JoCo on the Go Podcast: Live Well Age Well in Johnson County

On JoCo on the Go, episode #143, the annual Live Well Age Well expo returns to in person this year. On Sept. 14, older adults and caregivers can check out exhibits and listen to speakers to get the latest on a wide range of topics and services in Johnson County. On the episode, hear from organizers, volunteers and presenters about what’s in store for this year’s event that’s free and open to the public. Learn more about the expo.

JoCo on the Go Podcast: Live Well Age Well in Johnson County

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Time Subject
00:22 Introduction
01:06 What is the expo?
02:04 Presentations at this year's expo
07:24 How the event will compare to previous expos
10:12 Cybersecurity tips from an expo presenter
12:11 The importance of cybersecurity for caregivers
13:33 How to get involved in the expo


Theresa Freed 0:00 

It's an annual event for older adults and caregivers. On this episode, find out what's in store for this year's Live Well Age Well expo.

Announcer 0:09 

Whether you live in or just love Johnson County, Kansas, JoCo on the Go has everything Johnson County. Here's what's happening and what's coming up in the community you call home.

Theresa Freed 0:22 

Thanks for joining us for JoCo on the Go. I'm your host, Theresa Freed, a Johnson County resident and employee of Johnson County Government. Johnson County Park and Recreation District's 50 Plus program is hosting the annual Live Well Age Well expo. Lots of booths and educational presentations. And to talk more about what you can expect, we have with us several guests here today. We have Michelle Alexander with JCPRD, Donna Gomez, who's one of the presenters this year, and Ann Phelan, a volunteer and participant of the event every year. Thank you guys for joining us here for the conversation.

Michelle Alexander 0:56 

Thanks for having us.

Theresa Freed 0:57 

Alright, well, just to start us off, Michelle, not everybody's gonna be familiar with this event. So just tell us what exactly it is.

Michelle Alexander 1:06 

Absolutely. So we've been doing this event for many, many years. And what people can expect is to be able to come in and peruse a large space that's full of vendor booths. And they are both private businesses, service organizations, as well as many of our county agencies that provide services, programs and a variety of opportunities for older adults to live well and age well. And then in addition to that, we have our vendor area, we also do some a variety of educational and fun presentations. Throughout the day, we do some bingo to help provide an opportunity for all of our attendees to win some great prizes.

Theresa Freed 1:59 

And Michelle, do you want to highlight some of the presentations? What will people be learning about this year?

Michelle Alexander 2:04 

Absolutely. So we have four presentations this year. The first one is going to be done by Mary MacMurray, who is the museum director for the Johnson County Museum. And her presentation is past, present and future. So she's gonna tell us a little bit about how the Johnson County Museum came about. And then we also have Donna Gomez, who is here today that's going to do "Spot the Phish," which is email security, that we can all use. So some tips and tricks on how to stay safe when you're opening your emails, what to click on, what not to click on. And then we also have a presentation, it's "LGBTQ+, What's Up with All Those Letters." So just an opportunity for people in the community to learn a bit more about what all those letters mean, learn more about the LGBTQ community, have the opportunity to ask questions and learn in a safe space there. And then we also have Dennis Patton, who's with Johnson County K-State Extension Office, and he's going to do a container gardening presentation. His presentations are great. He's always a highlight for sure, for people to come see his presentations.

Theresa Freed 3:16 

And yeah, we've neglected to talk about probably the most important thing so far. And that's when is this and where is it?

Michelle Alexander 3:22 

So it is a week from this Wednesday. It's going to be on Wednesday, September 14, at the Arts and Heritage Center, which is 8788 Metcalf. So it's about 87th and Metcalf. And it starts at 10:00 and goes until 3:00.

Theresa Freed 3:41 

Alright, perfect. And Ann, you've participated in this event and also volunteered. So tell us a little bit about what you enjoy about this. What are your favorite things?

