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Two-day symposium will teach you how to ‘disrupt aging’

A two-day symposium in March will inform about “disrupting aging” and focus on several aspects of wellness important for aging well.

The March 6-7 event at the University of North Georgia’s Gainesville campus will feature two keynote speakers, Harry “Rick” Moody and Debra Tyler-Horton. Moody is retired as the vice president for academic affairs with the AARP and will speak about creativity through outlets such as art or dance. Tyler-Horton, state director for AARP Georgia, will speak about “living your best life at every age.”

Wisdom Project 2030, the University of North Georgia Center for Healthy Aging and the Georgia Division of Aging Services will host the symposium in partnership with the Georgia Gerontology Society, Brenau University Center for Productive Living, and Brenau University Learning and Leisure Institute.

The event has been planned for over a year, event coordinator and Wisdom 2030 vice president Sandra Williams said.

The groups involved decided to host a symposium on healthy aging as Hall County sees its population age and deal with aging-related illnesses such as dementia, Williams said.

“We do believe that if a person remains active and engaged in the community and has a social network, that they would be able to age well and maintain their abilities,” Williams said. “We thought it was important that we bring in experts to talk about spiritual awareness and just overall maintaining health.”

People attending the symposium can choose from 15 workshops, with topics ranging from the benefits of music to nursing home alternatives, elder abuse and dementia. Presenters include the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and The Green House Project, a Maryland-based group that partners with senior living communities to help people with dementia.

There will also be some fitness sessions, including yoga, tai chi and tango dancing.

Wisdom Project 2030 is a group of people 55 and over who have completed the program offered through the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce’s Vision 2030 initiative. The group uses the skills and expertise the members

have to identify community needs and address them.

“We’ve always been interested in looking at our community and trying to determine what would be helpful and what is needed,” Williams said.

The Wisdom Project and the symposium ultimately have the same goal — to get older adults involved in the community and live healthy lives.

“Hopefully, it will enhance the understanding that as we age, that there are so many things that are available. But we need to emphasize that it’s a social network that needs to continue, the spiritual side, belonging to churches, belonging to organizations, just providing wisdom to the community,” Williams said. “So many of us came from corporate America and different places, where we hope we can continue as we age to provide and be a source for the community.”

To register for the symposium, go to the Wisdom Project website or call 678-7173605. The fee is $75.

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