Spooky Nook Sports is no stranger to crowds. But the 9 a.m. crowd that gathered on a recent Wednesday morning wasn’t there to hit the gym — it was there to hit the floor.

Hundreds of baby boomers, seniors, and caregivers poured onto the event floor at the start of the 23rd annual Lancaster County 50plus EXPO, a free, one-day event co-hosted by OLP Events and the Lancaster County Office of Aging.

More than 90 exhibitors displayed products and services in travel, housing, medical services, nutrition, home improvements, finances, and healthcare, as well as other information and resources for the area’s 50-plus community.

Barbara Ogorzalek, Medicare adviser with supporting sponsor Allwell from PA Health & Wellness, said the statewide company is brand new to Lancaster County.

“We’re just trying to let people know what we’re all about. It’s great — to meet with people and get our name out within the community,” Ogorzalek said.

Visitors were eligible for door prizes and took advantage of free health screenings for blood pressure, fall risk and balance, genetic cancer risk, and others. Pharmacists from Kmart administered flu shots.

Kean Dubble, of Manheim, was back at the 50plus EXPO again this year to get his flu vaccine and to see what else the event had to offer.

“[I came] just to see what’s available and what’s out there … I got some information for what I might need,” Dubble said.

Waiting lists became necessary as guests signed up for free mini manicures from students of Lancaster School of Cosmetology & Therapeutic Bodywork and free chair massages at LCTV’s booth.

In the Puppy Hugging Area, staffed by dogs and humans from the Lancaster Kennel Club, canine hugs and petting were available by donation. All proceeds benefited Red Rose K-9 Search & Rescue, a volunteer, nonprofit organization that uses specially trained bloodhounds to locate lost or missing persons and criminals.

The EXPO’s main-stage entertainment offerings began with Larry Guengerich from Landis Homes, who discussed aging trends and the wide range of retirement-living options available in central Pennsylvania.

“What’s is going to happen in the next 10 years is unprecedented in the United States, in that there are going to be more people over the age of 65 than there are under the age of 18,” Guengerich said.

“That’s never happened before.”

Beth Kauffman with HARTZ Physical Therapy outlined the normal sensory and cognitive changes that occur with aging and explained why being active helps maintain wellness throughout life.

“We have some things that we can’t control as we age … however, what we can control is our environment, our lifestyle choices, and our behavior,” Kauffman said.

“So a healthy diet, a regular exercise program, and a positive attitude can all help delay the onset or slow the progression of many of these age-related impairments.”

Daniel D. Hill, Bellomo & Associates, illustrated the wisdom of estate planning; and Josie Corbacio from Highmark broke down Medicare’s different parts.

Last, naturalist, falconer, and TV personality Jack Hubley presented to the EXPO crowd several animals native to the area, including rat and garter snakes, a white-footed mouse, and a meadow vole, common creatures often undervalued and considered a nuisance.

“Nature doesn’t have a value system anything like that,” Hubley said. “If it’s out there, you can probably figure it’s fought for countless millennia to be there, and it probably has a niche to fill, even though it may not be apparent to us, and so maybe it deserves a shot at survival.”

OLP Events’ next 50plus EXPO will be Wednesday, Oct. 16, at the Carlisle Expo Center, 100 K St., Carlisle.

For more information, call (717) 285-1350 or visit www.50plusexpopa.com.

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