Ann Phelan 3:51 

You know, when I first started attending the Live Well Age Well event, I kind of looked at it...well, I started as a volunteer. I had a corporation that I worked for that was very generous with some time for community service. So I saw it as a way to help my county and folks that I knew that were a part of Park and Rec. But then when I saw what was really presented, I looked at it more several years ago as something that would help me possibly find information or helpful services for my in-laws, my parents that were older. But more and more I see that it's a great way to find out what's there in the community, who our supporters are of our Park and Rec, and what kind of things that they actually have available for us. I was surprised to find everything from phone calls to the state being provided, information there as well as funeral homes, that we're providing information, to maybe share more information about cremation and things with people. A to Z.

Theresa Freed 5:00 

Can you kind of give us the lay of the land? And when somebody walks into the room, like, you know, are you just going table to table and gathering information? Are you going into rooms during presentations? Or what does it look like?

Ann Phelan 5:12 

It's very nice, because you probably will be greeted by a Park and Rec employee, or a volunteer that's gonna make you feel welcome, feel like you should be there. It's not like it's a big secret thing and, you know, you're only one of hundreds that are there and they don't care. They do want to welcome you. And you're provided with the layout of the land, just like you said, a map that will show you who's there for the day and their company names or their services' names, a little bit about that. It'll also tell you which presentations are going to happen when, so a lot of those presentations happen throughout the day. You can stay for all of them, you can just come back and forth for the ones you want. It's very easy to come in and out of.

Theresa Freed 5:56 

Alright, that's perfect. And Michelle, when people come to this event, it's free, is that right? So it's really open to anybody in the community.

Michelle Alexander 6:06 

Absolutely, it is free. And when people come in is there's going to be tables set up in the event space at the Arts and Heritage Center. So that will be an area where all of our main vendors are, where you can just peruse table to table, you can have one-on-one conversations with the businesses that are there, whoever the representative is there, pick up information as you go. We will have event bags for the first 300 attendees there. We'll have specific bags that will include some of our sponsor information, as well as a free pass to get into the Johnson County Museum, which is good for that day, which is a great value and a great opportunity for people to, while they're spending their whole day there at the Arts and Heritage Center, they can go see the museum as well. And then we also have the library is going to have a space dedicated just to them, where people can sign up for a library card, they can learn how to access the online book system, I think it's called Libby is what it's called. And just sign up for book discussions learn about genealogy and all the programs that the library has to offer as well.

Theresa Freed 7:24 

This year is a little bit different than the last couple of years, you know, COVID is still around. But people are kind of transitioning back to in person events. And this is one of those. So can you talk about how this event looked different in the pandemic and how it's going to change this time?

Michelle Alexander 7:42 

For sure. We're very excited to be back in person again this year. We were thrilled with the turnout that we had the past two years when we did do it virtually. We still had really good engagement, really good participation, really good speakers that presented on really great topics. But this year, it's just so nice. And it's evident that everybody's ready to be back in person. We have a great turnout for vendors. We have over 40 vendors that will be there that day. And so between that and the speakers that we have that will be there in person and just to be able to be around each other and just see each other once again and have that one-on-one interaction is just really going to be fantastic.

Theresa Freed 8:32 

Alright. And so during this event, one of the presenters is going to be Donna Gomez, who has been on this podcast before talking about a very important subject. And that's cybersecurity. I think the last time we talked about it, we had a conversation, I was getting great tips, our listeners were getting great tips. And then, like, a week later, I was the victim of identity theft. And so I had to go back to her and say, "Alright, remind me what am I supposed to do?" So very good information. So hopefully the listeners will take notes and will do what I did. So anyway, Donna, if you want to talk a little bit about what the listeners or the attendees rather can get out of your presentation.

Donna Gomez 9:15 

Yeah, 'cause just everybody, you know, just like you said, everyone's a potential target for an attack. And you know, especially for seniors and anyone who takes care of seniors, you know, we have aging parents, we have people who are slowly going into these memory issues that they become these targets of attacks. So we want to take the time to talk about this way that you become a victim. And email is one of those easy ones, and then also with the texting and everything else and given the samples for it. And it's not just talking about, "Hey, you get this, don't click on it." It's what you do after that. So we're going to talk about the anatomy of a phish, and then what you can do when you spot it and then what you do next. You know, get some confidence on what to do with the next step.

