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Conference on aging focuses on healthy living

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by Krystal Paco

Guam - It's good news for the island's manamko as census data shows more residents are living longer.  

In line with the month May proclaimed Senior Citizens Month, seniors are invited to participate in an upcoming Guam conference on aging.

Safe Today, Healthy Tomorrow is the theme for this year's Senior Citizens Month.  

"The information is out there for our seniors. And we expect a good showing for them as well," said Jeannette Gomez.

To get the information out, Gomez, the Division of Senior Citizens program coordinator, says they're hosting a full day's worth of presentors to talk on various health and safety topics targeted to manamko.

"Our present or will be Dr. Edna Acuna. She'll be talking about taking care of diabetic wounds. We have Alicia Ogo our occupational therapist from Guam Memorial Hospital. She'll be talking about be older, be wiser, be safer - more geared towards injury prevention. One of the major injuries they encounter are falls so we want to get that information out. How to be safe within their community," she said.

But it's not just aging, fragile bodies the island's elderly have to cope with.

"We do have Attorney Robert Cruz who will be talking about when to give up the car keys. A lot of our seniors still want to be independent. They do want to continue to be driving out there in the roads, but there are times when it may not be safe for them to do," she said.

In addition, Gomez says Guam Police Department's Lt. Arthur Paulino will address participants about personal and home safety as well as a speaker from GHURA who will talk on the agency's home rehabilitation loan program.

In addition to getting the need-to-know information on growing old, vendors will also be on site to talk more about services and products for seniors including hospital beds and oxygen tanks.

National family caregiver support program's Kavita Re said, "Those are things we're finding are becoming more and more in common place in homes when they're taking care of seniors. We'll have vendors there and we'll have people talking about the different equipment and how to use it safely and wisely."

The conference is slated for May 22nd at the Pacific Star Hotel. For more information, call the Department of Public Health and Social Services at 735-7421.
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