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MICHIGAN CITY — Dot Warn and Ted Perez drove all the way Sunday from Dyer to the Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa in Michigan City to take part in this year's Art of Aging Lifestyle & Wellness Expo.

"It sounded like it was interesting," Warn said.

Warn said she and Perez strive to keep up on the latest in senior living options and that is among the information they sought out Sunday.

"You never know when you might need it," Perez said.

Warn added, "And it can come suddenly."

This was the second year The Times presented the expo along with Blue Chip as a sponsor, said Jim Pellegrini, head of marketing for The Times

The event aims to provide a nice variety of resources not only for the aging population, but for their children as well, he said.

Sunday's event featured representatives from health care, housing options, financial services and home repair.

"I came to win a car," Perez said with a laugh.

The smallest vendor on hand was Frankie Bear Martin, a 9 1/2-pound Shih Tzu/Maltese mix, who serves as a certified therapy dog for Providence at Home.

Frankie stood proud on the Providence vendor table sweetly meeting visitors. 

Kayde Martin, account executive for Providence, said Frankie is so easy going and effective at making patients happy.

"He just brings so much joy to their faces," she said.

After 19 years in senior care, Martin said she decided it was time to bring a therapy dog along.

Munster resident Nancy Konopasek said this was her second year taking part in the event.

While retired, she remains involved in a number of different organizations and always has her eyes out for additional ways to help.

"I'm busier now than when I was working," Konopasek said.

She said the event has vendors that would interest more than just those in the retired community.

The expo's location right next to a casino does not hurt either, she said.

"I will make a day of it,' Konopasek said.

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Porter/LaPorte County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Bob is a 23-year veteran of The Times. He covers county government and courts in Porter County, federal courts, police news and regional issues. He also created the Vegan in the Region blog, is an Indiana University grad and lifelong region resident.