Theresa Freed 10:04 

What are a few helpful tips that you might impart on our listeners, as a preview again to the actual full presentation?

Donna Gomez 10:12 

The most important thing is that everyone needs scenarios that you can trust your gut, just go with that. And everybody is a target. Everyone at some point is going to be target of a scam, whether it's by email, by phone or by text. So anyone can click on a phish, even I can do it. So it's okay, you're going to be a victim. So don't be afraid to tell somebody that it's happened to you, then. So that's why it's important to let somebody know this has happened. And then let's talk about what you're going to do now that you've clicked or, you know, that you've been a victim. So let's help recover. So we're going to talk about that part, and many, many times when there's a phishing attack, again, it's harder to identify, because there's so many account takeovers. So you're gonna get an email, and it's probably from somebody you know, because their account's been taken over. So we're going to help you look at your account and maybe find out if you've been a victim of a breach that no one let you know about. And that way, let's give you the steps to help you recover your account. Just like Theresa talked about, you know, she was a victim of identity theft. What are the steps you need to do to take over your life and take over your accounts? So that way, you can get alerts and kind of take back your ownership of things.

Theresa Freed 11:33 

it seems like time is just of the essence there. I mean, when that happens, you feel so panicked, you're questioning, you know, "What do I do next?" But really, the most important thing is, you know, reporting what's happened. It doesn't necessarily mean that, you know, someone's gonna get arrested for that crime, but it can protect you from further victimization. So that's really important. So hopefully you'll have a great crowd for that presentation. Like I said, they'll be taking some notes and be better prepared should that happen to them. And as a caregiver, is that information that you see being potentially useful?

Ann Phelan 12:11 

Yes, I sat in on a presentation a couple of years ago when I was there, that was given similar, but things change so often. O, my gosh, what I learned two or three years ago when we were in person has probably changed so drastically with what she can provide, Donna can provide to us now. And you know, that seems kind of heavy for some people, "Oh, it scares me, I don't want to know about it, you know, I just will pretend I don't have to worry about it." That's not the only presentations you'll find available. Some of them are just things that you need just to, you know, live your life and with other people, like some of the presentations Michelle talked about earlier.

Theresa Freed 12:56 

That's completely true. I think it's really important, no matter your age. Technology is around us everywhere and people communicate using their smartphones and email for sure. And so just having those tools to better prepare yourself for when that does happen I think is great. Great to include that as part of the this, you know, somebody's not having to go and talk to an expert, they're getting that information at this one-stop-shop for all things, you know, as you said, helping with the aging process. So, again, we just want to remind everybody, when and where this is and how they can get involved, if you want to wrap this up with that information, Michelle?

Michelle Alexander 13:33 

Yes, absolutely. So, and you're right, knowledge is power. And that is absolutely what we want to do with this event, is arm people with the knowledge that they need to live well and age well. So we look forward to everyone coming and visiting us that day. And it's going to be on Wednesday, September 14, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center, which is at 8788 Metcalf. Also go to our website, which is written out. And there you can see a full schedule and the times of all of our presentations, everything that's going on and all the information that you need for that day is right there, lives on that webpage. So please come see us.

Theresa Freed 14:28 

Alright. And as you mentioned, you might want to get there early if you want to be able to get a bag and be one of those first 300 people in the door. Well, thank you all for being here today and sharing this great information, and I know our listeners are, I'm sure, looking forward to coming and meeting you in person and learning more about the conference and all the exhibits and all that good stuff. And again, just go to the website if you want to check out, you know, maybe when's the time to go to get information about what you're most interested in.

Announcer 14:57 

You just heard JoCo on the Go. Join us next time for more everything Johnson County. Have a topic you want to discuss? We want to hear from you. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter at jocogov. For more on this podcast, visit Thanks for listening.

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