Heart Truth speaker to share how to become a ‘super-ager’

Published 7:52 pm Thursday, February 1, 2018

Author, speaker and musician Connie Carey will return as the keynote speaker at WellStar West Georgia Medical Center’s 11th Heart Truth for Women Luncheon on Tuesday, Feb. 20.

Carey will present “How To Be A Super-Ager: What Every Woman Needs To Know” at the luncheon, which will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Callaway Conference Center at West Georgia Technical College.

“The Heart Truth” is a program of the National Institutes of Health and helps raise awareness across the country about women’s risk of heart disease, the No. 1 killer of women in the United States. This is the 11th year WellStar WGMC and its Heart Clinic have held their Heart Truth luncheon, which brings an audience of about 500 each year.

Carey, who lives in Macon, blends comic relief with music to bring messages of motivation and inspiration. Her book, “Falling Up: Lessons Learned on the Way Down,” earned her 2015 Georgia Author of the Year honors in the Inspirational-Religious category. It also became a No. 1 Amazon bestseller in two categories.

A “super-ager” — a term coined by neurologist Marsel Mesulam — is a person whose memory and attention isn’t merely above average for his or her age, but is actually on par with healthy, active 25-year-olds.

“I think of my own mom when I think of a super-ager,” Carey said.  “She turned 90 in January, and a year ago she started chemo for chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

“She got a great blood report in July of last year and celebrated by getting a pedicure and went with several girl friends to the movies — where she fell and broke her hip.”

Rather than her hip injury becoming the “beginning of the end,” Carey said, her mother did beyond what was asked of her during intensive rehabilitation. In six months, she was off her walker and even driving again.

“As my mom reminds me, ‘Getting old is not for sissies!’” Carey said. “She knows she has limitations; for starters, she is diabetic, and she doesn’t drive after dark. Yet, at age 82 and age 87, she climbed a mountain. She plays bridge a few times a week, plays the piano beautifully, texts like a teenager and downloads games with her iPhone. She has a sense of humor to make you laugh so hard your sides hurt.”

With her own trademark humor, Carey will share with the audience the research regarding what individuals can do to become “super-agers,” including the physical and mental aspects needed to keep the heart and brain working well.

Carey also serves as a speaker coach, using her background in teaching and performing to help others overcome the fear of the stage and then leverage that fear to inspire, motivate and encourage others. In 2013 she finished in the top 18 of more than 30,000 contestants in the Toastmasters International World Championship of Public Speaking. She also is a member of the National Speakers Association.

An accomplished pianist and flutist, Carey holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music.  She has taught music at First Presbyterian Day School in Macon and was music director at two of Macon’s largest churches, Ingleside Baptist and Mabel White Memorial Baptist. In 2013 she released a CD of classic hymns and contemporary worship songs on the piano.

Luncheon tickets are $30 per person or $250 for a table for 10. Seating is limited. Call (706) 845-3600 to reserve a spot.