Thriving While Aching

A podcast that inspires and teaches you how to live a fuller life while safely managing pain.

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Thriving While Aching is a podcast series hosted by Laurie Ferguson, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist and certified health coach, showcasing stories of older adults doing what they love while also living with aches and pains.

In this series, Dr. Ferguson talks with older adults to find out how they’ve embraced aging (and aches) while still doing the things that bring them joy. Listen to their journeys.

Thank you to our nonprofit partners National Council on Aging (season 1) and (season 2) for their insight, guidance, and support.

Thriving While Aching Episodes

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In the second season of ‘Thriving While Aching,’ we shift the spotlight to caregivers and care partners who play a crucial role in supporting their loved ones as they age. Join us on a journey as we explore how these compassionate individuals navigate obstacles, learn valuable lessons, and triumph over adversity.


S2, Ep 1- Riding Through Life: Marilyn’s Story of Thriving and Adaptation with Her Partner

In this episode of Thriving While Aching, we meet Marilyn, who lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband, Joel, who has arthritis and was first introduced in Season 1. This season focuses on how caregivers and care partners can help their loved ones thrive as they age. Marilyn shares how she keeps Joel and herself mentally and physically active.

She teaches us that, with some adjustments, you and your loved one can continue to enjoy the things you love, albeit with a twist, and she highlights the significance of adding laughter and curiosity to help them thrive.

This season we are committed to providing practical tools for family caregivers to navigate their unique experiences. We’ll be summarizing the insightful tools shared by Mike Eidsaune from this episode through this “Caregiver Toolkit.”

Embracing Community

Mike underscores the significance of engaging and building a community, both in person and online. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. In-Person Communities: Seek opportunities to build connections with others who share similar caregiving experiences. Attend local support groups or community events to connect with like-minded individuals.
  2. Online Communities: Joining online platforms like Facebook groups can be invaluable. These digital communities provide a space to connect, share experiences, and discover valuable resources from the comfort of your home.
  3. YouTube: Explore YouTube as a powerful tool for family caregivers. You can find a wealth of connections, similar journeys, and inspirational content that resonates with your caregiving experience.

By embracing both physical and digital communities, you can foster connections, gather support, and draw inspiration from others who understand and share your caregiving journey.


S2, Ep 2- Olivia and Her Father: Weaving Stories of Care and Connection

In this touching episode, join Olivia as she navigates the intricacies of caring for her father, who is battling lung cancer. Despite her own struggles with chronic migraine, Olivia finds unique ways to bring joy and empowerment to her father’s life. From daily texts to engaging conversations in her father’s native language, Tagalog, each interaction helps build a beautiful relationship of care and connection.

This episode highlights the challenges caregivers face and illuminates the profound impact of creativity and storytelling in fostering resilience and deepening familial bonds.

Unlocking the Power of Storytelling and Legacy

Olivia’s inspirational journey reminds us of the profound impact of storytelling and preserving a legacy in caregiving. As a caregiver, you can harness the power of these tools and enhance the emotional connection with your loved ones.

  1. Photo Books: Create photo books that capture cherished moments and memories with your loved one. Compile these visual stories to celebrate their life journey.
  2. Biography Books: Craft personalized biography books to document their life story, experiences, and wisdom. This written legacy can be treasured for generations.
  3. Voice Memo Apps: Use voice memo apps on your smartphone to record conversations, anecdotes, and stories shared with your loved one. These audio recordings offer a heartfelt glimpse into their life.
  4. Storii: Explore the Storii platform, a user-friendly tool that simplifies the process of capturing and preserving stories. Share and celebrate your loved one’s narrative effortlessly.
  5. Daily Text Messages: Send daily text messages filled with love, encouragement, or simply checking in on your loved one. These small acts of connection foster emotional well-being.
  6. Phone Calls: Regular phone calls provide a chance to engage in meaningful conversations and stay connected, even when physical distance separates you.
  7. Personalized Letters: Craft heartfelt letters expressing your thoughts, memories, and appreciation. These tangible tokens of affection hold lasting value.


S2, Ep 3- Filling the Gaps, From Challenge to Change: Aisha’s Story of Resilience

In this episode, we dive into the unique story of Aisha, a young Black woman who stepped into the role of caregiver when her mother was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia. Facing the dual challenges of her youth and a lack of caregiving resources tailored for her cultural background, Aisha’s journey is one of remarkable resilience and innovation.

