Se­nior Expo shares info, ser­vices and sup­port

Over 250 drawn to first of what is ex­pected to be an­nual event

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU jan­fen­son-comeau@somd­news.com

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.”

STAFF PHOTO BY JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU

The first Se­nior Expo was held Wed­nes­day at Mid­dle­ton Hall in Wal­dorf.

STAFF PHO­TOS BY JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU

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.

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