The importance of taking a proactive approach to aging is important for people who want to live independently as long as possible. With that goal in mind, SeniorAdvocate and Morgan Stanley Wealth Management have teamed to offer “2014 Boomers & Beyond Active Aging Expo for Women 55+”
The event will be held 8 a.m.-3:15 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 22 at the Williamsburg Hellenic Center on Mooretown Road.
The expo is designed to help women gather important information that can help them achieve healthier aging. Last year the event encompassed senior issues for men and women. This year, there is a tighter focus.
“We found that we had a lot of requests from the women who came last year who wanted something specific for them,” Stephanie Smith of Senior Advocate, an organization that provides resources for seniors, caregivers, families and professionals said recently. “So this year we decided to have en event just for women that focused on issues like mindfulness, stress relief and caregiving.”
Smith said the goal of the event is for women to take away information for their personal lives that may help them live happier, healthier lives. There is a focus to help those who are providing care for loved ones.
“Seventy-five percent of those who attend are caregivers,” Smith said. “They are either adult caregivers for parents or for their spouse. We can offer this free to our attendees and we are very excited about the lineup we have coming.”
Last year the event drew 200. Smith hopes more will take advantage of the event. The day will offer participants with a chance to attend interactive workshops, presentations and get information about resources from exhibitors. Small group sessions will allow participants with the chance to ask questions regarding issues pertinent to their situations.
One presentation will be given by Patricia Lacey of the Southeastern Virginia Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Her talk, “Women Carrying the Burden of Alzheimer’s” is scheduled 10:15-10:45 a.m.
“There is a higher incidence of Alzheimer’s in women,” Lacey said in a recent interview. “We are more often the caregivers in this disease. We carry a lot of the burden.”
Lacey said Alzheimer’s and dementia can take a toll on women who are juggling a job and a family while trying to take care of an aging parent or even a spouse with the disease.
“Sixty percent of all caregivers are women, and that number is growing,” she said. “By huge margins women who are working find it easier to find child care than older adult care—whether it be for a parent or an spouse, it is a difficult position they are put in for this disease. Women take it on gladly, that’s who we are, but it takes a whopping toll on the women who do it. It is hard position to be in.”
Lacey said she will talk about programs offered in the area that can help women who are faced with challenges from the disease.
“We have information and referral,” she said. “There are support groups and a lot of educational programming. I hate to see families face this alone when we can help. Being in it alone is the scariest. There is help around the corner, but it doesn’t do any good if we don’t know it is there and that is what is truly sad.”
Exhibitors scheduled for the event include Alzheimer's Association Southeastern Virginia Chapter, CaptionCall, Chesapeake Investment Group, Circulatory Centers, Colonial Behavioral Health, Commonwealth Assisted Living at Gloucester, Edgar Cayce's A.R.E, Greenfield of Williamsburg, Heart Song Care, Home Helpers and Direct Link, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, Ride-Away, Riverside Lifelong Health, Sage Holistic Health, Senior Services Coalition, St.Francis Nursing Center, Tender Hands, Verena At The Reserve, Williamsburg Counseling, Williamsburg Landing and Wilson Law.
Want to go? The event is free and will be held 8 a.m.-3:15 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 22. Registration is required. The deadline for registration is Monday, Feb. 17. Call 757-645-6364 or visit www.senioradvocateonline.com.