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Sunday, April 3, 2016

Getting Older Isn't for Sissies

Yesterday my friend Jane Rodriguez and I went to the Pasadena Conference on Healthy Aging at Pasadena Church of the Nazarene, which has abundant meeting rooms, auditoriums and outdoor spaces.

There were about 300 people there, from ages 50 to 80+.  Here are Jane and me after lunch on one of the big patios.

Fritz Coleman, everyone's favorite weathercaster at KNBC-TV and a stand-up comedian, kicked things off at 9 a.m. with rollicking keynote schtick titled "Laughter Is the Best Medicine." He had everyone yucking it up for 20 minutes!

On the same stage, the Tap Chicks entertained us with a fun routine to the Jan and Dean song "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena" (she got a speeding ticket for being the terror of Colorado Boulevard!). 

Then it was time to get down to business. There were 30 workshops with something for everyone, whether you grew up listening to The Andrews Sisters, Elvis Presley, The Supremes or KC and the Sunshine Band. 

Your grandmother never saw anything like this. Workshop titles included Hearing Loss After All Those Rock Concerts, Boost Your Brain Power, Finding Romance After 50, Simple Steps to Grow Your Own Small Business, Estate Planning for Baby Boomers, Stroke Prevention, Senior Housing Options and so many more. 

I'm just coming out the other side of breast cancer after nearly a year and Jane is recovering from some injuries and surgeries, so we decided a couple of health-related workshops were just the ticket. 

The first was Stay Healthy the Natural Way led by Dr. Amaliya Santiago. It was so informative, covering everything from health conditions associated with aging to developing balanced anti-inflammatory eating habits to the "dirty dozen" foods that should be consumed only if they are organically grown. There was much more info as well, including lifestyle factors, how to manage blood sugar naturally and a funny discussion about the wonders -- and potential dangers -- of poop!

Here's Dr. Santiago making her presentation. The Q&A afterwards was very helpful as well.

Laura Wending, program director at Cancer Support Community in Pasadena, led a workshop titled Helping the Mind, Body and Spirit Through Illness. Her discussion ran the gamut from how emotions affect the digestive system to mind/body/spirit connections and techniques for tapping in to them, including movement therapy, art and music therapy, humor, journaling and poetry, hypnotherapy, guided imagery, labyrinth walking and more. It was really fascinating.

Jane and I took plenty of notes at the workshops, each of which lasted one hour.

Lunch outdoors included healthy sandwiches, Sun Chips, fruit and camaraderie. . .

. . .and entertainment! The Tap Chicks lampooned El Niño, which never happened in Southern California despite all the promises from scientists and forecasters. I shot a little bit of video of their "Singin' in the Rain" routine. It was fun (really) to watch as we sat in the heat! (Sorry it cuts off at the end. I'm new to the video trimming app.)

I want to give a shout-out to Kevin Uhrich and André Coleman, editor and deputy editor, respectively, of the Pasadena Weekly for this week's issue. They included a meaty article about the Pasadena Conference on Healthy Aging, published a guest column by Pasadena Senior Center Executive Director Akila Gibbs, included a memorial tribute to Cynthia Rosedale and ran with a story idea I suggested to them about Gen Xers beginning to join the Greatest Generation and Baby Boomers on the older-adult landscape.

The cover art was a great interpretation of that concept!

Oh, and in the interest of full disclosure, the Pasadena Senior Center is one of my PR clients.

Remember, older adulthood isn't for sissies (or as Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens put it on Justified...well, you'll have to click here to see how he put it!

I love this graphic I saw on Facebook recently:

Now go out there and live a life!

1 comment:

  1. It looks great. I'm officially a senior, but I don't like the word!