Greetings, Santa Barbara neighbors and seniors. Oops, I am forgetting that I just learned that there is a movement underway to get rid of the word Senior in favor of “Older Adults.” The word “elderly” is also being ditched for “older adults.” Does that make you want to chuckle? For now, I am going to talk about the “2019 Senior Expo: Active Aging Fair for Seniors & Caregivers.” This year marks our 31st year of bringing a variety of senior services, ‘screenings,’ flu shots, exercise demonstrations and entertainment to you, all at one place and time.
Here is a sneak preview of what is in store for you this year on October 2nd at the Earl Warren Showgrounds. Although there are many ‘early’ options for getting your immunization against the annual influenza infection, the Expo is still well known for offering free flu shots as part of the very reasonable $5.00 admission fee. This year, the flu vaccine is generously provided to the Expo event by Cottage Health. The flu shot clinic is co-sponsored by Sansum (they provide the vaccine on opposite years). Thanks to the expert leadership of Michael Yee, Sansum’s Director of Nursing, the flu shot clinic is pulled off with efficiency and professionalism.
We will be offering an expanded variety of health screenings. Here is another tentative preview of those offerings:
• Healthy Eating and Nutrition provided by Sansum.
• Home Safety Assessments provided by Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care.
• Caregiver Café – supported by Family Service Agency and Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care.
• Blood Pressure checks provided by Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics and Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care.
• Osteo Strong providing bone density screening.
• Fitness demonstrations provided by Vista del Monte’s Fitness and Aquatics Center Director.
• Blood glucose checks and nutrition counseling provided by William Sansum Diabetes Center.
• Glaucoma Screening done by Lions Sight and Hearing Center.
• Variety of other screenings --- surprise --- come and check them out.
Of course, there will be a plethora of health and senior service providers with their own booth and informational materials. Information and expertise on a variety of subjects will be provided by agency staff. As of mid-August, the Expo team can boast of having 78 Exhibitors already confirmed. We expect a sell-out event with as many as 110 Exhibitors on site to explain their products and/or services.
Despite a rainy beginning to the 2018 event, it was a huge success. We found that people came throughout the morning, rather than piling up in line for the 9 a.m. start time. The beauty of this experience was that visitors really stopped and talked to Exhibitors, rather than just racing through the Exhibit and Warren Halls to grab the ‘give-aways.’
Having been a member of this planning committee for about 25 out of the 31 years of its existence, I want to reinforce the purpose of the Expo. It is meant to open up to our community – seniors, families and caregivers – a wide variety of products and services that one may need as one ages or as health issues emerge. It’s not just about the ‘freebies’ – although that is the fun part and the Exhibitors never cease to amaze me with their creativity and their generosity. The Senior Expo is meant to be a one-stop shop for everything one might need as one ages … from insurance information, including the nuances of Medicare and Medicare supplements, to health care agencies, retirement communities and assisted living homes, to home health agencies, medical devices, end-of-life care and funeral homes, to educational programs for seniors, services of the Santa Barbara Public Library and everything in between.
I guarantee you, even if you have attended before, each year we add something new to make the event more fun and certainly more enticing.
It is a GREAT BANG for just FIVE BUCKS! Please join us for the 31st Annual Senior Expo!
Earl Warren Showgrounds
Wednesday, October 2, 2019
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon
Admission fee: $5.00 per person
Assistance available for those with disabilities.
Jeanne M. West
Hospice of Santa Barbara
Community Engagement Manager