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Aging expo introduces seniors to hands-on activities, new skills

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Aroostook Agency on Aging hosted its seventh annual Aging Well, Living Well Expo on Friday, May 17, with many senior citizens taking advantage of hands-on activities and presentations that encouraged them to embrace healthy lifestyles.

Approximately 160 seniors gathered at Northern Maine Community College and participated in workshops on a variety of topics including crockpot cooking, cancer and stroke prevention, eye care, bone health and osteoporosis and money fraud scams. They also visited booths set up at the campus gymnasium that aimed to connect them with various community resources.

Carolyn Laferriere of Fort Kent (left) shows Aroostook Aging on Aging executive director Joy Barresi-Saucier how to construct a picture frame during the Aging Well, Living Well expo at NMCC on Friday.
(Staff photo/Melissa Lizotte)

“We’re all aging and as we age it’s important to stay connected to the community,” said Joy Barresi-Saucier, executive director of Aroostook Agency on Aging. “This expo rallies older adults together to socialize and learn new things together.”

Many seniors came together for the “Frame Your Memories” workshop, held twice during the expo. NMCC building construction technology instructor Frank Pytlak led participants through a two-part lesson on how to construct a picture frame. The afternoon session saw six students eager to grab their tools and get to work.

During the Frame Your Memories workshop, of Aroostook Agency on Aging’s annual expo, NMCC instructor Frank Pytlak showed participants how to build their own picture frame.
(Staff photo/Melissa Lizotte)

Pat Laferriere of Washburn, who attended the Aging Well, Living Well Expo for the first time this year, said she decided to take part in “Frame Your Memories” because of the hands-on activity the workshop involved.

“I wanted to try something challenging. I’ve never worked with tools before,” she said. “The expo is a good time to get out and see people you haven’t seen all winter.”

Carolyn Laferriere of Fort Kent, who is not related to Pat Laferriere, was also a newcomer to the expo. While building her picture frame, she said she enjoyed taking workshops on eye health and crockpot cooking techniques. She plans on using her new picture frame to hang photos of her seven grandchildren.

“I think it’s wonderful,” Laferriere said, about the expo. “I’ve learned a lot and it’s fun to spend time with people that you don’t know.”

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