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Showing seniors their options at upcoming local event

Healthy Aging Expo seeks to build awareness about the services available to senior citizens

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When senior citizen Erith Manby lost her husband, she turned to the Youville Centre for bereavement counselling to help her through her grief.

Now Manby, along with a group of volunteers from Archwood 55 Plus in St. Vital, are reaching out to seniors who might find themselves in similar situations but don’t know what kind of resources are available to them.

Today (Wed., Sept. 11) the group is presenting the Southeast Healthy Aging Expo at the Archwood Community Centre (565 Guilbault St.). The Expo will bring together community groups and businesses from across a variety of different sectors, all with a focus on building awareness among seniors of the different health services available to them.

"There are a lot of different concerns and problems seniors have," says Manby. "A lot of seniors are just not aware of what’s available to them, so this is just providing information for them, so they know where they can go."

St. Boniface Coun. Dan Vandal is one of the sponsors of the event. For him, a strength of the event is that it provides an opportunity for seniors to empower themselves to take charge of their own health.

"It is important to work in partnership with our seniors to help offer the widest range of choices possible for healthy living," he says.

The realization of a disconnect between area seniors and the services available to them is one of the things that led to the creation of the expo, which is the first for the senior citizens group.

For example, "there are a lot of diabetics in our group, and they have trouble cutting their toenails," says Manby. "We were able to connect them with the Youville (Diabetes) Centre."

The event will feature interactive exercise demonstrations, displays from businesses such as Canadian Footwear, and displays with information from organizations like Victoria Lifeline, Manitoba Hydro, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, the Winnipeg Police Service, and the Winnipeg Fire and Paramedic Service.

There will be a free light lunch, and the Tim Hortons Community Cruiser will also be at the event.

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