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FOR RELEASE: September 4 , 2005
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications

Aging With Activities Promotes Health and Quality of Life
September is Healthy AgingŪ Month

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) and Oklahoma Arthritis Network (OAN) are encouraging seniors to stay active and celebrate September, Healthy AgingŪ Month, by attending the Oklahoma State Fair on Senior Day, September 21.

As a part of Healthy AgingŪ Month, seniors, especially those affected by arthritis, are encouraged to schedule and participate in local activities to exercise and improve their quality of life. According to OSDH public health officials, 56 percent of adult Oklahomans 65 years of age and older have been diagnosed with arthritis of some type.

“Early diagnosis and appropriate self-management strategies such as physical activity will help delay and possibly prevent disability from conditions such as arthritis,” said OSDH Arthritis Program Coordinator and occupational therapist, Marisa New.

Arthritis is the leading cause of disability and most prevalent chronic condition in the United States, limiting the activities of more than 16 million adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Health Interview Survey found that arthritis affects 33 percent of adults between the ages of 55-64; 45 percent of adults between 65-74; and 55 percent of adults older than 75. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions.

Locally, Senior Day at the Oklahoma State Fair will be Wed., Sept. 21, beginning at 8:30 a.m. All seniors age 55 and older will be admitted free that day.

The “Golden Age Celebration” will feature the following free health screenings:

  • Body Composition Screenings sponsored by the OU Prevention Research Center
  • Blood Sugar Assessment and Screening sponsored by Universal Healthcare (while supplies last)
  • Blood Pressure check sponsored by the Oklahoma Blood Institute
  • Cholesterol Check sponsored by the Oklahoma Blood Institute (while supplies last)
  • Memory Screening sponsored by the Deaconess Senior Diagnostic Center
  • Advance Directive Counseling sponsored by the INTEGRIS Third Age Life Center

Senior health and recreation exhibits include:

  • Excell Home Care & Hospice
  • Francis Tuttle's Golden Agers
  • Jazzercise
  • Mercy Community Outreach - Senior Health
  • Oklahoma Department of Tourism & Recreation
  • Oklahoma City Parks and Recreation
  • Oklahoma Red Hat Society Chapters
  • Oklahoma State Department of Health
  • OSU/OKC Horticulture Center
  • Senior Care Services
  • The Fountains at Canterbury
  • Thrifty Pharmacy
  • Time Lines Tour and Charter Bus
  • Universal Healthcare
  • Wellington Retirement Community

Additional activities on Senior Day include: Jazzercise Wake Up and Work Out, Golden Age Contest, Scavenger Stroll, Senior Royalty Contest, Antique Tractor Parade, Senior Spelling Bee, and a Senior Swing Dance.

The OSDH and OAN are working to improve the quality of life for people affected by arthritis and other rheumatic conditions. For information about the Senior Day at the State Fair view this Web site: http://oklahomastatefair.com/seniorday.html.

For information about the OAN and their monthly meetings, contact OSDH Arthritis Program Coordinator Marisa New at 405/271-9444 ext. 56410, or visit the OSDH Web site at www.health.ok.gov/program/apep.


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