Seniors Health: Adventures In Aging – Dr Art Hister At UFV Oct 15

By on October 8, 2010

By Patty Wellborn. As baby boomers continue to age, the news remains filled with stories and advertisements targeted at seniors [Click On Image For Full Story] that discuss everything from pensions, health care, retirement homes, alerts, scams, and miracle drugs that will fix just about any ailing part of the body.

UFV prof Darren Blakeborough poses in his Chilliwack living room, dominated by a jumbo TV with images he uses in his course - Sociology of the Simpsons.

And as University of the Fraser Valley instructor Darren Blakeborough points out, there is a general disconnect between society’s image of aging and the positive aspects of living well as a senior.

“Our society is getting older and there are often stories in the news targeted directly at seniors,” he says. “But there is a general discourse about aging that suggests it is negative. Aging is a natural part of life, not a disease, and if you’re lucky you can experience it, and enjoy life, for a long time.”

The Fraser Valley has one of the largest population groupings of seniors in Canada. In recognition of this fact, the Centre for Education and Research on Aging (CERA) was established at UFV in 2006 with the goal of bringing together educators and researchers from various disciplines to address issues of concern about aging. Blakeborough, who teaches theatre, sociology, and media studies courses at UFV, has teamed up with fellow instructors Andrea Hughes (psychology), Moira Kloster (philosophy), and Shelley Canning (health sciences), along with the CERA. The group has organized a day-long symposium titled Adventures in Aging: Search for the Fountain of Youth.

Blakeborough notes that with several university faculties represented, their goal is to ensure many different and unique aspects of aging are discussed in the symposium. The event takes place Friday, October 15 at UFV’s Abbotsford campus and features a keynote address from Dr. Art Hister— a media personality who is well-known for his humour and is also an award-winning doctor and teacher.

Dr. Art Hister

During his speech, Hister will use his trademark style and will discuss how people can live long, lower their risk of debilitating chronic illnesses, slow the aging process, find more energy and happiness, lower stress levels, and learn to cope better with life’s unexpected hazards.

“Most people will glean something from Dr. Hister’s address,” Blakeborough says. “Our symposium is not just for seniors. There are lots of health care practitioners and caregivers who will also benefit by attending the event.”

Before and after Dr. Hister’s presentation, people can participate in five different, concurrent workshops ranging in subjects from acting for seniors, health and wellness, yoga and tai chi, finances, memory, computer skills, and tips on how to write your autobiography or orally tell your story.

UFV will provide a light lunch for all preregistered participants and entertainment will be provided by Elders in Motion who will end the day with a ballet demonstration. Chilliwack resident Jean Scott, who has received an honorary degree from UFV, will also host an afternoon tea.

CERA’s goal is to promote gerontological research and educational programs within UFV and the communities of the Fraser Valley. The centre also brings together educators and researchers from various disciplines to address issues of concern about aging and plays an important role in linking individuals and groups with similar educational and research interests and needs.

The event is free of charge, except for a $2 parking fee (limited free parking will be made available in certain lots), and Blakeborough says that people must preregister. He also says each of the workshops are offered on a first-come first served basis and recommends people arrive early on October 15 to sign up for the sessions that interest them. Doors open at 8:30 a.m. and the day is expected to wrap up at about 4 p.m.

“This is an important event around an important issue in our society that will bring many different people together in an atmosphere of fun and education,” says Blakeborough. “Don’t miss out.”

To register, or get more details, please visit www.ufv.ca/aging/Events.htm, or email cera@ufv.ca, or call 1-888-504-7441 local 2818.

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