Aging in Action: Coaching and Referral Service

What is Aging in Action?

No one tells you how to age, and there is no self help book for what you or your family may be going through next.  At this stage, everything tends to change quickly, leaving you swirling in a mound of information from this and that specialists – not to mention what the internet says.  It is confusing and overwhelming to say the least!

Aging in Action’s mission is to encourage aging with independence and dignity by empowering our clients and their families to pursue lifestyle changes to maintain quality of life. 

Through coaching, we are able to focus on areas important to YOU and create individualized action plans and coaching check ins as you work towards your goals.  This work can be done over the phone, in person at in your home, or in the MSHL office. 

Coaching Agreement

You can expect MSHL to:

  • Meet you where you are at;
  • Provide a listening ear;
  • Assist in setting your goals and priorities;
  • Identify and develop your strengths;
  • Build your toolbox;
  • Normalize options open to aging persons;
  • Improve your perspective on aging;
  • Eliminate limiting beliefs;
  • Develop empowering habits and rituals;
  • Hold client accountable to reaching goals.

We Expect You to Have:

We believe you are in charge of their own lives, decisions, and actions.  While our coaching provides positive support, encouragement, and expertise, we expect you to have:

  • The drive to make their situation better;
  • The ability to follow through;
  • And willingness to be open and honest.
  • Are you lost on how to handle your current situation?
  • Are you not sure who you can call?
  • You know you can do it yourself, but maybe you need a point in the right direction?
  • Are you scared that your family is right about your current condition?
  • Are you frustrated your loved one isn’t living safely?
  • Are you a Care Partner or caregiver looking for extra encouragement and training?

If any of these sound like you, reach out to us.  If you are a fit, we’ll start working together right away.


Working together starts with a simple email or a phone call.  From there we develop a plan that includes your goals and how often we will touch base.

We typically recommend two weeks between sessions and a required six month check in as well as an annual review.

If it turns out you only need a referral, we are happy to provide one!  We have extensive networks in both Washtenaw and Monroe Counties.

We do suggest you donate to the service, but we will not turn anyone away for the inability to pay.

Coaching rates tend to be $100/phone call because for every one hour spent with a client, two additional hours are spent preparing materials and doing some background leg work.

We suggest $20/hour that you have spent with our Aging Life Coach OR a monthly donation of $50.

As part of our coaching program, clients can be enrolled in several other personal development activities:

  • Care Partner Network – online support group
  • Grandparents as Parents
  • Friendly Visitors
  • Medicare Counseling
  • Advance Directives Counseling
  • Medication Reviews
  • Nutrition Services
  • Group Enrichment Opportunities
        • Aging Brain Series will be every other week on Tuesdays at 11am from August- February.

Coaching clients will also be encouraged to connect with programs, activities, and services offered at MSHL’s senior activity center.

While Aging in Action will have interns from the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University supporting this program, our Aging Life Coach is Marie Gress, LMSW. 

Marie has worked across the aging spectrum in Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor.  Marie has always been drawn towards grass roots organizations passionately pouring into their community.

Marie started at MSHL in 2014 and has been working in the background to build relationships in Washtenaw and Monroe Counties to increase funds available to Milan older adults.  Along the way helping to improve service delivery and data tracking at MSHL.  She also offers aging tips in the monthly Milan Eagle newspaper.

Marie obtained her License for Master’s in Social Work in August 2018 with a focus in aging and health and is very excited to be bringing this program to our area!

Marie and her family call Milan home and enjoy a variety of activities and establishments in town.  If you see them, be sure to say hello!

Let's Get Started!