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updated: 4/6/2014 5:56 PM

Age Well DuPage event gives seniors tools for healthy living

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  • Tia Greenfield leads a Tai Chi class, an ancient Chinese martial art turned into a healing art, on Sunday during the second annual Age Well DuPage at the College of DuPage. The event showed older residents how to stay physically, mentally and fiscally healthy as they age.

       Tia Greenfield leads a Tai Chi class, an ancient Chinese martial art turned into a healing art, on Sunday during the second annual Age Well DuPage at the College of DuPage. The event showed older residents how to stay physically, mentally and fiscally healthy as they age.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Exercise physiologist Lauren Cleary talks about the DuPage Convalescent Center on Sunday during the second annual Age Well DuPage at the College of DuPage. The event provided information to help residents stay physically, mentally and fiscally healthy as they age.

       Exercise physiologist Lauren Cleary talks about the DuPage Convalescent Center on Sunday during the second annual Age Well DuPage at the College of DuPage. The event provided information to help residents stay physically, mentally and fiscally healthy as they age.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

 
 

Hundreds of seniors and soon-to-be seniors from all over DuPage County gathered Sunday in Glen Ellyn to learn how to stay active, fit and healthy as they get older.

The College of DuPage hosted the second annual Age Well DuPage event, which provided talks, classes and exhibits about multiple aspects of healthy living.

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The programs dealt with everything from how to navigate the federal Medicare program to the physical benefits of tai chi and gardening.

Organizers expected as many as 500 to attend the afternoon event, a turnout they say reflects the ideas of a new generation of seniors.

"Attitudes about being a senior are changing," said Mary Keating, director of DuPage County Community Services, which co-sponsored the event with the College of DuPage. "Baby boomers want to take charge of the next stage in their lives. They want to stay active and involved."

This year's event featured a number of programs on financial health, including a keynote address titled "Making Your Money Last In Retirement," which was delivered by Christine Benz of Morningstar Inc.

Housing was another popular topic. Bill Kelly attended to talk about Senior Home Sharing, a not-for-profit organization that provides affordable, family-style living options to DuPage seniors.

Kelly rents a room in a single-family home that the organization bought in Lombard. He said he moved there after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

"I was living on my own, not eating too well," he said. "After getting diagnosed, my kids thought I needed a different living situation."

Kelly said he loves living in the home, which he shares with five or six other seniors.

"I'm eating so much better, I sleep better," he said. "I enjoy walking around the neighborhood. I feel like I've got another family."

Melissa Keenan of Naperville attended the event with her 79-year-old mother, Betsy.

"Mom is still healthy and lives great on her own, but I thought we both might learn something here today," she said. "It's always good to keep up on what kind of options there are for you, should you need them down the road."

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