Coalition celebrates older Americans month

Theme for event is ‘Safe Today, Healthy Tomorrow’

Staff writerMay 14, 2014 

The Puyallup Area Aging in Place Coalition will host its annual Older Americans Month program from 3-5 p.m. May 17 at the Puyallup Activity Center, featuring presentations from Central Pierce Fire & Rescue, and Washington State and Pacific Lutheran universities.

“We’re inviting the entire community to come celebrate,” said Deborah Gurney, the event’s planning committee chairwoman and the supervisor for MultiCare Health System’s Celebrate Seniority. “We are celebrating Older Americans Month to continue to bring awareness to those resources like transportation, nutrition and exercise and how to stay safe in your homes. The more (seniors) can promote their own health, it’s easier for them to stay in their own home.”

A major part of the coalition’s mission is to advocate for resources and education that empowers seniors to continuing living in their own home for as long as possible.

“It’s a lot less expensive than having to go to a care facility,” Gurney said.

The theme of this year’s program, titled “Safer Today, Healthy Tomorrow,” will feature a presentation from Ed Hrivnak, assistant chief of prevention and education at Central Pierce Fire & Rescue. His presentation will focus on recommendations on how to remain healthy and independent in your home.

A master’s degree student from WSU will focus on the impacts of malnutrition and the techniques to maintain muscle mass through diet and exercise. A professor from PLU will talk more about exercise.

A Tai Chi instructor will give a demonstration. A 45-minute panel, Gurney said, will discuss aging issues such as the emotional and social aspects of healthy aging in your home and preventing injuries with exercise.

“I feel like aging is all something we’re experiencing currently,” Gurney said. “We all need to be empowered to age so we can enjoy our entire life. I feel like we have excellent representatives speaking at the event that will be very knowledgeable.”

Gurney stressed that people of all ages should attend.

“You don’t want to consider aging when you’re 65,” Gurney added. “You always want to be proactive. Being knowledgeable and assisting your parents is important. Having more knowledge is better.”

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