- Written by Megan Joyce Megan Joyce
Harrisburg resident Gary Phillips was taking a leisurely-yet-productive approach during his second time at a 50plus EXPO.
“I just like to wander around and see what there is,” Phillips said. “I do have some information about what to do with your 401(k) when you have to start taking it out. I got a couple of brochures on [services] that are available to seniors for help, like the Area Agency on Aging.”
Dauphin County’s baby boomers, seniors, and caregivers joined more than 90 community businesses and organizations recently for the 19th annual Dauphin County 50plus EXPO, held at the Hershey Lodge.
The free, one-day event, which provided information and resources for the area’s 50+ community, was co-hosted by OLP Events and the Council on Aging/Dauphin County Veterans Affairs.
Dauphin County Commissioner George Hartwick offered a few words of gratitude as the morning’s event commenced. Hartwick thanked seniors for their volunteerism especially, calling them “the backbone of our community.”
EXPO guests spoke with exhibitors about products and services on display in travel, housing, medical services, nutrition, home improvements, finances, healthcare, and more.
Cheryl Deitz, outreach coordinator for Pennsylvania Captioned Telephone Relay Service, said her company exhibits at most of the 50plus EXPOs.
“We came out [to the EXPO] because this gets a really good turnout,” Deitz said. “Our product is one that a lot of people are not aware of, and it’s a free resource for people. And this is very well organized.”
Attendees were eligible for door prizes and took advantage of free health screenings for glucose, lower back and sciatica pain, blood pressure, bone density, and others.
Claire Hess, of Hershey, has made a habit of getting a heel scan for bone density each time she visits the 50plus EXPO.
“They’re checking for osteoporosis or osteopenia, and then they give you a report — it’s painless,” Hess said. “I do it every year when I’m here because then you know whether you need to follow up [with your doctor].”
The 50plus EXPO also included two free, informative seminars, held in an adjacent room. Jonathan M. Turner and Kenneth L. Rapp, CFP®, with Ameriprise Financial Advisors, Inc. / Turner Wealth Advisors, answered common concerns about long-term care.
Later, Thair Phillips, president and CEO of RetireSafe, hosted a discussion on the new administration’s impact on seniors, including recent changes to the tax code.
Onstage in the main ballroom, the EXPO’s ongoing entertainment started with Kim Eichinger, from Mohler Senior Center, who conducted a SilverSneakers fitness demonstration. Eichinger was joined by about a dozen members of her exercise program, which comprises seated and standing movements designed to improve balance and stability.
Chad Madden, from Madden Physical Therapy, demonstrated some of his methods for relieving shoulder pain naturally. Madden invited a member of the audience onstage and was able to decrease her shoulder-pain level through a series of therapeutic movements.
Toyia Plater, with Capital BlueCross, covered Medicare basics. Plater showed examples of the redesigned Medicare cards, which will soon use an ID number and no longer contain Social Security numbers.
Because the commonwealth was selected for a “test run” of the card redesign, Pennsylvanians will start receiving their new cards in the mail this spring, but “by 2020 everybody will have the new cards,” Plater said.
In her advanced-care planning presentation, Barb Goll, from Homeland at Home, stressed the importance of planning end-of-life care choices and communicating them with family and medical professionals.
Goll noted that 90 percent of Americans say talking about end-of-life care is important, but only 27 percent actually have the necessary conversations.
“Advanced care planning is being prepared for the what-ifs,” Goll said. “It doesn’t have to do with death; it doesn’t have to do with your age. Everybody who is an adult — meaning 18 years and older — should have some kind of advanced care planning in place.”
Tom LaNasa, of Memory Music, wrapped up the day performing songs from the days of the “Rat Pack,” such as “The Candy Man” by Sammy Davis Jr. and “That Old Black Magic” by Frank Sinatra.
OLP Events’ next 50plus EXPO will be Wednesday, June 6, at Church Farm School in Exton. For more information, call (717) 285-1350 or visit www.50plusExpoPA.com.