The Peninsula Agency on Aging (PAAINC) recently presented its 40th annual event entitled the “Community Forum on Aging” at the Hampton Roads Convention Center on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, from 8 a.m.- 2 p.m. This was the agency’s first in-person event since 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the country resuming some semblance of “normalcy,” and with COVID-19 numbers on the decline, the agency decided to return to the convention center and re-open to the public. The event was a packed house with many attendees participating in the day’s various activities. A variety of boxed lunches were provided for guests.
This year’s selected keynote speaker was Kittie Weston-Knauer, better known as “Miss Kittie-the BMX Mama.” She is currently the oldest female amateur BMX racer in America at age 74. Although Miss Kittie has endured a broken neck, two knee replacements, and two hip replacements, she has yet to be deterred from bike racing. Miss Kittie raced at the Hampton BMX Track and was greeted by new fans from the conference and established fans, young and old, which included BMX racers and enthusiasts.
The forum’s day was information-filled with a variety of workshops including:
- Are Your Loved Ones Prepared to Be Caregivers?
- Mental Fitness Exercising the Mind
- Managing Grief When the Unexpected Occurs
- Taking Nana to the Doctor: Let’s Talk About Women’s Health Concerns
- Awareness is Half the Battle – Scams Targeting Seniors
- The Age of Wisdom
- The Art of Communication
- 70 is the New 50
- The Dating Game
In addition to the workshops, there was a “Wellness Café” which provided informational free screenings, including:
- Blood Pressure & Total Cholesterol
- Body Composition Analyzer
- Bone Density Screening
- Diabetic Eye Screenings
- Functional Mobility Analysis
- Hearing Tests
- Vision Screening
The Riverside Health System and the Hampton University School of Nursing provided an onsite vaccination clinic for COVID-19, booster, and flu shots.
There were also educational displays concerning cancer prevention and early detection, lung cancer and tobacco cessation, and updated COVID-19 data. The agency provided vans to shuttle participants from the parking lots to the convention center throughout the forum.
Sponsors and exhibitors included AARP Virginia, TowneBank, United Healthcare, Virginia Health Services (VHS), Aetna, Alzheimer’s Association, Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia, Optima Health, InnovAge, Visit Hampton Virginia, and the Peninsula Task Force on Aging.
This year marks the 45th anniversary of PAAINC focusing on its motto of “building a better quality of life for older adults.” The agency primarily exists to help the overall community enable older adults to live independently, age in place, and make the community healthier.
Some of the programs and services offered include the following: care coordination, elder abuse prevention, home-delivered meals, workforce development, adult daycare caregiving support, veteran-directed care, and health and wellness programs.
The Peninsula Agency on Aging has two Virginia locations— one in Newport News and another in Williamsburg. For more information about the agency, visit its website.
The 41st Community Forum is scheduled for next year on March 1, 2023.