Conference offers information, health screenings (video)
May 16, 2013 at 12:16 a.m.
Myths and facts about aging
MYTH: Old age means poor health and disability.
FACT: Aging does not automatically mean poor health or that you will be confined to a walker or wheelchair. Plenty of older adults enjoy vigorous health. Preventive measures like healthy eating, exercising and managing stress can help reduce the risk of chronic disease and fall risk later in life.
MYTH: Memory loss is an inevitable part of aging
FACT: Significant memory loss is not part of aging. Brain training and new learning can occur at any age, and there are many things you can do to keep your memory sharp.
MYTH: You can't teach an old dog new tricks.
FACT: Older adults are just as capable of learning new things, thriving in new environments and sharing their experiences with many generations. If you believe in yourself and have confidence in yourself, you are setting up a positive environment for change no matter what your age.
Even with a bad knee, Jean Pitts remained adamant about making her way through the booths at the Healthy Aging Conference on Thursday.
The 83-year-old Port Lavaca resident waited for her knee pain to die down, sipping some cold lemonade to pass the time as she watched people of all ages file through the more than 30 booths at the 15th annual conference at the Victoria Community Center.
"It's not really repairable, but I have to live with it," she said about her knee. "I will finish the walk around, though, because I enjoy it."
Anything from hospice care to hospital and clinic information was available for Pitts and the other several hundred attendees.
Aside from free goodies, services offered included bone density, glucose and cholesterol screenings and classes on several aging issues, such as arthritis and eating habits.
Pitts, who rode a bus with others from the Heritage Center for seniors in Port Lavaca to the community center, was interested in a memory test.
"I'm interested in Alzheimer's," she said. Several of her family members developed it when they were her age. "I'm determined to live as long as I can."
As Pitts waited for her knee soreness to dissipate, Kenneth Crober was walking around, seeing what else he could learn.
The 64-year-old, also from Port Lavaca, was glad to see people of all ages taking advantage of the health services. He had his pneumonia shot and was about to do more screenings.
"If you don't take care of yourself at a young age, you won't reach mine," he said.
In April 1992, Crober had a heart attack and flatlined at his job in Texas City.
Crober said he didn't take care of himself, even in his 40s, and wishes he had.
"Ever since then, I've really tried to control what I eat, and I try and stay active," he said.
Husband and wife Nick and Amelia Hinojosa also like to keep their health in check.
Nick, 85, and Amelia, 86, waited in line to get their cholesterol and glucose levels read.
The couple of 62 years winced just a bit as their fingers were pricked, and once the numbers were out, they compared competitively.
The two have been to the conference for the past several years.
"I think it's something good, especially for us older people," the husband said. "They have a lot of good information."
"I like the health screenings, " his wife added.
In the end, she had better cholesterol levels than her husband, but he had a lower blood sugar than her.
"It's because she's sweeter than I am," he said.