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Discover 'your next chapter' at 50-Plus Expo [Senior Circles]

Friday, Oct. 17, is a big day for older adults in Howard County and in surrounding counties as well. Presented by the Department of Citizen Services, the Howard County Office on Aging's 50-Plus Expo takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Wilde Lake High School, at 5460 Trumpeter Road, in Columbia.

The expo isn't just for seniors; it is of interest to family members, caregivers, care providers and professionals. This very popular event is always well attended. Last year there were more than 4,000 attendees.

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Since there is limited parking at the school, I highly recommend taking the free courtesy shuttle. It leaves from the Mall in Columbia.

The theme for this 16th annual expo is "Your Next Chapter." The expo is an outstanding venue to learn about the wealth of resources available to older adults, whether educational, social, medical care, companion care, living facilities and exercise.

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The keynote is "Life Reimagined," a new AARP program. The keynote speaker is Anne Herbster, vice president of marketing and integration at AARP Services.

According to the expo press release, Herbster is the "creative force" behind the "Life Reimagined, Real Possibilities" campaign. AARP's webpage on the program states, "You could be doing something that matters to you. Life Reimagined is a simple and smart approach that helps you rediscover what really matters to you so you can do what you really want to do."

If you don't get a chance to hear the keynote because of the crowds, go to lifereimagined.aarp.org to find out more and how you can sign up.

Herbster's talk fits well with the expo's theme, "Your Next Chapter," and will help you to think about what's next in your life. There will also be seminars and workshops that will guide you to develop possibilities for your future. Topics are related to financial, physical and mental wellbeing.

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A health fair offers attendees a variety of free screenings as well as flu and pneumonia shots. There will also be entertainment all day. The popular Capitol Steps will perform at noon and 2 p.m. If you have never experienced a performance by the Capitol Steps, this venue is a must. Their website describes them as "We put the MOCK in Democracy." They sing and dance while doing hilarious spoofs on items directly from current events.

The expo press release also revealed that Howard County had the fastest growing population in Maryland from 2000 to 2010 and that Howard County's 65+ population is expected to make up 22 percent of the county's populations by 2040.

What is the next phase or chapter in your life? Is it a new job? Is it a new volunteer opportunity? Is it taking up a hobby or interest that you have always wanted to do but haven't had the time before? Older adults and baby boomers should go to the 50+Expo and start to explore their possibilities for the future.

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