Senior Expo features health screenings, presentations

Annual event set for Sept. 13

By: Cortney Casey | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published September 4, 2012

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A staple of local seniors’ schedules is celebrating 15 years of linking residents with resources.

The Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s Senior Expo returns to the Sterling Heights Senior Center Sept. 13, bringing with it speakers, vendors, educational materials and free services geared toward the 50-plus set.

“We’ve got a lot of members in home care and health care, and funeral homes and cemeteries, and these are their target audiences, so it’s nice to be able to offer those services under one roof for seniors,” said expo organizer Patty LeDuc, membership retention and communications coordinator with the chamber. “We have roughly 100 vendors that are there to offer information and do some screenings, and we probably get between 850 and 1,000 seniors (who) come through in a three-hour period.”

Free offerings during the 9 a.m.-noon event include vision, hearing, stroke and oral cancer screenings; eyeglass adjustments; mini-massages; and interaction with joint replacement, vein, podiatric, sleep, oncology and diabetes specialists.

Senior Center supervisor Cindy Guzi said she considers the screenings — primarily coordinated, LeDuc said, by Beaumont Health System, Henry Ford Macomb Hospital and St. John Macomb Hospital — an ideal way for seniors to get free, baseline-level assessments that could determine whether they need any further testing or treatments.

Other no-charge services available during the expo include document shredding and safe disposal of expired and unwanted medications.

The first 800 senior citizens through the door will receive a “healthy snack bag,” as well as a resource guide listing the vendors, contact information for emergency services and other local agencies, and information on relevant topics, such as Social Security.

Guest speakers — registered nurse Stephanie Patalon addressing memory tips for seniors and Lynn Alexander discussing “aging well” — will begin talks at 10 a.m., wrapping up at around 11:45 a.m.

Guzi said she feels the presentations are a valuable component that many attendees have inadvertently overlooked in the past.

In general, “I think it’s nice to have a lot of different vendors in one place, so it’s a one-stop shop for seniors … so they can get an idea of what they need and either branch out from here or use one of the vendors that’s here,” she said.

The Sterling Heights Senior Center is located at 40200 Utica Road, near Dodge Park Road, in Sterling Heights. For more information, call the center at (586) 446-2750 or LeDuc at (586) 731-5400, ext. 21.

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