Aging in Atlanta returns as live event after going virtual during pandemic

Panelists talked health, wellness, things to do and more

Credit: Lisa Smith, for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Lisa Smith, for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution once again brought the Aging in Atlanta event to the community for a spring panel on Tuesday, March 28. The event was sponsored by Kroger.

After several years of virtual events, attendees packed the Kessel D. Stelling Ballroom at Cobb Energy Centre to hear a panel of experts talk estate planning, health and wellness. Access Atlanta’s Vicky Ro joined as well to talk about upcoming events and things to do around the metro.

The lunchtime event featured an audience Q&A segment. Subscribers were also encouraged to submit questions ahead of the event. Raffles were held throughout the afternoon, with attendees winning Kroger gift cards, spa treatments and more.

Streamlining prescriptions, new caps on drug costs

Deanna “Dee Dee” McEwen, Pharm.D., a pharmacist with Kroger Health, Atlanta Division, walked attendees through the benefits of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, including free vaccines, caps on insulin prices and new limits on out-of-pocket drug expenses.

McEwen also discussed improving medication adherence by utilizing auto refills and synching refill dates. And with spring already triggering allergies, she offered tips for preventing and treating symptoms.

Estate planning, veterans’ benefits and Medicaid

Returning panelist Shannon Pawley, J.D., LL.M., attorney and CEO of the Estate and Asset Protection Law Firm, answered questions about estate planning. She addressed asset positioning in preparation for the transition to nursing home care, stressing the importance of making arrangements before families find themselves in a crisis situation.

Pawley also discussed lesser-known veterans’ benefits, including the VA’s Aid and Attendance program, which helps pay for in-home care.

Credit: Lisa Smith, for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Lisa Smith, for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Nutrition and wellness

Ann Whitaker, RDN, LD, CDE, CCP, manager of nutrition and clinical patient education at Kaiser Permanente, discussed the importance of proper nutrition, noting that while older people generally require fewer calories, their bodies are less efficient at processing vitamins and nutrients. That means eating smarter — she recommended berries for their antioxidants and offered tips for getting enough calcium — to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Whitaker also discussed the difficulty of controlling blood sugar levels as one ages.

Outdoor fun, dancing and the Georgia Renaissance Festival

Access Atlanta’s Vicky Ro joined the panel to offer tips for things to do this spring. In addition to the many concerts, plays, and festivals coming this spring, Ro revealed the event she’s looking forward to: the Georgia Renaissance Festival. What better way to shake up your routine than the immersive event that encourages attendees to dress up and be transported to another time?

For outdoor enthusiasts, Ro recommended the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, noting that it offers extraordinary views without the more difficult hikes of some other Georgia locations.

But it was Ro’s tips on joining a dance class that really caught the audience’s attention. She offered recommendations on classes and events for experienced dancers and beginners alike — but noted that the best place to dance is where you are right now.

Future Aging in Atlanta events

Don’t miss out on the Aging in Atlanta experience. This year, we’re hitting the road and hosting quarterly events across metro Atlanta. Visit for information on the remaining 2023 events schedule.

Are you interested in sponsoring or speaking at one of our next Aging in Atlanta events? Email

And for additional information about healthy living, things to do and more, look for Aging in Atlanta special sections in Sunday editions of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on the following dates:

  • April 2
  • May 7
  • June 11
  • August 13
  • September 10
  • October 8
  • November 12
  • December 10