Few things in life are certain, but there is one thing everyone can count on -- aging. All of us will one day be faced with issues related to growing older, perhaps first taking care of our aging parents or an older relative, and then growing older ourselves.

Despite the many mental and physical challenges associated with aging, we can educate ourselves about the process, and hopefully make the experience less stressful, and perhaps even enjoyable.

Helping senior citizens, their loved ones and caregivers navigate the challenges of aging is the focus of the fourth annual Symposium for Seniors sponsored by the Lafayette Community Foundation, Saturday, Oct. 13 at 8:30 a.m. at the Lafayette Orinda Presbyterian Church, 49 Knox Drive in Lafayette.

A full agenda will include guest speakers, resource providers, refreshments and doorprizes. Event sponsors include BrightStar, ResCare and The Stratford.

Among those set to greet attendees are Marechal Duncan, co-chair of the foundation's Liaison Committee for Seniors; Carol Federighi, mayor of Lafayette; and foundation Chairwoman Teresa Gerringer. Dr. Alan Brast, will speak about "Aging Gracefully with the Mind/Body Connection."

Lafayette's curvy roads can provide problems for many seniors; addressing senior transportation will be Mary Bruns, spirit van coordinator with Lafayette Senior Services, and Elaine Welch, executive director of Senior Helpline Services.


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Ruth McCahan, Lafayette Senior Services commissioner, will discuss the Lamorinda Senior Village concept -- a local community based nonprofit membership program providing members with practical means to remain in their own homes as they age.

With a presentation titled, "Mom! We need to talk," local estate planning attorney Stefanie West will discuss the nine issues that adult children and parents should share regarding estate planning. West's expertise includes wills, trusts, probate and MediCal planning, and as a senior services commissioner she works to prevent elder fraud and abuse.

In between speakers, a variety of door prizes from favorite local businesses will be awarded, as well as refreshments. In addition, local senior resource providers will be available on site to offer expertise and answer questions regarding a variety of senior services available locally.

With the right tools, growing older can be an enjoyable journey. Find some of those tools at Saturday's symposium. Hope to see you there.

Aaron Miller, 17, is an Acalanes High School senior working on this seniors symposium for his Eagle Scout project.