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September 28, 2012

Expo offers trove of information for seniors

By Kristyne E. Demske
C & G Staff Writer

Trying to fit every resource for older adults under one roof, this year’s Senior Expo will include more than 60 vendors and about 25 different nonprofit agencies to assist an aging population.

The 19th annual Senior Expo will hit Assumption Cultural Center, 21800 Marter Road, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Oct. 11. This year, the event will have workshops, health screenings, vendors and services available to senior citizens, including information from Medicare, veterans’ associations and more.

Assumption Cultural Center formed a committee 19 years ago to look into connecting senior citizens with services and information in the area.

“The seniors are living longer,” said Joan De Ronne, Senior Expo coordinator. “They need to have quality lifestyles.”

The goal of the event is to give participants an enjoyable day, as well, De Ronne said. That’s why this year’s keynote address at 9:30 a.m. will feature JoAnne Purtan, an anchor and reporter with WXYZ-TV.

“She’s very in tune with seniors,” De Ronne said.

The event includes exhibits about health care, managed care, and community resources, plus an Ask the Experts section with a pharmacist, nutritionist, geriatrician and safety expert. Health screenings include carotid artery ultrasound, hand and chair massages, pulmonary lung function evaluation, spine evaluation and a body-mass index check.

“Everything (is) in one spot,” said Terri Murphy, the Senior Expo chair and owner of Home Helpers in Grosse Pointe. “You can go through and talk with them at their tables. It’s just a great resource of information to people who are either planning ahead … or facing these issues now.

“Plus, it’s a lot of fun.”

Everyone in attendance will also get a copy of the Resource Guide, a reference of older-adult services throughout metro Detroit.

“Those guides are very, very important,” De Ronne said. “It’s free and the day is free, and people can make a donation at the door if they wish.”

Lunch will be provided by ShorePointe Nursing Center and Marchiori Catering, and there will be entertainment from the Detroit Police Blue Pigs and Gentlemen of Swing bands.

De Ronne said about 1,500 people usually attend each year, and Murphy said they print double the number of Resource Guides so there are extras to stock hospitals, city centers and other locations throughout the year.

“They’re a great resource,” Murphy said, and include adult day services, chore services, hospitals, prescription programs, support groups and more.

It is updated every year and complements the expo, which Murphy sees as a great event not only for senior citizens, but for their families.

“In my business, I find that nobody really thinks about these things until they’re
faced with decisions and family issues that finally require you to look for this, and then you don’t know where to turn,” Murphy said.

Murphy said a lot of clients that turn to her business could have benefited from learning about what was available earlier.

“I think just about everybody that calls me, they haven’t even thought about this stuff, and then they’re sitting with a crisis, and they don’t have a clue where to turn,” she said. “I think it’s a huge source for the families, and most of the seniors who come through are active, so they’re not ever thinking they’re going to need this.”

Senior Expo 2012 will be held from 9-1:30 p.m. Oct. 11 at Assumption Cultural Center, 21800 Marter Road. There will be a free shuttle for overflow parking at Grosse Pointe Woods Lakefront Park. For more information, call (586) 779-6111, ext. 4.

 

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Kristyne E. Demske at kdemske@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1041.