Senior citizens celebrated during month

Published 10:06 pm Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Local agencies worked together to “Blaze a Trail to Wellness” at the Carl Morgan Convention Center on Tuesday for Older Americans Day.

The Alabama-Tombigbee Regional Commission Area Agency on Aging (ARTC AAA) and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System partnered to host Older Americans Day “Blaze a Trail to Wellness” in celebration of Older Americans Month.

“It’s just a fun educational event for senior citizens in celebration of Older Americans Month,” said AAA director Delia Brand. “We’ve got door prizes and all kinds of activities.”

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The program included lectures and presentations on identify theft, fraud, understanding chronic kidney disease, decision-making, disaster preparedness and others. Other activities included dancing, a best western wear contest and lunch.

County extension coordinator Callie Nelson believes the program is a valuable asset for local seniors.

“A lot of times they are at home by themselves and this is a way for them to get out, get involved and find other activities that they can do to stay involved and active in their community,” Nelson said.

The event generally accommodates nearly 300 seniors each year from Wilcox, Marengo, Perry, Lowndes and Dallas Counties, according to Nelson.

Elizabeth Childers, 78, of Selma, has been attending the annual programs for the past five years.

“I look forward to this day. I look forward to enjoying myself with all of the other older people,” Childers said. “It’s a really fun day to me.”

Eighteen vendors ranging from rehabilitation centers, legal services, healthcare providers, hospice services and more lined the walls of the room.

Nelson said the vendors are available as an outlet for the seniors at the program, to let them know what services are available in the area and where they can find them.

Like the vendors, the lectures and presentations are carefully selected to fit the audience’s interests and concerns, such as the presentation on kidney disease.

“A lot of people who have hypertension and high blood pressure and diabetes don’t realize they are putting their kidneys at risk,” Nelson said. “These are some things that they can be aware of.”

Childers said she found all the information helpful.

“I’m really taking it in about the kidneys because I have damaged kidneys,” Childers said. “And the dance, of course I don’t dance, but I love to watch.