Some­thing for ev­ery­one

Expo looks at what’s avail­able for those get­ting older

Cape Breton Post - - Cape Breton - BY CAPE BRE­TON POST STAFF news@cb­post.com

It may be called the 50-plus Expo but ac­cord­ing to or­ga­nizer Alan Nathanson peo­ple of all ages could ben­e­fit from the in­for­ma­tion be­ing given at Satur­day’s event held at the Whit­ney Pier le­gion.

“It’s not so much for se­niors in their 70s and 80s, it’s for the chil­dren of th­ese se­niors who are 45, 50, 55,” said Nathanson as the crowd at­tend­ing the event milled around him. “They bring their par­ents, they’re also get­ting ex­posed to what’s down the road so we’re catch­ing two dif­fer­ent age groups of peo­ple. When you say 50-plus, peo­ple rec­og­nize they can go to it. We’re cap­tur­ing a wider num­ber of peo­ple com­ing through the doors.”

This year’s event fea­tured 33 booths that fea­tured ev­ery­thing from candy and stained glass jew­elry ven­dors to funeral homes and recre­ational agen­cies. Each ta­ble fea­tured the chance to win a prize, in­clud­ing such items as canes and blood pres­sure mon­i­tors. While the prizes might be a draw, it also gives the ex­hibitor a chance to meet with the pub­lic.

“At­ten­dance is good. Ex­hibitors like to do one-on-ones with the at­ten­dees at this event,” said Nathanson.

An­dre Gal­lant of the Cape Bre­ton YMCA said his or­ga­ni­za­tion at­tended the expo to help peo­ple get the most out of the rest of their lives.

“Cape Bre­ton re­ally leads the coun­try the wrong way in terms of an ag­ing and un­healthy pop­u­la­tion,” said Gal­lant. “It’s re­ally un­for­tu­nate. We know that ex­er­cise is a cu­ra­tive and a pre­ven­ta­tive mea­sure for a lot of chronic ill­nesses, for joint and mo­bil­ity is­sues, so we’re en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to get well whether it’s a walk around our track, a swim in the pool or a walk around the neigh­bour­hood — what­ever is the most con­ve­nient to keep you work­ing to­wards your best health.”

Colleen Clare of the Cape Bre­ton

Re­gional Mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s re­cre­ation de­part­ment says they have been at­tend­ing the expo since it opened three years ago. Their mis­sion is to let peo­ple know what’s avail­able within the mu­nic­i­pal­ity, of­ten at no charge.

“We ba­si­cally like to come out and let peo­ple know what we do at CBRM re­cre­ation and it’s not al­ways what peo­ple think,” said Clare. “We help with a lot of events but we put on a lot of learn-to pro­grams for free and a lot of spe­cial events — se­niors so­cials, Canada Day events, con­certs in the park, we pro­mote trails — any­thing that has to do with phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, we’re out there.”

Both Clare and Gal­lant be­lieve peo­ple over the age of 50 are be­com­ing more ac­tive but that more needs to be done.

“There’s still a lot of bar­ri­ers out there but some­times the bar­ri­ers are per­ceived,” said Clare. “As long as we let peo­ple know that there’s ways around things, there’s walk­ing groups that they can get in­volved in, there’s free pro­grams, stuff for Si­mon Gil­lis can’t re­sist a chance to get peo­ple in­ter­ested in his or­ga­ni­za­tion, the Whit­ney Pier His­tor­i­cal Mu­seum. The mu­seum was one of 33 ex­hibitors tak­ing part in this year’s 50-plus Expo held Satur­day at the Whit­ney Pier le­gion.

kids, stuff for all ages. Peo­ple are of­ten not aware that we have so many trails here in the CBRM so just get­ting that in­for­ma­tion out is good.”

Some­times health is­sues may af­fect mo­bil­ity for those over 50 but Gal­lant says there are other ideas to be ex­plored.

“We have a num­ber of op­tions at the YMCA that are suited for peo­ple who maybe haven’t been par­tic­u­larly mo­bile in re­cent years so we have low-in­ten­sity, low-im­pact kinds of op­tions — the pool, of course, for peo­ple who have weight­bear­ing is­sues — it sup­ports their body weight so it helps a lot with joints. We’re also do­ing some things with the health sec­tor so we have a can­cer tran­si­tion pro­gram go­ing on right now and at our Mem­ber­tou branch we have a car­diac re­hab group that’s work­ing with the heart and lung clinic.”

EL­IZ­A­BETH PAT­TER­SON/CAPE BRE­TON POST

Alan Nathanson is all smiles as he watches peo­ple take part in this year’s 50-plus Expo held Satur­day at the Whit­ney Pier le­gion.

EL­IZ­A­BETH PAT­TER­SON/CAPE BRE­TON POST

Colleen Clare from CBRM re­cre­ation was one of 33 ex­hibitors tak­ing part in this year’s 50-plus Expo held Satur­day at the Whit­ney Pier le­gion.

EL­IZ­A­BETH PAT­TER­SON/CAPE BRE­TON POST

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