VIENNA - Many area seniors discovered the kinds of services available to them locally as well as taking the opportunity to do some needed health tests Thursday at the 20th annual Mid-Ohio Valley Senior Expo.
There were more than 500 area seniors at the all-day event at the Grand Pointe Conference Center. The event was sponsored by Camden Clark Medical Center, Marietta Memorial Hospital and The PM Company.
Seniors got the chance to speak with representatives from more than 50 businesses with products and services geared toward them. Many did a variety of health screenings. There was also a diabetic cooking demonstration, entertainment, door prizes, bingo and more.
Photo by Brett Dunlap
There were more than 500 area seniors at the 20th annual Mid-Ohio Valley Senior Expo Thursday at the Grand Pointe Conference Center in Vienna.
"It is a day of fun for seniors," said Joyce Hubner, Lifetime Partners coordinator with the Camden Clark Medical Center. "We normally have 400-500 seniors come to this. It is usually a well-attended event.
"From the phone calls our offices have been getting, we have a feeling it will be as many if not more this year."
Many people have also signed up for a number of low-cost health screenings being done at the Expo, said Wendy Shriver, Community Relations and 55-Plus coordinator with Memorial Health Systems.
"I think we have had more folks sign up for the low-cost lab screenings than we did last year, which is a sign of the economic times," she said.
They were doing a number of screenings, including cholesterol profiles, an A1C diabetic maintenence test, prostate screenings as well as bone density and pulmonary function tests. The prices for the tests ranged from $10 or so for individual tests to around $35 for a collection of tests. Free blood pressure and blood sugar tests were also conducted.
A new feature at the expo this year was the diabetic cooking demonstration, sponsored by Foodland. The demonstration was conducted by Paula Strawder of the West Virginia University Extension Office.
"This is our first time ever for a diabetic cooking demonstration (at the expo)," Hubner said. "We are all interested in wellness, and there is a high instance of diabetes in this area."
Various recipes were given out, as well as samples of each dish, for around 100 people.
There was also nursing home recognition.
"We are also trying to show that even if people have had to move to a senior living facility, they can still be active and live full lives," Hubner said.
The expo is always held in May because it is Older Americans Month nationwide, Hubner said. A committee begins in January to plan and organize the expo, Shriver added. Hubner and Shriver act as the event coordinators for the expo.
Many seniors came out to see what kind of services are available.
Many of the vendors had items they were giving away to attendees.
Cinda Hoye of Parkersburg joked the free stuff was one of the reasons she was there Thursday. Hoye was at the expo with her mother, Vivian Pepper.
Hoye said she did find out a lot about different things in the area for seniors.
"There is a lot of information here, a lot more than I thought there would be," she said.
She found a lot of information about fitness activities. She was also at the diabetic cooking demonstration to learn about healthy eating.
"Aging does not mean quitting," Hoye said.
Leonard Lowers of Parkersburg came out for the health screenings, something he has tried to do every year.
"I am a Lifetime Partner and heard about it through that," he said. "I do the blood test.
"It is the best thing to do."
Many seniors may miss learning about a health event going on in the area.
"So many times, you miss it," he said. "This whole thing is available and I knew about it.
"It is cheaper than anything else I know of. I give the (test) results to my doctor and he will accept them so it must be OK."
The health screenings are a great opportunity to catch things many people might not be thinking about, Shriver said.
"Someone might have a high cholesterol level and haven't had it checked for awhile," she said. "This is a great opportunity to come and have it checked.
"We have caught things that people did not know they had wrong with them."
Hubner hopes many area senior realize the number of services and products available to them throughout the area.
"I hope we are providing area seniors with access to a lot of different services and resources in the community," she said. "I think that is the biggest thing is that we have a lot under one roof.
"If anyone is looking for some kind of resource they can benefit from or adult children that are looking for resources to benefit their parents, it would be a great place to come without having to make a lot of phone calls or visits. They can have access and actually talk to people from those businesses and organizations."