Aisha shares her personal struggles and triumphs, detailing how she navigated uncharted territories to create a supportive and essential community and resources for caregivers like her.

Explore Information Through Online Resources

Tools: Online Resources, Area Agencies on Aging, National Associations

Aisha’s journey emphasizes the importance of exploring and finding information about the caregiving journey. Remember, knowledge is power. Family caregivers often face complex challenges, from understanding medical conditions to navigating resources and systems for older adults. To kickstart this process, Mike suggests exploring online resources. Some resources that listeners can utilize are the Area Agency on Aging (AAA), the Department of Health Services, the National Council on Aging, the Alzheimer’s Association, AARP, and

Utilize Community Support

Tools: National Associations,, Local Resources, Caring Across Generations

Aisha’s ability to go deep into understanding her mother’s condition and available resources showcases the impact that family caregivers possess. While it may seem like a daunting task, Mike encourages caregivers to start seeking out information in small bites. Begin with national associations and platforms like and Caring Across Generations, and then explore local resources, such as state chapters of associations and Area Agencies on Aging. Support and resources from these communities can be a crucial navigation tool for caregivers


S2, Ep 4- Companionship on the Trail: Alyssa’s Path to Caregiving

In this episode, we explore a unique facet of caregiving as Alyssa, a young woman passionate about hiking, unexpectedly forges a deep bond with an older woman (lovingly known as “new grandma”) who she met while walking her service dog Kernel. This chance encounter grows into a meaningful companionship enriched by shared walks, a mutual love for dogs and nature, and emotional support.

Together, they navigate through the obstacles of aging and the pain of loss, while celebrating the joys of friendship and shared interests like photography. Alyssa realizes that caregiving isn’t just about assistance; it’s about connection.

Diverse forms of caregiving

Tools: Embracing friendship as caregiving

Alyssa’s unique caregiving journey showcases that caregiving can take many forms, extending beyond traditional in-home activities. Caregivers can find inspiration in unconventional caregiving roles, such as forming meaningful friendships that provide support and companionship. Alyssa was able to incorporate her dog Kernel (and the rest of the dog pack) into her companionship with “new grandma” on their weekly walks in the woods. Recognizing that caregiving can take many different forms, we hope that others can incorporate some of these lessons into their routines.

Combatting Loneliness

Tools: National Institute of Senior Centers (NCOA), Papa and local libraries

Alyssa’s story touches on the powerful impact of companionship on well-being. For family caregivers facing the challenge of distance, tools like the National Institute of Senior Centers (NCOA) can help identify local community resources, such as senior centers offering activities and events. There are also community programs run through local libraries that senior citizens and their caregivers can tap into. Additionally, organizations like Papa provide companionship programs, allowing caregivers to hire outside help for their loved ones.


S2, Ep 5- Empathy and Planning: Navigating Caregiving Across Generations with Danielle and Cora

In this episode, we delve into the multifaceted world of caregiving with Danielle, a certified financial planner and caregiver for her mother, and Cora, a caregiver for her aging mother who is juggling aches and pains.

Danielle and Cora share their personal journeys of balancing self-care while providing unwavering support to their loved ones. From caring for loved ones with “invisible” conditions to handling mobility and accessibility issues, they offer valuable insights into caregiving across generations.

Join host Dr. Laurie Ferguson and expert caregiver Mike Eidsaune as they explore these compelling stories, offering a blend of empathy, practical advice, and a deeper understanding of the family caregiver journey.


S1, Ep 1- Orvie’s Story: Thriving With Grandchildren

As we get older, our bodies become havens for pain. But there are steps we can all take to keep thriving. In this episode, we meet Orvie Prewitt who was met initially with painful challenges as she aged, but has been able to find ways to manage her pain, lead an active life, and along the way came up with tips for all of us to thrive.

“I don’t want to sit and watch life go by. I want to become part of life,” says Orvie.

As an arthritis program coordinator and grandmother, Orvie shares with listeners how she’s adapted her old routine so she can continue to make lasting memories with her daughter and granddaughter.

