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Oakley conference focuses on the positive

Special to The Hays Daily News

OAKLEY -- Aging brings changes in life and lifestyle, as well as new challenges -- and opportunities.

Making the most of inevitable changes and meeting the challenges, while also taking advantage of opportunities will be the focus of the 2013 edition of northwest Kansas's spring conference on aging: Full Circle ... An Aging Expo -- The Best is Yet to Be.

The event will be from 9:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. April 26 at Gateway Fellowship Church Impact Center, Sunshine Avenue and East Second, Oakley.

The 2013 lineup of speakers will feature Karen Ridder, Topeka, representing the Kansas Humanities Council, as keynote speaker. Ridder will present "Bucket Lists and Looking Back" as she encourages attendees to reflect on accomplishments and consider what they might like to do as they approach the closing chapters of their lives.

Deb Sellers will offer tips for adapting to challenges associated with aging and encourage attendees to examine their beliefs about aging and consider aging as another stage in life's journey. Sellers, a Manhattan-based Kansas State Research and Extension state specialist on adult development and aging, advocates a positive approach to the challenges and opportunities associated with each stage in life.

Attendees can choose three of six breakout sessions. Presentations include:

* Falling Less in Kansas: Reducing Risks. Teresa Radebaugh of Wichita State University will offer ideas on reducing the risks in everyday life.

* The Who, When, Where, What and How of Guardianship vs. Conservatorship. Randy Clinkscales, attorney with Clinkscales Elder Law Practice, Hays, will explain the differences between the two and help attendees consider current needs while planning for future needs.

* Behind Closed Doors: Intimacy and Aging. Gayle Doll, director of the Center on Aging in the College of Human Ecology at Kansas State University, will address preconceived notions about sexuality and aging, and growing older without repressing sexuality.

* Legal Issues and Farm Succession. Attorney Michael Irvin, Kansas Farm Bureau, who grew up on a farm in Goodland, will examine issues many farm families face.

* Getting Financially Prepared: Avoid Disaster. Jamie Rathbun, K-State Extension family and consumer sciences agent in Ellsworth County, will give tips for ensuring records and other essential documents are up to date, stored safely and can be accessed in the event of a disaster.

* Mental Health Crisis Intervention/Mental Health First Aid. Ken Loos, High Plains Mental Health Agency, Hays, will offer tips for framing effective communications during a health crisis.

For registration and cost information, visit www.northwest.ksu.edu or call Diann Gerstner, Thomas County Extension family and consumer sciences agent, at (785) 460-4582.

The regional conference is sponsored by the K-State Research and Extension Northwest Area Office, Northwest Kansas Area Agency on Aging; Fort Hays State University, Kansas Humanities Council and Logan County Health Department.