Today, Arlington tried something new...an expanded and larger senior expo than any held before in our City. The difference between today's Expo and the previous ones held at the Eunice Senior Activity Center is that at today's Expo, there was continuous entertainment going on with something interesting happening all over the Bob Duncan campus, plus free lunches for the attendees.
A continuous schedule of interesting speakers (including the keynote speaker, O.K. Carter, former editor of the Arlington Citizen Journal newspaper) was happening in one room with seating for 100 people, while there were activity demonstrations outside for yoga, zumba, and other such fun stuff; door prize drawings in the main exhibitor hall, and plenty of vendors to show off what they do/sell.
The Ambassadors For Aging Well bought an exhibitor table so we could tell attendees about our group and also ask for support for Proposition 1 on the upcoming May 6 election ballot (to fund the construction of a new world class, stand-alone, age-qualified active senior adult center.
In Arlington's Mayor Jeff Williams' welcoming remarks, he said that many seniors told him that they want a new senior activity center like The Summit in Grand Prairie and now they have a chance to express that desire, if they so choose, on the upcoming May 6 ballot [Note: voting "FOR" Proposition 1 will create the funding to build the new active senior adult center. Nearly everyone I spoke to at the Expo was enthusiastic about supporting the new senior center, so please don't fail to vote in the upcoming election.]
I served on the Planning Committee for the Expo and I am delighted to say that attendance exceeded the Committee's expectations. We were hoping to attract 800 "come and go" attendees and by 11:00, over 1000 attendees had come and the aisles were crowded with interested Arlington residents. I will get the final count at the debrief meeting of the Planning Committee next week but it was obvious that the turnout was VERY GOOD.
The only complaints I heard about the Expo from attendees were (1) there was too much going on at the same time (which is a good thing to me, leave 'em wanting more, and they'll come back next year); several people said they wanted to hear ALL of the speakers but they couldn't do that AND participate in the zumba activity outside AND hear the door prize numbers being read off, AND visit with the exhibitors; and (2) the sandwiches in the box lunches were too small.
A special thank you to Ambassadors members Sylvia Barrett, Dee Woods, Peggy Masters, and Jannette London for helping to staff the Ambassdors vendor table today!
Tonight, the Ambassadors accommodated a request for some research from UTA student Karina Rendon for the first part of the meeting.
Elva Roy shared tales of her recent camping trip with her brother/sister-in-law at Lake LBJ near Marble Falls. Good experience. Met high school friend of sister-in-law whose wife has frontotemporal dementia. Elva took charge of the wife so the husband could play guitar with Elva's brother and be relieved of his 24x7 duties as a caregiver. Elva really enjoyed interacting with the wife and trying various forms of communication because the wife's communication skills were a major deficit area.
Elva shared that she attended a meeting today in Fort Worth called "New Ways of Thinking: Supporting Mental Health and Wellness of Children with Disabilities." While Elva is mostly interested in issues faced by older adults, she is serving on an interdisciplinary committee of 15 PhD's at UT Arlington where she is the only external member. The group is interested in seeking innovations in assistive technologies for disabled persons (regardless of age). Today's seminar was hosted by two experts from Austin and part of the seminar was about "trauma" experienced by children. Elva has been researching "post traumatic growth" which is a new branch of psychology (to help/replace PTSD), so that was Elva's particular interest..
Elva also mentioned that her "pole dancing" friend (that's a side story that you might not have heard yet) invited her to attend a seminar on Wednesday on the subject of stem cell therapy (especially for arthritis) at an Arlington motel (Marriott Residence Inn). OMG. Elva's friend (female firefighter who recently retired after 20 years of firefighting) was interested because while she is in great shape (beautiful woman), she has been combating rheumatoid arthritis since she was ten years old (no deformities in her hands/feet though, so no obvious signs). But this presentation at the motel...talk about snake oil salesman! This was a classic example. People do your own research before you just believe anything that a "supposed" medical expert tells you! The main speaker was flown in to do a sales talk about the miracle of stem cell therapy. He started out by saying that "this is proprietary information so no recording/videograph is allowed." Then his next disclaimer was that "this is an education seminar, not a medical seminar" (legal disclaimer). Elva's antennae were raised. He proceeded to say that that stem cell therapy can repair your knee, shoulder, back, neck...all of your joints. "There is no downside, no side effects." Elva knew that on 3/15/17 the New York Times ran an article entitled "Patients Lose Sight After Stem Cells are Injected Into Their Eyes." This is a very controversial area of bioscience and you need to do your own research about whatever malady you might suffer from. It's "possible" that stem cell therapy could help but for Elva, personally, she would need to see some double-blind clinical trials, etc before she would ever consider this therapy. It's a controversial subject about whether the FDA has jurisdiction because sometimes the stem cells are retrieved from the patient's own body (so there is no pharmacological drug that needs to be proved). Do your research. I was amazed at the % of people who were suckered into signing up for a consultation yesterday ($5,500 per knee, shoulder, more for back/neck, insurance never covers this, why? because it's not proven to be beneficial).
Elva showed the Arlington Convention & Visitor's Bureau list of "Another 21 Cool Things to do in Arlington You might Not Know About" and we talked about each of these things. We were fortunate to have Kay and Ron Reynolds with us tonight who are so knowledgeable about Arlington landmarks and lots of other facts. In the parking lot after the meeting, Jan Houchin said "Who WAS that man who knew everything about Arlington? Our one-hour meeting was over way too soon!
You can see the list of "21 cool things in Arlington" at
The flyer passed out at the meeting is pasted below in reference to the first Announcement above:
VOTE “YES” ON PROP. 1 TO SUPPORT ARLINGTON’S SENIORS
ELECTION DAY IS MAY 6.
PLEASE DON’T FAIL TO VOTE.
(Distributed by Ambassadors For Aging Well www.ambassadorsforagingwell.org )
Elva Roy is the Founder of the all-volunteer group "Ambassadors For Aging Well" which meets in Arlington, Texas.