• October 31, 2014

Older community learns about health options

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Posted: Sunday, May 18, 2014 4:30 am

HARKER HEIGHTS — Mary Harp knows the Fountain of Youth doesn’t exist. What she does know, though, is there is a lot of life out there for her to live — she just needs to connect with it.

New to the city, Harp, 63, walked around the Senior Health and Safety Fair at the Harker Heights Activities Center on Saturday to better orient herself with what her local community offered for people in her age bracket.

“Education is always good. I can always learn something new,” she said about why she attended the fair. “I can always go and look up funeral homes and home health care in the Yellow Pages, but knowing what’s offered right where you live makes a difference; And it’s always nice to see your local community get the opportunity to shine a little.”

Harp walked around the fair, picking up fliers and chatting with health providers from the Area Agency on Aging of Central Texas, Heights Home Health and Living Wellness Massage and Bodywork.

“Sometimes, businesses forget about their older customers,” said Helen Dimitrakopoulous, owner of Living Wellness in Harker Heights, adding that she offers a 10 percent discount to senior citizens. “They still have a lot of life in them and there are plenty of things that they can do and still do.”

Dimitrakopoulous said seniors still need to exercise and encourages them to try yoga and to use massage therapy as a way to de-stress and alleviate pain.

The fair was held because May is Older Americans Month.

Body, spiritual, and financial health organizations and businesses provided information about products and services that benefit older adults.

Various health screenings also were available, along with a “Hands Only” CPR/first aid class and a fire extinguisher training class.

“I am getting to that age where I need to start thinking about my own funeral, because funerals are expensive, especially when you live on a fixed income,” Harp said. “You have to be realistic. The only certainties in life are death and taxes, and you have to think of those things ahead of time. The only person who knows my wishes is me. Lord knows what my boys would do.”

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