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Northampton Neighbors launched its Speaker Series in October 2018.  Pre-COVID, we scheduled talks monthly between September and May; they were held at -- and co-sponsored by -- the Northampton Senior Center. Currently, we offer talks via ZOOM every other week. All speaker events were – and still are – free and open to anyone who would like to attend. 

Our in-person series included well attended presentations on sex and ice cream, sleep and balloons, birds and Northampton history, memory and filing systems, to name but a few. The ZOOM Speakers series has included an eclectic and entertaining mix of well-known authors talking about their books, an athlete talking about the law and celebrity, photographers and visionaries wowing us with beautiful images, an economist and hospital administrator talking about COVID's medical and financial fallouts, and those who specialize in the health of older people teaching us about how to care for others and ourselves. We are guided by a commitment to including topics of particular interest to older people and those intended for a broader audience.

We hope you’ll join us for future events in the Speaker Series. We have a great series planned through Spring 2021 and intend to continue offering lively, informative and entertaining talks remotely until we can return to in-person talks.

Send your suggestions for speakers to

NN offers Otter.AI live transcription of the event so you can read along with the spoken word during the presentation.

Read on for our next speaker, as well as a list of past speakers.
Visit our NN YouTube Channel for recordings of the NN Speaker Series since May 2020

Northampton Neighbors seeks to provide information and resources that help all our neighbors age well, in place, and with dignity.
NN does not endorse nor recommend any commercial products, processes, or services.

The primary purpose of the Speaker Series is to educate, inform, and entertain.
The views, information, or opinions expressed are those of the presenter and not necessarily those of Northampton Neighbors.

Northampton Neighbors Speaker Series Presents

Taking Charge of Your End of Life Planning
By Mark Peterson

Friday, January 22, 2021
3:00-4:00 PM via Zoom

Zoom Link

Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 993 6788 2715
Passcode: 591001

Call 929 436 2866 to listen by phone without video 

End of Life Planning is a multifaceted endeavor that incorporates reflection and actions related to medical, legal, financial, personal property, funeral and memorial services. The focus for this presentation is primarily on choices for medical care. Our speaker will address the need to reflect on what matters most to you in order to find your voice for communicating your health care wishes. In addition, he will define the obstacles and identify the resources necessary for assuring that you will have your voice to the end of your life.

Retired psychologist Mark Peterson, Ed.D., began his passionate odyssey into exploring end-of-life issues after reading a 2010 New York Times article about a dying man’s family losing control of his medical care. Peterson went on to develop a ten-hour course entitled End of Life Planning: Having Your Voice to the End of Your Life. Six years later the ten-hour course continues to maintain full enrollment and enthusiastic reviews. A website,, allows students, past and present, to receive newly published articles.  

Basically, it is a never-ending course based on the belief that people deserve to have a good end to their life while recognizing that it is much less likely to happen if one doesn’t plan and share one’s choices. Peterson recently published an e-book based on the course entitled: YOUR LIFE, YOUR DEATH, YOUR CHOICE: How to Have Your Voice to the End of Your Life.  In addition to providing end-of-life documents (Advanced Medical Directives), the e-book addresses the need to understand the implication of end-of- life choices and gives directions for “having the conversation” about one’s choices. Up to date dementia provisions and the current state of the “death with dignity” movement are also included. 


On ZOOM since May 2020

Clare Higgins
-Family in the Time of COVID January 8, 2021

Linda Desmond and Kathy Service-A Compassionate Care Approach for People Living with Dementia December 4, 2020

Tracy Kidder
-What I Try to Do as a Writer: Strength in What Remains November 13, 2020

Joe Gannon
-Red and Blue: Why Voting for Trump Is Not Always Hating Equality October 23, 2020

Mark Karpe
l-Like Nothing Else on Earth:Backyard Visionaries and Handmade Worlds October 9, 2020

Judy Dixon
-Facing Challenges: Racquet in Hand September 25, 2020

Katharine Baker
-My Journey: How One Woman Survived Stalin’s Gulag” by Olga Sliozberg
Translated by Katharine Baker September 11, 2020

Paul Shoul
-Photos from Here and There August 28, 2020
Dr. Rebecca Starr, Geriatrician-What I do and Why I do it August 14, 2020

Dr. Mary Young
-Aging on Your Own July 31, 2020

Judy Cockerton
-Intergenerational Living/The Treehouse Community July 17, 2020

Gerald Epstein
-The Good, the Bad and the Ugly June 19, 2020

Ellen Meeropol
-Her Sister's Tattoo June 5, 2020

Joan Marqusee
-Q&A with the CDHC CEO May 1, 2020

Visit our NN YouTube Channel for recordings of the NN Speaker Series since May 2020

Live at the Northampton Senior Center: 2018-February, 2020 

Cheri Cross
-Getting it Together

Tom Reney
-Why Duke Ellington Matters

Jonah Keane
-5 Years of Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary: A Natural Gem is Our Own Back Yard

Lu Stone
-Over or Under? What Would Downtown Northampton Look Like Today if the City had Lost its Five-Year Battle with the Railroads in the 1890's

Wendy Sinton & Diane E. Liebert
-Sojourner Truth in 19th Century Florence

Jane Fleishman
-I’ll Have What They’re Having: Sexuality and Aging

Mirabai Bus
h-Walking Each Other Home; Conversations on Loving and Dying

John Sinton
-A Walk and A Talk: Mill River and its role in the formation of Northampton

Rebecca Spencer
-Sleep on It! Why We Sleep and How to Get More of It

Greg Saulmon & Mark Karpel-
Up in the Air: Adventures in Urban Bird-Watching and Cluster Ballooning

Nina Kleinberg
-The Making of Casablanca: Film School in 90 Minutes

Brad Crenshaw
-Aging and Memory

Steve Herrell
-Ice Cream and Me