Empowering Independence

Empowering Independence

An intergenerational conversation of inspired stories sprinkled with truth and wisdom for aging successfully.


November 29, 2023 619 mins

Join Marilyn and co-host Britni as they answer some of our listener questions on aging.

1:11  My parents are in a house that is too large for them.  How do I start helping them downsize?

4:25. What is an advance directive and who needs one?

8:05.  What does aging successfully really mean?


For more information on Villagesokc check out https://villagesokc.org/

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Marilyn and co-host Amy talk with Brian Banks about his heart for business and people.

Brian Banks is an entrepreneur at heart. His experience has spanned healthcare, leadership, service, and distribution. Brian has led a third-generation family business, new business start-ups, and has participated in industry consolidations and acquisitions. 

Currently, he owns and operates strategic companies which provide Home Health Care, Pers...

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Marilyn and co-host Dana talk with Brigadier General Ben T. Robinson about his tenure as an Air Force General.


In 2019, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt appointed Ben T. Robinson as the Oklahoma Secretary of Military and Veteran Affairs.  In this position, Ben was responsible to the Governor for the successful execution of the Governor’s policy and guidance to state veteran agencies and support of Oklahoma’s military installations a...

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This is the second episode dedicated to veterans as we approach Veterans Day Nov 11, 2024.

Marilyn and co-host Dana talk with Gary Banz about his service, as well as what he has done as a veteran to honor other veterans.

Gary Banz completed his 28-year public educator career at Midwest City High School in 1998.  He was a teacher/coach in the Putnam City school district from 1970 to 1982 and at Ada High School from 1982 to 1985. 


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This is the first of 3 episodes dedicated to Veterans, as Veterans Day Nov 11th 2024 approaches.

Marilyn and co-host Dana talk with veteran Lucy Schoals about how she came to be in the military, what it was like for a woman and what she learned while serving.


Chief Master Sergeant Lucy “Marshall” Shoals served as the Recruiting & Retention Superintendent for Head Quarters (HQ), Oklahoma Air National Guard and she holds a Bach...

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Marilyn and co-host Dana have a conversation with Julie Davis about how she had experience in the aging field and suddenly had real life experience with her father's diagnosis.

As a firm believer in the power of belonging and healthy living, Julie has long been a champion for the lifestyle todays older adults are looking for. 

Julie has spent over 25 years as an advocate for older adults. Her career began at the YMCA of Metropolita...

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Co-hosts Marilyn and Amy talk with Mark Ivy about his journey with low vision and how life isn't over when you lose your vision.

Mark Ivy was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He attended the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, where he served as an intern for Senator James Lankford’s office during his senior year. He currently works for NewView Oklahoma as their Financial Development Manager  and Public Policy Advocate. 


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Co-hosts Marilyn and Amy talk with Dr. Kevin White about a new and fresh approach to your healthcare. 


Dr. White is focused on the applied science of longevity and wellness. His goal is for patients to live long, live better, optimize performance, and increase lifespan while improving healthspan and enriching cognition, and physical and emotional health. 


This occurs by delaying the onset of chronic disease. Simply stated, Dr. ...

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Host Amy Shirola talks with Marilyn Olson and Dana Bellows about The GIFT Workshop highlighting the importance of being prepared for a crisis or life transition and how this workshop can make that a smoother process for everyone involved.



For more information on The GIFT Workshop or to register https://villagesokc.helpfulvillage.com/pages/10042-gift-homepage

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Co-hosts Marilyn and Amy talk with Dawn Hopkins about her unique life experiences and how she lives without fear, doing the things she loves!


Dawn Hopkins is the President of Oklahoma City Town Hall for the 2023-2024 season.  She and her husband moved here from Scottsdale, Arizona, 6 years ago.  While in Arizona, Dawn ran the Sonoran Speakers Club for 11 years, bringing nationally known speakers to the Scottsdale area. Dawn is a ...

