Paola expo promotes positive attitudes about aging

PAOLA, Kan. – In 1988, in San Antonio, Texas, Mark Johnson gave a presentation to 350 students from across the state. Prior to the presentation, Johnson got to know the students and where they were from. Later, during his presentation, he had each student stand as he listed off each of their names – all 350 of them. How did he do it? He organized the students in groups, according to the city in which they lived; the method is one example of a tagging technique that can help people remember more effectively.

“Anyone can list off 10 to 20 names quickly,” Johnson said. “It’s just multiplying that more than 10 times.”

Johnson, a professor at Pittsburg State University, who has given presentations many times about the brain, memory and how to retrieve information, will be the keynote speaker at an upcoming one-day conference for older adults, their families and caregivers.

The conference, called the “East Central Kansas Active Aging Expo,” will promote positive attitudes about aging and encourage individuals to be active physically, mentally and financially. The event is Thursday, May 5, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Lighthouse Presbyterian Church, 1402 E. 303rd St., Paola, Kansas.

Johnson’s presentation is meant to help participants increase their ability to remember 10, 20 or even 50 items in just a few minutes.

“What I’m able to do in a short period of time is get everyone to understand that we all have photographic memories,” Johnson said. “It just takes training and honing in those skills.”

In addition to Johnson’s presentation on enhancing memory, participants will able to attend a variety of informational sessions that include cutting Medicare costs, benefiting from pets, dealing with dementia, creating moments of joy, dealing with heart risks and diabetes, eating healthy, understanding options for durable power of attorney decisions, and staying physically fit.

Educational sessions will be conducted in the morning and afternoon, and participants can register for the sessions of their choice. Local vendors will be on hand with information on products and services. Registration is $15 per person, and the advance registration deadline of April 22. The registration fee covers lunch, speaker fees and program materials. Registration received April 23-29 will be $20.

The “Active Aging Expo” is hosted by the Lighthouse Presbyterian Church, East Central Kansas Aging and Disability Resource Center, Frontier Extension District, Coffey County Extension District, and Marais des Cygnes Extension District.

For registration and program information, visit www.agingexpo.k-state.edu or the local extension office sponsoring the event. Information about other 2016 regional expos in Kansas focused on aging can also be found on that website.

Information thanks to Frontier Extension District.

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