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Ok… look at your calendar. Are you free on Thursday, September 26? Would you like to attend the Senior Expo at the Albuquerque Journal?

Well, I’d like to invite any senior citizen who has a curious mind and an adventurous spirit to join me and other seniors to attend this year’s Senior Expo.

And the best part – your ride to the show is absolutely free. Yes, you’re reading that sentence right. El Defensor Chieftain along with the Roger D. Simkin Memorial Fund is sponsoring the bus trip.

All you have to do is call our newspaper office at 575-835-0520 and sign up. We’d love to have you join us! The bus will leave the Socorro General Hospital at 8:30 a.m. and return no later than 4:30 p.m.

Plus our major sponsor is Socorro General Hospital and you’ll be able to see their booth at this year’s expo, too.

Here’s why I’d like for you, your spouse, or your friends to consider hopping on the bus with us.

Five years ago, my mother suffered a massive stroke. Our family wasn’t prepared. My mother had not told any of my brothers, sister and I what she wanted done should she be incapacitated and could no longer able to care for herself.

When she was taken to the hospital, none of us had any idea where her medical records were, if she had a living will, or where her insurance cards were located. To say it was a bit of a mess was an understatement. When the doctors asked what meds she was on – we had absolutely no idea.

My mother wasn’t coherent enough to speak at that time, so my brother had to drive back to the farm to grab the meds out of the kitchen cabinet and look for her pocketbook to see if he could find her billfold. It took some searching, but we did manage to find the important paper work.

When I looked back at the experience, I went back to the newspaper here I worked and thought we have to help seniors become more informed about the healthcare needs, wants and wishes. So my newspaper started an expo that fall hoping to help seniors and their children become more informed about the services that are available to them in their local community.

What we learned was this: Many of those attending were seniors … but they also brought along one of their children to become informed, too.

So, if you want to bring one of your children along to listen and visit with our vendors – I encourage you do that. The more information you have, the more you will be armed should you need to make a major and informed health decision in your life.

The day will be filled with various seminars plus there will be all sorts of health care providers available.

In addition, Dr. Eileen Comstock will present a program on Hospice and yours truly will present a talk on writing your life’s story (ie. obituary).

Lunch will be available at the Journal Center for under $5. In addition – if you’re interested – you can even get a tour of the Journal and see the presses working –that’s worth the FREE trip in itself.

So give us a call, I’d love for as many of our readers to join us. Plus it will give me an opportunity to meet you in person!

Space is limited on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Again, save the date – Thursday, September 26! We’d love for you to join us.

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A couple of other items on the horizon here at the newspaper: Our Veterans Day Salute and Santa’s Jingle Bash.

In our Veteran’s Day publication on Nov. 7, we’d like to salute as many of our area veterans as possible. If you have a picture of your father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, son or daughter (active or retired) who has served in the Armed Forces we like for you to consider honoring them by allowing us to publish their picture. There is no charge to submit the photograph.

As the daughter of a World War II veteran, sister of a Coast Guard veteran, aunt of a Coast Guard Lt. j.g. officer as well as a great niece of a World War I veteran, I encourage you to help us honor the brave individuals in your family. To have served one’s country is an honor.

So starting looking for those photographs and let us honor our servicemen and women.

Finally, if you’re a crafter – we’d like for you to join us to for Santa’s Jingle Bash to be conducted on Saturday, December 7, at Finley gym here in Socorro.

Be sure to look for the ad in the coming weeks. Plus we have an extra surprise for the kids that day too! I’ll reveal that in a few weeks.

So stayed tuned for more exciting news!