Free monthly series to help seniors take ‘positive actions’

By Amy Geiszler-Jones | January 3, 2019

A seminar about downsizing and senior living options was just the “incentive” that Joe and June Miller needed.

With information gleaned from that seminar, the Millers felt more confident about making the decisions to sell their home of 29 years, getting rid of some of their possessions and moving to a senior living community.

“I’d been talking about downsizing but he was against it and I was for it,” Jane Miller, 79, said on a recent morning as space planners measured furniture in the couple’s westside home in preparation for their upcoming move. 

Joe Miller, 82, said the seminar helped him realize there are resources and experts in the community to help people like him and his wife make decisions. “A lot of people our age or near it don’t know what’s available. They need to know to they can make the best decisions available,” said Miller, a retired military veteran.

Katherine Ambrose, who hosted that seminar, is now starting a series of free monthly seminars to help seniors learn about living healthier lives, decluttering, downsizing, avoiding scams, making retirement living decisions and communicating one’s wishes with adult children. Each seminar will include three to four local experts on the topics.

Ambrose is calling it the Empowered Senior Series because she wants the 90-minute seminars to be more informed rather than overwhelmed, she said. “I want to inspire people to take positive actions to benefit their life.” She has been a licensed Realtor for more than 20 years. 

The series will debut Thursday, Jan. 10, with a panel of experts, including a registered nurse, who will share tips on healthy habits in the seminar “Living to be 100.” 

The sessions will be held from 10-11:30 a.m. the second Thursday of the month (except for May 16 and Dec. 3) at Botanica. The seminars are open to not only senior citizens, but also to those who have an interest in planning ahead or are helping advise a loved one. Attendees will also receive complimentary admission to visit Botanica’s gardens after the seminar.

Stephanie Warren, community relations coordinator with the Kansas Masonic Home and a scheduled panelist for one of the seminars, likes the diversity of the series Ambrose is putting together. While several senior communities, including the KMH, host seminars about senior living options, sometimes folks are reluctant to sign up because they think it will be a sales pitch, she said.

That’s one thing that won’t happen at the Empowered Senior series, said Ambrose. While some of the presenters and experts may have businesses or services for the mature market, the seminars aren’t about making sales pitches, she said. 

Warren suggests taking free, no-obligation tours of senior living communities to get an idea of services and costs, and moving when you have more choices and not when you absolutely need to. “You might have to move in to the only available space at the time and it might not be what you like.”

For details and topics of the Empowered Senior Series, visit or call 316-686-4500. 

Contact Amy Geiszler-Jones at