful face.   She breathed optimism and was an impressive listener.   I learned later that she was a very experienced facilitator for groups and organizations in conducting workshops and forums. She has a background in nursing and hospital administration.  She is also passionate about issues and works to have an influence on the course of events.
            Then she interviewed me for a book she was writing about women aging in America.  I found myself revealing more to her about my aging process than I had to anyone else in my life.  She has a gift of making a person feel accepted and special that I truly admire.  Her book is now complete and she is looking for a publisher.   By Carrol Hull
Bertha D. Cooper

            When I arrived in my sixties, I realized that despite or maybe because of spending decades working with ailing aging people, I wasn’t ready to be old. I didn’t really know what to expect besides illness and disability. So, I embarked on learning about natural aging which soon morphed into research into healthy and positive aging. I spent over three years writing a book on Women and Aging to answer my own questions and those of the women I involved in the conversation. I came to believe that women long for this conversation about aging in an environment that pushes anti-aging, one of the more absurd notions of our time.
I enjoy meeting with groups of women to talk about aging as a woman (the topic of my yet to be published book).  I have also facilitated, as a volunteer facilitator, initial discussions for non-profit groups who have found their mission changing usually due to growing membership and wish to constructively involve their membership in defining new directions.
I hope my book will be published and shared. In the meantime, I am entering the young of old age and I am ready.


  1. Who are you? List 5 words that define you!
Bright – Curious – Loving – Analytical – Creative

  1. What have you done that you’re most proud of?
I independently obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing in an environment of little encouragement (financially or otherwise) from family, society, and counselors. That degree opened the door to my good life. It was possible to work to afford college then; I am saddened and alarmed that women and men cannot do the same today.

  1. If you could change one thing in your past, what would it be?
My first name.

  1. On a personal/client level, what drives you crazy? What gives you joy? 
I am most driven to straighten crooked ideas or at least poke them. Some are more serious than others. The most serious to me is the ease at which people will discredit the life and accomplishments of another or others in order to be right, to keep power and/or feel superior among other things. 

My joy of life comes from having a great love in my life and a great love for the human experience. I’m captivated by the seasons of nature. AND tulips give me great joy and laughs because they grow even after they are picked and following a final burst of beauty, they fall apart.

  1. Given no restrictions (i.e. money/physical capabilities) – what would you most like to do?    
Hmm – I pretty much like what I am doing although I could pay experts to build a platform from which I could sell my writing. I find some of social media tedious to maintain when I am ready to go on to the rest of my bucket list of causes.

Me, my Great Love, and my Granddaughter - the artist.

Bertha’s column appears in The Sequim Gazette the first Wednesday of every month, typically placed on the editorial page.

Bertha’s e-mail is 

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