Annual Senior Expo draws crowds


Belton Journal


There almost wasn’t a Senior Expo this year, said David Tuma, publisher of the Belton Journal, which holds the expo annually at the Expo Center. “The turning point for us was the small businesses wanted to do it.” Some of the bigger corporations were a little apprehensive.

“I think today is a testament of small businesses and how dedicated the people of this area are.” He went on to say that they had a fantastic turnout, great participation, and one of the better ones that they have had in the 10 years since they’ve begun hosting this event.

“I couldn’t ask more from the vendors to the people, it’s really been enjoyable.  I have been utterly shocked.”

There were aisles of more than 90 vendors who came with resources to help improve the lives of senior citizens.

As seniors age, they develop more health problems and diseases.

Preventive care can help a senior retain parts of their independence.

Diabetes, heart disease, balance issues and memory loss are common issues for seniors. For each disease a senior deals with, it means another part of their life is going to change. They resist the need to ask family members, or maybe a caregiver for help. Most cities a senior center that offers support to seniors. Organizations and volunteer groups are a lifeline with knowledge and resources to help seniors live a safer, and happier life.

Through community involvement, there are opportunities for seniors to get the help they need. Transportation to medical appointments gives them a chance to get the routine and preventive care they need. Having better access to doctors, physical therapists, nutrition and fitness, health screenings, dental care, financial and insurance companies, vision care and companionship. These help an aging person live a less stressful life.

Many organizations at the expo focused on staying active as a lifestyle choice that seniors can make. Being social is an important part of aging. Having a network of friends is vital to better mental health. Low-impact exercising is safe when you do it as a group with an instructor. Seniors love to volunteer because it connects them to other people. Seniors can stay connected by phones, computers and daytrips with their local senior center. Any small amount of exercise helps you stay healthy.

Attendees were interested in the chiropractic practices for controlling pain.

Dr. Micah Montgomery, DC of Montgomery Chiropractic, explains that the nervous system controls everything that happens in your body. The brain sends messages down the spinal cord to every cell tissue and organ in the body. If the signals are disrupted it can cause neck pain or back pain, digestive system issues, affect your breathing, and just about every function of your body. “Chiropractic care isn’t just about pain, it’s about health and well-being as well.” Said Dr. Montgomery, adding that a lot of seniors worked hard all their lives and the goal is to help them function and live out their life meaningfully as they get older.

For seniors, Montgomery uses a chiropractic device that uses controlled force, and reduces the risk of causing a fracture.

Another popular interest for controlling pain was the use of CBD products.

The CenTex CBD booth had a steady flow of seniors stopping to look at the products.

One attendee said that he worked as a corrections officer for 30 years and since he retired, he has been in pain from the abuse his body took. He has been thinking about using CBD but wouldn’t know how to talk about it with his friends.

Three cancer survivors served as keynote speakers, sharing their experience with a group of women.

Renee Owen is a breast cancer survivor. Owen said that if you have cancer, you should keep active, keep a positive attitude, and do things for others. You forget about yourself and what you’ve been through. You put it to the back burner but, “it never leaves you when you think about others and do things for other people.”

Jackie Wernli is also a breast cancer survivor. She talked about her diagnosis and how she felt when she was diagnosed. She shared how she got to where she is now. Wernli said it is important for us to be vigilant about our health. She lost her son to breast cancer and has five sisters that have had breast cancer.

“Genetic testing is extremely important.” Wernli says that even though this is a senior’s expo “we can make sure that the generations that come after us are doing what they need to do, so that we perpetuate those generations.”

Kathleen Brown is a 25-year breast cancer survivor. Brown shared that her journey took her through five surgeries and six rounds of chemotherapy.

After her treatment, she had reconstructive surgery. Her experience with cancer lead her into a field of music therapy and to work with other patients.

Seniors took home handouts and giveaways. Some people won door prizes that were donated by the vendors.

The big winner of the day was Bea Austin from Belton when she won a 70-inch TV.