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    Life Begins at 50 Expo to hit Chestermere

    CHESTERMERE – The Life Begins at 50 Expo will turn the Chestermere Recreation Centre into a learning hotspot for seniors on Sept. 24.

    The free seminar will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and is open to seniors from Chestermere and the surrounding area.

    The expo is sponsored by a federal government organization called the New Horizons for Seniors Program, which has been around for several years. The NHSP supports projects that aim to address one or more of the following five program objectives: promoting volunteerism among seniors and other generations, engaging seniors in the community through the mentoring of others, expanding awareness of elder abuse (including financial abuse), supporting the social participation and inclusion of seniors and providing capital assistance for new and existing community projects and/or programs for seniors.

    “We applied for the grant because we hope to make seniors in our community aware that life begins at 50, meaning that just because you’re getting older, it doesn’t mean that you should just sit at home,” said organizer Maxine McKellar of the Chestermere Whitecappers. “We’re promoting healthy living, living longer and healthier as in physically, mentally and socially.”

    McKellar said that they are also hoping to include recognition of the diversity of the local senior population. They have invited a guest speaker, Salim Sindu, Executive Director of Calgary Education Immigrant Society to speak at the expo on immigrating to Canada as a senior citizen.

    “We’re up to about 20 presenters, and they’ll talking about a wide range of things,” McKellar said.
    “We’ll have a physiotherapist speaking on how to keep active and what type of exercise to do, we have a lady coming in that’s going to help seniors with setting up healthy snacks and talking about healthy meals.”

    Bruce McAllister, Councillor Heather Davies and others will also serve as guest speakers.

    There will be a number of activities taking place, such as bocce ball, carpet bowling, crib and other board games. There will also be some decorating and craft tutorials, as well as presentations about how to use a digital camera, estate planning and more.

    “We’ve also lined up around 30 vendors to come out and highlight what they’re about, such as local banks, community services, the library, the Lions Club, the CRCA, the historical society and others,” McKellar said. “It will give everyone a chance to find out what local groups have to offer for seniors.”

    As far as why they organized it, McKellar said, “We wanted to do something a little bit different for the seniors, and bring something to town for them.

    “Also, anything that we buy and get for the program, including the digital camera and some of the sports items, gets to stay with the Whitecappers. So it continues to benefit everyone afterwards.”

    McKellar said that staying active socially, physically and mentally once you hit age 50 is very important to a healthy and strong lifestyle.

    “There are lots of things to do, there are all different ways to stay active and social,” she said. “Our main goal is to just get as many seniors involved as possible and let them know that it is easy to stay fit and healthy as you age.”

    Chestermere’s YELL (Youth Encouraging Lasting Leadership) group will be volunteering to help with the expo. They will be on hand to translate for anyone in attendance with poor english.

    There are around 100 people registration, with 100 spots still remaining. Breakfast and lunch will be provided at the event.

    Call the Chestermere Public Library to register at 403-272-9025, register online at lifebeginsat50.weekly’s, or email your info to info@lifebeginsat50expo.ca.