Senior Expo shares info, services and support
Over 250 drawn to first of what is expected to be annual event
With 30 vendors, free hearing tests, brain games and a raffle, the first Senior Expo attracted more than 250 visitors for what is intended to be an annual event.
The expo, which took place Wednesday at Middleton Hall in Waldorf, was presented by Southern Maryland Newspapers and sponsored by Network of Care, the Charleston Senior Community, Regent Healthcare, Travel Leaders Waldorf and Dr. Mullin’s Hearing Center.
Art Crofoot, publisher of Southern Maryland Newspapers, said the event came about following the publication of “The Senior Resource Guide” in May.
“Seniors make up such a large part of this region, and we thought this was a way we could really give back to them, give them information, as they move forward in their golden years,” Crofoot said.
The event was free and open to the public.
Vendors from health clinics, senior living establishments, financial planners, real estate and others were on hand to answer seniors’ questions and provide information on services offered.
Tricia Joseph, senior community relations manager, represented Regent Healthcare, which provides private duty care for seniors living in the home and in assisted living communities.
“We hope [seniors] will get an understanding about the types of services that are available to them, so that when they’re really struggling, they have someone to lean on,” Joseph said. “We’re excited to be here and meet a lot of the different vendors and seniors in the community and help share the types of services that we offer.”
Joseph said the biggest questions she had were about services available after discharge from a hospital or rehabilitation center.
“They want to know if they can just use our services for a short time,” Joseph said. “They can use us for as little as they want, and if they want to stop, they can stop, and if they want to pick up services, they can do that too.”
One of the attending vendors was Sage Point, a nonprofit community-focused organization serving seniors and their families in Southern Maryland, said Kelsey Pearson, director of marketing.
“We offer pretty much all things ‘senior’ — from assisted living to rehab, memory care, adult day programs. We now have home care, that’s our latest offering, and of course we have our long-term nursing care that we’ve had for over 40 years,” Pearson said.
Cieplak Dental Excellence, a full-service dental office with offices in La Plata and Oxon Hill, was also in attendance.
“We’ve really connected with a lot of people and a lot of other agencies, too, which I think has been great,” said Sharon Garner, practice administrator. Garner said they were able to connect and share information with home health and other agencies and vendors.
Another attending vendor was Health Partners, a non-profit providing health and dental care to disadvantaged people in Southern Maryland, with offices in Waldorf and Nanjemoy.
“We want to be the medical and dental home for people that do not have insurance or for Medicare and Medicaid recipients,” said Taylor Kiessling, outreach coordinator and health educator.
Network of Care, another attendee, works to help seniors stay in their homes, providing inhome health care such as bathing and oral hygiene and assistance with meals and dietary plans, as well as additional services such as light housekeeping, laundry, transportation and 24-hour care.
“We offer [seniors] care in the comfort of their own homes,” said Director Audrey Ford. “We will customize a care plan based on their needs, we privide a free in-home care assessment and a nurse’s assessment.”
In addition, breakout sessions on topics such as estate liquidation, assisted living, aging in place and various health topics continued throughout the day.
Wendy Muhammad, president and director of business affairs for Minimally Invasive Vascular Centers in Laurel, spoke about poor circulation and the signs to look for.
“Don’t be afraid to speak about it,” Muhammad advised attendees. “Don’t wait so long that it progresses so far that no one can do anything about it.”
Max Pittman of Waldorf said he found out about the expo through “The Senior Resource Guide” included in the newspaper.
“They have a great variety of events; anything from financial to housing and different health care choices,” Pittman said. “All in all, it’s a fabulous event.”
Mary Louise Webb of Bryantown also said she read about the senior expo in the paper and decided to attend.
“I wanted to tell as many seniors as possible because this is for us, so I wanted to come here and get more information,” Webb said. “I’m interested in getting the facts. If you get the facts, then you know.”
Webb said the expo was also an opportunity to catch up with others.
“I have seen some ladies today; one lady I haven’t seen in about 30 years,” Webb said. “I went to every table; I know somebody there, because I’ve been circulating in the county for about 30 years.”
Paulette Clay of Waldorf also said she enjoyed the event.
“This is wonderful; so many people in Charles County don’t know this,” Clay said of the health information provided at the expo.
Crofoot said the event was well-received.
“The event was a huge success for our first one,” Crofoot said. “It’s going to be an annual event and we’ll start planning next year’s [expo] very soon.”
The first Senior Expo was held Wednesday at Middleton Hall in Waldorf.
Mary Louise Webb of Bryantown speaks with Eric Alvillar of Maryland Relay at the Senior Expo Wednesday.
Wendy Muhammad, president and director of business affairs for Minimally Invasive Vascular Centers, was one of the breakout session speakers at the Senior Expo Wednesday.
Kayleen Edwards of Estate Escape shares dos and don’ts of estate liquidation at the Senior Expo Wednesday morning.