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Vendors to focus on wellness, finances at Healthy Aging Expo
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Neighbors Doris Joyce, left, and Peggy Eggers have their blood pressure read during the Healthy Aging Expo in the Venue at Friendship Springs in Braselton on Wednesday, March 14, 2018. The event featured vendors, speakers and exhibits geared toward seniors. - photo by David Barnes

Healthy aging means more than just regular checkups at the doctor. It’s also about preparing for the golden years through finances, housing and fitness, ideas vendors hope to stress at The Times’ Healthy Aging Expo set for Sept. 26.

“One of the most important things for me, as a 52-year-old woman, is helping women age gracefully, and men, too,” said Teryl Worster, owner of The Spa on Green Street in Gainesville. 

Healthy Aging Expo

What: Speakers and vendors focusing on aspects of growing older

When: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Sept. 26

Where: Frances Meadows Aquatic Center, 1545 Community Way NE, Gainesville

How much: Free

Area residents of all ages can get information from wide range of vendors at the expo, taking place at the Frances Meadows Aquatic Center, 1545 Community Way NE, Gainesville.

“There is a challenge today ... in that everybody is trying to sell you something to slow down aging or make claims that sound wonderful but more than likely are just going to take your money,” Worster said.

“We just want people to understand the route to a healthy aging process — what we put in our bodies, the things we have absolute control over — and teaching people how to focus on that.”

She believes the expo “is a great way for people to cut to the chase and get to the truth of the matter, relative to nutrition, good skin care, healthy habits.”

The Spa will have a chiropractor at the expo doing free nervous system scans, as well as a couple of massage therapists on hand.

Many of the vendors are medical or health-related businesses, but other concerns will be addressed.

The biggest part of Gainesville financial firm Rushton’s presentation will be about “risk management, or identifying all those things that need to be considered, whether it’s long-term care, taking care of a child or college education,” said Perry Barnett, a certified public accountant and Rushton partner.

“Also, we’ll be reminding everybody you can’t mitigate all your risk, you can’t insure them all away,” he said. “You just try to get your arms around and manage everything the best you can, so your assets last as long as they can.”

Judy Paul of Keller Williams Realty specializes in helping seniors with housing needs.

“If they do have a need to sell their home, they will think of me, but I also address the fact that they may not have to sell their home,” Paul said. “They can probably age in place if they do the right things.”

Sometimes, children have to act their parents’ behalf.

“My passion is other people can learn from mistakes and be better prepared for when the time comes and they have to make decisions about their parents,” Paul said. “What I’m hoping to convey to people is they need to have this conversation sooner than later. It makes life so much easier for everybody.”

In addition to presentations, the expo will feature vendors, prizes, screening and classes in Zumba, yoga and other activities.

“We are proud to be able to host the Healthy Aging series of expos and appreciate the support of our sponsors in making them happen,” said Norman Baggs, general manager of The Times. “We hope a lot of people will take advantage of this opportunity to obtain information that may be vital to their health and overall well-being. 

“We will have experts in many different fields on hand to answer questions and offer advice to those in attendance. Past experience has shown us that those who attend also have a lot of fun while taking advantage of opportunities to learn.”

The aquatic center already helps to serve a “very active aging population,” said Julie Butler, marketing and communications manager with Gainesville Parks. “We feel like we’re part of a whole communitywide effort to keep Gainesville healthy.”