S1, Ep 2- Beverly’s Story: Thriving Through Dance and Advocacy

For people living in pain, it could be difficult to find purpose and positivity in life. In this episode, we meet Beverly Rogers, a woman who grew up during the civil rights movement, was diagnosed with breast cancer, and who has used her experience to advocate for health care.

“When my mother got sick, when my child was diagnosed with diabetes, when my husband got Alzheimer’s, there were pieces that I could grab from my history, from my experience,” says Beverly. “I think those experiences have brought me to where I am so that now I truly believe that I am thriving.”

We also learn from Beverly how she’s taking a step back and learning to thrive through an unlikely source – Dancing.

S1, Ep 3- Joel’s Story: Thriving Through Nature

When your identity is tied to how much you live life, being forced to limit exciting activities as you age can cause you to readjust. In this episode, we meet Joel Bown, who put worthy miles on his joints through rock climbing and skiing, but who today has found other ways to re-engage, be active, and thrive.

“The key is to do what you like, as long as you can,” says Joel. “Do activities that other people are doing and befriend them. Find out if you’ve got more in common than just the fact that you’re sitting on the edge of the lake throwing food to the ducks.”

S1, Ep 4- Paula’s Story: Thriving Through Running

When you’re in pain, it can be harder to find joy in life. In this episode, we meet Paula Golladay, a double amputee who is a competitive runner and part of a supportive community. Her superpower: She uses humor as a way to appreciate life: “I can walk on hot coals, you can’t,” says Paula, laughing. “I can walk on glass, you can’t. My socks never ever, ever smell. I can wear one pair of socks for an entire year.”


Thriving While Aching

Welcome to Thriving While Aching, a podcast that inspires and teaches you how to live a fuller life while safely managing pain. Our host, Dr. Laurie Ferguson, Director of Education at Global Healthy Living Foundation, leads conversation with a variety of people who all have one thing in common: they’re living proof of aging gracefully.


The Thriving While Aching podcast features host Laurie Ferguson PhD, a health psychologist and Director of Education and Development at GHLF, and includes insights from National Council on Aging Pharmacist, Kathleen Cameron, and Mike Eidsaune, CEO of

Laurie LR

Laurie Ferguson PhD

Laurie Ferguson PhD is the Director of Education Development. As a health psychologist, she offers expertise on patient-centered programming and educational needs that come with chronic health conditions. Her area of research focuses on developing resilient attitudes and behaviors, particularly in times of chronic pain and stress. Her national and international workshops focus on dealing with transitions and life challenges.

3rd guest LR

Kathleen Cameron, BBSPharm, MPH

Kathleen Cameron, BSPharm, MPH, has more than 25 years of experience in the health care field as a pharmacist, researcher, and program director focusing on falls prevention, geriatric pharmacotherapy, mental health, long-term services and supports, and caregiving. Cameron is the Senior Director of the National Falls Prevention Resource Center.

Mike LR

Mike Eidsaune

Mike Eidsaune is the CEO of, an ecosystem and platform that helps caregivers and their loved ones live more fulfilling lives throughout their care journey. He believes that supporting family caregivers is the key to finding solutions to many of the challenges we face today in the broader healthcare landscape.

Caregiving Full Color Light

Thank you to our nonprofit partners, National Council on Aging and for their insight, guidance, and support of this project.

Since 1950, the National Council on Aging has provided the resources, tools, and advocacy our nation needs to ensure every person can age with health and financial security. Learn about them here. is committed to engaging and empowering family caregivers worldwide via a multi-faceted support model delivered through our leading-edge platform. strives to inspire a sense of community that engages and supports caregivers in building resilience and sustainability as they navigate their caregiving journey. Learn about them here.

More Resources

Trying to navigate how to safely manage our aches and pains can sometimes feel overwhelming – Global Healthy Living Foundation, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health and National Council on Aging want to help with that. Check out these resources we’ve curated below.

Living with Osteoarthritis and Preventing Falls


Choosing, Storing and Disposing OTC Medications


10 Questions to Better Understand Your Medication and Risk of Falling


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Thriving While Aching with Laurie Ferguson, PHD is a new podcast series designed by the non-profit Global Healthy Living Foundation, and made possible with support from Kenvue and our nonprofit partners National Council on Aging and Through personal conversations with older adults living with the aches and pains, this podcast showcases how you can live a fuller life while safely managing pain.