A free informational program that helps seniors plan their future is steadily gaining interest among the public.
Cobb County Senior Services has sponsored the series "Aging by Design," which continues through this month and culminates in a summit 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday, April 28, at the Cobb Galleria Centre.
"We are seeing an overwhelmingly positive response," Senior Services Director Jessica Gill said of those who have attended the prior lectures. "When you are armed with the information, you can do a lot more. They are hungry for information."
Often, seniors don’t plan far enough ahead for things like financial security or health problems. By providing accurate information, the sessions are designed to educate the public about the aging issues they should prepare for.
"You get to take control," Gill said. "The importance there is to make the sort of decisions you want early."
The first seminar in March covered elder abuse with about 50 people attending. Later that same month, more than 250 came to the event discussing dementia, organizers said.
On Tuesday, April 8, "Housing Options" will be the main topic at 7 p.m. at the Senior Wellness Center, 1150 Powder Springs St., Marietta.
More than 130 people were already registered by the end of March. The speaker will be LeadingAge Georgia President Walter Coffey.
Gill said each forum has provided the public, whether they are seniors, relatives or caregivers, a chance to hear directly from experts and get information.
For example, a panel of doctors from WellStar will be discussing health, wellness and aging at the April 28 event. Other guest speakers will include the Atlanta Regional Commission director of the Area Agency on Aging, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services deputy commissioner of programs and a certified dementia specialist.
"They aren’t just people you can contact on a regular basis," Gill said.
The various events also ask attendees to bring their ideas and solutions to help others. Gill said the public has been able to discuss housing issues, transportation issues and provide their thoughts on how the community can support those with dementia.
"We’re asking them to take action," she said.