Betty Hopkins of Gainesville is feeling fine at 81.
But that didn’t stop her from checking out The Times’ Healthy Aging Expo Wednesday at the Frances Meadows Aquatic Center in Gainesville.
“You can’t ever learn too much,” she said. When it comes to health, “the more you learn, the better you are prepared.”
Hopkins was among the dozens of people visiting booths, talking to health care professionals and undergoing health screenings.
“I’m doing fine, no aches and pains,” Hopkins said. “I’m well blessed.”
Times General Manager Norman Baggs said the newspaper was “glad to be able to host this very special event for those living in the area who may be at or nearing retirement age.”
“Our population of residents aged 55 and older is growing, and this area has a lot of amenities and opportunities to offer to those living here.”
Through the expo, “we hope to make everyone in attendance aware of business and financial services, medical care, activities and entertainment opportunities available in the area.”
The free event also featured talks about nutrition and wealth management, prize giveaways and entertainment.
Marlene and Dale Hunter of Gainesville said they underwent health screenings at the expo.
“We’re just interested in maintaining good health,” Marlene said. “I think (the event) is very needful. A lot of people neglect their health. They’re so busy now and that’s on the backburner for them.”
One of the health providers at the expo was Marilyn Schorn-Bellows of Gainesville Hearing Service, who said certain health conditions present in the aging — such as heart problems — can contribute to a loss of hearing.
“A lot of people think of loss of hearing as something they don’t want to admit to,” Schorn-Bellows said. “It typically takes about seven years on average to finally admit their hearing problem.”
In one of the event’s presentations, Dianne Appling, coordinator of Lifeline, Northeast Georgia’s personal emergency response service, talked to a group of attendees about the need to stay active and “playful.”
“It doesn’t matter what’s going on in your health,” she said. “Don’t you let anyone intimidate, manipulate or limit you and tell you (that) you cannot play.
“You can play at every age. If you stop playing, you stop living.”