By TESA GLASS
MT. VERNON — — Senior citizens were able to gather information and receive limited testing procedures during the 14th annual Senior Health & Information Fair held Friday at Crossroads Community Hospital.
"We're having an excellent turnout," said Crossroads Chapter of Senior Circle Advisor Angela Shrum. "This is the first year of having it in the new conference center at Crossroads Community Hospital. The shuttle is picking people up from the parking lot, giving them a ride back. We have a lot of vendors — including businesses and organizations as well as hospital departments — and we're having a great turnout."
Several testing stations were set up in the hospital's conference room.
"We do have laboratory testing that's available for a nominal fee, which includes PSA, TSH, lipids, glucose and CBC. The other tests are free. We have the nursing staff on hand to do accu-checks, blood pressure screenings and bone density screenings from our imaging department and a few other things," Shrum said.
Shrum said the event is an excellent venue for those organizations and businesses that deal with seniors on a regular basis.
"This is a good place where seniors or those that take care of seniors come and have one place where they come and get information about a multitude of different topics," Shrum said. "I always tell members that this is the place you need to come for services before you need them because once you get to the point where you need them it's too late to do good research. You have to make a quick decision. If they learn about it now they can make and educated decision for the future."
Beverlee George, a caseworker at Swan Senior Services based in Mt. Vernon, said the health fair is an excellent way to give seniors information about services the agency provides.
"We're just trying to get the word out about our program to see if there are any seniors we can help. There are a lot of seniors who do not know about the resources available to them," George said.
Swan Senior Services, which covers nine area counties, provides assistance to those 60 years of age or older, particularly those who have been victims of financial exploitation.
"The economy is bad and it's affecting a lot of people everywhere. Seniors are a good target. For family members, Social Security checks come in once a month and family members come in and need money so there's a lot of financial exploitation," she added.
Shrum said she is pleased with the turnout for this year's event.
"I am very, very pleased," she said. "It was busy there at the beginning, but I think we finally caught up with the line, which is expected. We have as many or more vendors signed up than we ever have. I haven't checked attendance numbers, but it looks like we're on track to where we normally are."
Following the health fair, a picnic was held at Veterans Memorial Park to celebrate the chapter's 14th anniversary.