- Written by Megan Joyce Megan Joyce
Irene Dubree said she attends the 50plus EXPO for, as she put it, the “who knew?” factor.
“It opened my eyes to a lot of availability of businesses that you don’t even think about,” the Douglassville resident said. “The vendors are all so pleasant … I enjoy coming and walking around.”
Church Farm School in Exton welcomed baby boomers, seniors, and caregivers recently for the 16th annual Chester County 50plus EXPO.
The free, one-day event, which provided information and resources for the area’s 50+ community, was hosted by OLP Events.
More than 80 exhibitors displayed products and services in travel, housing, medical services, nutrition, home improvements, finances, and healthcare.
Michele Bucci, medical biller and medical assistant with Digestive Disease Associates, said the practice decided to sponsor the 50plus EXPO to educate the 50-plus demographic on the importance of colon cancer screening and the availability of life-improving gastroenterology services.
“There are a lot of simple procedures that can cure a multitude of things, and a lot of people don’t know [about them],” Bucci said.
Attendees were eligible for door prizes and took advantage of free health screenings for cholesterol, blood pressure, genetic disease predispositions, and more.
Eric Hofer, of Exton, said a visit to the 50plus EXPO a few years ago introduced him to a health service he still uses today — and probably would not have connected with on his own.
“A chiropractor gave a free evaluation, and it turns out he is within a mile of me,” Hofer said. “I went back to him for the free visit, and I’m still going; in fact, I was just there this morning. And I never would have otherwise.”
The onstage entertainment and presentations began with Anthony W. Luker, from the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General, who focused on the latest phone scams.
Luker addressed the prevalence of “call spoofing,” where scammers can program their calls to show up as a local number — even including the name of a recognizable company — on the recipient’s caller ID.
“When someone is calling you, you always want to make sure that you’re vetting them first before you give them any information from yourself,” Luker said.
David Johnson, CHC advocate at CARIE, provided an overview of Community HealthChoices, Pennsylvania’s new, mandatory managed-care program for people enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid. The program was introduced in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Philadelphia counties in January.
Johnson talked about the changes CHC brings and how to access its benefits, as well as consumers’ rights under the new program.
“If you just have Medicare coverage, you are not affected,” Johnson explained. “This is a program for people who are 21 and older and are receiving Medicare and Medicaid; they are getting care at home or in the community through a waiver program; or they are living in a nursing home that is paid for by Medicaid.”
Jena Wood, ShopRite registered dietitian, outlined how to incorporate the MIND Diet into everyday eating patterns.
The nutrition provided by the diet — which includes whole grains, lean meats and fish, nuts, leafy greens, and berries — is proven to play an important role in brain health and cognitive function.
Senior living was a well-represented topic on the EXPO floor, and Lindsey Poeth with Oasis Senior Advisors Mainline outlined the differences among today’s senior-living options and stressed the importance of planning for future care.
“We have a huge number individuals that are going to need some degree of senior living,” Poeth said. “We have 46 million Americans today over the age of 65, and that’s going to double in the next 40 years, which is unbelievable.”
Poeth noted that every day in the United States, 4,000 people celebrate their 85th birthdays.
“We have a very aging population … chances are, 70% of our seniors are going to need some sort of assisted living, and that’s a very different expectation from [what] seniors themselves [predict],” Poeth noted.
The EXPO stage’s programs closed with an interactive exercise presentation led by YMCA of Greater Brandywine’s Sharyn McLaughlin. McLaughlin’s routines focused on improving coordination, balance, and strength, all key elements to healthy aging.
OLP Events’ 50plus EXPOs will return in the fall: in Lancaster County on Sept. 18, in York County on Sept. 25, and in Cumberland County on Oct. 16.
For more information, call (717) 285-1350 or visit www.50plusExpoPA.com.