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Marilyn and Co-host Amy talk with Kay Stout about how her life was affected by tragedy and how she worked through it by creating a pet rescue.

Kay Stout's experience includes her current work in animal-rescue consulting, as a public speaker/radio personality and as a writer/researcher/blogger.

Her nonprofit management experience includes Stout's service as the executive director of Second Chance Animal Sanctuary ("Dogs of Lexington...

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Co-hosts Marilyn and Dana talk with Medicare expert Ginny Curtis about the tips and tricks to getting the best out of your Medicare coverage.


Born in Chicago, Ginny moved to OK when she was a teenager. She got licensed in 1985.She began selling products, as well as major medical, long-term care and annuities to state and federal employees. In the year 2000, her mother became Medicare eligible. Ginny, believing that she had all th...

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Cohosts Marilyn Olson and Amy Shirola talk with professional guardian John Branscum about some of the things he encounters as a Professional Guardian.


In addition to a degree in Oral Communications from Central State University (1975) your Guardian Angel client care specialist, John Branscum, brings a wide range of knowledge and experience to the field of home client care.

With a Junior Accounting degree from Blackwood Business C...

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Marilyn and co-host Amy talk with Mark Cope and Glenn Cope about the passion that began Nerve Renewal and how it offers hope to so many in pain.

Glenn Cope II is a Co-Founder and Director of Marketing who holds a BA in Advertising and has over 30 yrs experience in both traditional print, broadcast media, and internet marketing. His experience comes from both freelance and corporate settings. Glenn also has entrepreneurial experienc...

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Cohosts Marilyn Olson and Amy Shirola talk with Chris and Dr. Nikki Buckelew of Mature Moves/Buckelew Realty about why they have a passion for mature adults and helping them transition between living spaces.


Chris and Dr. Nikki Buckelew are native Oklahomans who own and operate three Oklahoma City based senior-centered businesses. They have been married for nearly 25 years and have two children and four grandchildren ranging in a...

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June 7, 2023 15 mins

Join Host Marilyn and co-host Britni as they answer some listener questions about aging!


1:15 - Downsizing and planning for aging, we don't want to move from our neighborhood.  What are our options?

3:32 - I'm worried about what will happen to my pets should something happen to me.

6:38 - Mom is in memory care, constantly at the ER, what do I do?

10:32 - Mom has fallen and refuses to use a cane, she lives alone, what do we do?


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Co-hosts Marilyn and Dana talk with CEO of NewView Oklahoma about how NewView helps those with vision impairments or low vision to be come independent.


Lauren Branch is the President/CEO of NewView Oklahoma and has been in this role for almost 26 years. A Houston, Texas native, Lauren received her bachelor’s degree in accounting and business administration from Texas A&M University. Lauren serves as the current board chairperson ...

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Co-hosts Marilyn and Dana talk with attorney Rick Martin about why you need to get your affairs in order before something happens and just what exactly you need to have done to prepare.


Rick Martin is the owner and managing partner of The Bethany Law Center, LLP. Rick’s desire is to provide personalized service to individuals and small business clients in the greater Oklahoma City area. Rick specializes in Trusts and other forms ...

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Co-hosts Dana and Marilyn talk with Shelley Stutchman about going through multiple life changes in one season, and how her approach made a difference.

Shelley is a recent breast cancer survivor and is writing a book shedding light on the physical and emotional things that happen to you that no one talks about. Shelley works full-time as a community liaison at Epworth at Home, Home Health and Hospice. Shelley founded Lemonade Ladies...

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May 10, 2023 19 mins

Host Marilyn Olson along with co-host Britni Bergman answer our listeners questions about aging.

01:20 - Conflicted about whether or not to take children to funerals

02:56 - When is a good time to plan?

04:39 - #1 thing to do to prepare

06:17 - My 3 siblings and I are not on the same page about what to do about our parents.

10:26 - When do I need to start talking to my parents about an aging plan?

14:18 - Our friends are rapidly de...

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