Ponoka hosts senior citizens wellness celebration

Ponoka’s Senior Drop-In Centre, with FCSS hosted a seniors wellness fair honoring senior citizenship on June 5.

Ponoka’s Senior Drop-In Centre, with FCSS hosted a seniors wellness fair honoring senior citizenship on June 5. The theme of the conference was longevity.

“Today’s conference is certainly a celebration, it’s a celebration of you,” FCSS executive director Shannon Boyce-Campbell told the crowd. She wanted those who are aging to embrace who they were because their age cannot define them.

“Stereotyping seems to hand in hand with aging,” Boyce-Campbell said.

The fair’s keynote speaker, Jan Fox, a motivational speaker for Robcan Consulting, spoke about keeping a positive attitude and sense of humour during the aging process.

As people age challenges rise with regards to keeping a positive attitude and Fox hoped to convey that by working together, especially intergenerationally, those challenges could be overcome.

Fox injected her speech with humour, “light-hearted and fun. . .laughter for wellness,” she called it. And the crowd did have a sense of humour.

To one woman, successful aging meant still breathing and to another it meant it meant still being able to do what she did at 16. Whether that would be a dream or a nightmare, the crowd couldn’t decide.

Near the beginning of the conference a video of a 94-year-old ballroom dancer was shown, everyone in the room was rapt and amazed at her limber brio. “No way” and “Holy crap I wish I could move like that” was heard throughout the room.

Boyce-Campbell led participants through an exercise called planning alternative tomorrows with hope (PATH). It’s an exercise designed to help people reach their goals by writing them down and planning them through a series of steps.

First they brainstormed what inspired them, then wrote goals that would make them happy. Following was a description of their present life, who would help them achieve their goals, and how their journey would make them stronger.

However, it wasn’t solely fun and games. Lorell Thoms, chapter educator for Osteoporosis Canada, gave an educational lecture and slideshow about osteoporosis, a disease she called the silent thief, because of its lack of symptoms.

According to Thoms, a person, due to the cells in their bones, loses and builds the equivalent of seven to eight skeletons in their lifetime and by age 25 will have built the healthiest one. Therefore, the nutrition of youths and young adults is important to lower their risk of osteoporosis.

Although it’s widely thought to attack the bones of mainly woman due to fluctuating hormone levels, especially though menopause, osteoporosis affects men as well because their hormones also fluctuate; men have a menopausal period too. Usually 10 to 15 years after a woman will have hers.

Thoms said that one in four women and one in eight men is diagnosed with osteoporosis and there are many contributing factors to the disease; including genetics, hormones, physical activity and nutrition.

Thoms also said it is recommended every Canadian over the age of 65 get a bone density test.