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Aging issues addressed in April Extension programs

Published on -4/3/2014, 9:51 AM

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Groucho Marx once said anyone can get old, all you have to do is live long enough. But growing older is more than merely marking time. Several Extension educational programs in April will explore what it means to age and provide helpful information about issues for older adults and their families.

The regional Full Circle Aging Expo will be from 9:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. April 25 at Messiah Lutheran Church in Hays.

The keynote speaker is Jeff Burnett from Fort Hays State University speaking on "Being Realistic About Your Health At Any Age." Angel Shaver, 2013 Miss Wheelchair Kansas, will be the closing speaker on "Maintaining an Attitude of Gratitude."

The agenda includes a choice of breakout sessions during the day on topics such as elder fraud, long-distance care-giving, avoiding estate planning mistakes, and using new technology. A resource fair also will be available for participants.

The cost is $25 per person or $40 for two family members. Registration is due April 17. Contact the Ellis County Extension office at (785) 628-9430 for a registration brochure.

An added feature of the Full Circle Aging Conference is an educational track for professionals who can earn up to six credits for participation. The brain-focused training agenda includes information on balance and gait, traumatic brain injury, types of dementia and psychotropic medication reduction. Cost for the full-day professional training is $85. More information is available at (785) 462-6281 or register online at www.northwest.ksu.edu/fullcircle.

The program "AgeSense: Adapting to Life's Changes" is scheduled for April 9 during the noon hour at the Extension office meeting room, 601 Main in Hays. Participants should enter the rear door from the north parking lot.

This free program provides a balanced understanding of what it means to age, as well as seeing aging as another stage in life's journey. Participants will examine their own beliefs about aging and explore the dual ideas of loss and opportunity in aging. Donna Krug, Barton County Extension agent, will be the speaker.

Participants can bring a lunch to enjoy during the program. Beverages will be provided. Call Ellis County Extension at (785) 628-9430 to register. A minimum attendance is required to have this program.

Many believe the myth it is normal for people -- as they age -- to become weak, to slow down and stop doing some of the things they once enjoyed. The good news is it is not difficult for most people to maintain or recover their functional ability and live an active, independent life. A few minutes of physical activity each day can help.

Learn more at the free Extension program "Let's Live a Little: Physical Activity for Fun and Fitness" at noon April 14 at the Extension meeting room, 601 Main, Hays. Jennifer Milhon, FHSU graduate student, will be the guest speaker. Participants can bring a lunch to enjoy during the program. Beverages will be provided. Pre-register by calling (785) 628-9430.

We'll close the month of April with a program on funeral planning and end of life issues from 6 to 7 p.m. April 30 at the Extension meeting room. Local experts will share information to ease difficult family discussions and decisions about these topics. If you'd like to receive more information about this program as it becomes available, pre-register to (785) 628-9430.

More information on all these aging topics is available at the Ellis County Extension office. We hope you will join us for these important and informative programs.

Linda Beech is a Kansas State University Research & Extension agent in Ellis County.

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