Panelists offer insights on aging
Dec. 11, 2009

The LaGrange College Nursing Program hosted an aging symposium Dec. 2 featuring five LaGrange-area senior citizens.  The group of elderly panelists included Hugh Vines, a minister; Emily Sheffield, a fitness instructor; Jeanette Schroeder, a nursing administrator; Connie Caldwell, a businesswoman, and Rita Kitts, a recent graduate of LaGrange College.

They shared interesting and enlightening stories from their past and present experiences, as well as provided answers to discovering the proverbial “fountain of youth” and staying healthy while aging.

Vines, 93, is a retired minister who still receives six or seven offers to lead church services. In fact, he has been asked to preach on his 100th birthday, seven years from now. He also is a World War II veteran.

Sheffield still leads exercise programs on a LaGrange television station, even after knee replacement surgery. And Kitts received her most recent college degree in 2008.

The junior class of the nursing program sat in on the symposium and asked questions on topics including hobbies, nutrition, exercise, religion, memories, as well as other major influences.  These aspects of their lifestyles impacted their lives differently and contributed to the framework for their healthiness.  In addition, each panelist had varying characteristics which made their input unique and personal.  The panelists also expressed their attitudes and mindsets throughout the years and how their views on the elderly evolved with age.

The tact, knowledge, and overall physical and mental health the panelists displayed contradicted many negative stereotypes relating to the aging process.  The panelists were witty, intelligent and expressed a keen desire to experience and learn new things.  Furthermore, the activeness of the panelists ­ – whether it was in exercise programs, church services, or taking college courses – was inspiring and proved that a healthy well-being and ambition can still flourish into old age.





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