Through writing, teaching, and collaborating I support people in enjoying their elder years


Sara is an active member of two writing groups.  The first, a memoir writing group, grew out of a course at Osher Lifelong Learning.  The second follows the Amherst Method of spontaneous writing to prompts. In addition, she has been writing about individuals who show remarkable vitality as they have aged.  Her newest interest and writing is about how to continue to enjoy life when vitality begins to fade.


Sara teaches lifestyle courses that she has developed to address issues of aging.    These courses include:


The course provides concrete strategies for building gratitude at home, work, in schools, and elsewhere. Gratitude connects many of the concepts we commonly learn when trying to construct our own happiness, including forming friendships and being mindful.


The course compares various perspectives on mindfulness and various practices. The Eastern and Western perspectives both point toward awareness, presence, and intention.

Writing Legacy Letters

A legacy letter tells the people you love what you want them to know about your life: your values, your stories, and your advice/hopes for them. It can be as simple as a one-page letter or as complicated as a collection of short written pieces, photos, and official documents.


How to form and embed them, and how to change them.


Sara has spent the last several years speaking to older adults about various forms of vitality.  

She is currently interested in issues of creative and positive aging and looks forward to developing material grounded in positive psychology for publication and consultation.  She is always interested in collaborating with others and learning from others about their views on aging.


Live or online coaching of older adults (over 60) around issues of vitality, aging, and resilience.


Whether the issues are general (getting healthier) or specific (beginning a professional singing career), Sara can partner with you to enhance your life satisfaction, increasing appreciation of self and others, and well-being.


"In all endeavors, Sara provides helpful insight into each unique situation."

As the Research Program Associate at OLLI@Berkeley, I've had the privilege of working with Sara Orem in several capacities.  She is a valuable member of our Research Advisory Team providing counsel on the various opportunities that OLLI pursues in partnership with UC Berkeley research centers and departments.  Additionally, as a OLLI faculty member, I was privileged to work with Sara on her development of the first hybrid course where members prepared using online materials developed by Sara and then participated in interactive in-person discussions.  Finally, Sara is a member of the Research Advisory Board for OLLI's National Science Foundation grant to develop outcome measures for older adult learning in STEM.  In all endeavors, Sara provides helpful insight into each unique situation.

Cheryl Brewster

Research Program Associate at OLLI@Berkeley

"She brings fresh ideas to the forefront"

I have known Dr. Sara Orem for over 15 years and been consistently impressed by her energy, her curiosity and her analytical mind. She brings fresh ideas to the forefront as I am sure she will on the important topic of aging and vitality in older adults.

Patricia Marrone Bennett, Ph.D.

President and CEO, Resource Development Associates

"Her awareness of what seniors need in order to navigate these changing and difficult times is vital for our well being."

Sara Orem is an engaging, compassionate, and caring teacher. Her awareness of what seniors need in order to navigate these changing and difficult times is vital for our well being. I have confidence in Sara because, as an older adult, she understands what we’re going through.

Susan Sperber

Oakland Hawthorne Elementary School Principal (retired) and active volunteer with Osher Lifelong Learning at UCBerkeley.

"I had the good fortune of being coached/mentored/supported by Sara at very formative time in my career"

I had the good fortune of being coached/mentored/supported by Sara at very formative time in my career. Sara taught me how to bring my authentic self to work every day. This transformed my leadership and significantly contributed to my overall effectiveness, quality of relationships, and level of satisfaction.

Brian Black

Regional Retail Manager, Fifth Third Bank

"She brings fresh ideas to the forefront"

Although my work with Sara was over 20 years ago when I think about the leader I am today I have to acknowledge the influence Sara had on my personal development. I have fond memories of our conversations and how she always left me feeling good about myself and my progress as a leader. One time she asked me: “do the people who are closest to you know how happy you are in your career and work life”. That question has stuck with me throughout my career and I’ve shared that with others along the way. In retrospect, I now realize she was always guiding me to make sure I was happy as a whole person. This is the Sara that I know and love.

Ted Parsons

CEO at OMNI Credit Union in Kalamazoo, MI.