Local Church Partners With Florida Department Of Elder Affairs to Address Aging In Our Area

Larry Baxter, Bureau Chief of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and Reverend Dr. Barbara Booth-Jarmon, Minister, Spirituality of Elders, will be keynote speakers at a symposium on Saturday, October 20, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Brandon, located at 121 Carver Ave. The church plans to host participants over 55 years old, caregivers, concerned children of elders and those who provide services to seniors.

The symposium is entitled Living on Golden Pond: Support for an Aging Population. The purpose is to encourage a variety of faith-based communities in Hillsborough County to help create an environment of care and mutual support for our elders. Input from elders and their caregivers will be encouraged. Spiritual leaders, government and service providers will be asked to join in the discussions.

According to Booth-Jarmon, “As longevity is increasing in our country, there have been many studies to enhance the physical and emotional dimensions of growing older in today’s world. Much effort is placed on maintaining an active lifestyle.  Self-worth is often based on one’s ability to do for others.  When one is no longer able to do, one’s contribution to society seems to fade.”

Experts who will lead the discussion groups include: Gerald Hemness, Attorney, Arlene Jacobs, President, Home Helpers, Eileen Poiley, Educator, University of South Florida Health Byrd Alzheimers Institute, Margaret Kenney, RN, and Robin Watt, EMT, of the Florida Falls Coalition.

Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders (SHINE) volunteers will be available from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. for free private one-on-one consultation regarding Medicare and Health Insurance.

Register online at www.fpcbrandon.org. A donation of $10 per person is requested, which includes continental breakfast, coffee and a light buffet lunch. Check-in opens at 9 a.m.

Call Judy Smolk, Co-Chairman of the program, at 643-9586 for more information and to receive a registration brochure.