TERRE HAUTE —
Within an hour of opening the doors of Hulman Center on Wednesday, the 14th annual Senior Expo had already had more than 200 people talking to vendors about their needs.
“I came to Senior Expo to see what’s going on and to get information on different things — heart and diet,” said Terre Haute resident Jean Bemis.
She and Majorie Snapp together visited more than 30 vendor booths to learn about services and products that assist senior citizens.
“I enjoy it and I talked to about every one of them,” Snapp said of the booths. “It’s very educational on things you get from them. When you’re elderly, it’s a good place to get info.”
Both of the women said they also enjoy the bingo time, as well as the free seminars.
Thelma Robison, who lives at Anthony Square, said she was looking for ideas about healthier living as she ages.
“Our friends just told us about this, and it sounded like it would be fun,” she said, pausing near the Western Indiana Community Action Agency booth.
Many of the vendors provide health care services, residential services, and products targeted for senior citizens.
“There’s been a lot of interest,” said a busy Brian Dencker, director of practice development for Accuear Professional Hearing and Audiology Clinics. “We’ve been providing complimentary screenings, and if results warrant further testing, we will have them come in to a local office. There are a lot of people who haven’t had their hearing tested in quite a long time. So one of the main goals with testing is to help people in Terre Haute stay connected to what is important to them — family, friends and lifestyle.”
At the Terre Haute Regional Hospital booth, a line of seniors waiting their turn to spin the wheel of household danger to test their knowledge with Carrie Malone, traumas program manager.
“Many are not aware of exercises that can give them better balance — such as yoga,” Malone said, “but most know they are tripping on pets and tripping on rugs.”
About 70 percent of the trauma cases seen at the hospital are related to falls, she said, and falls are fairly typical of all ages, not just seniors. But, older people are more likely to break a bone in a fall, she said.
In the club room area of Hulman Center, guest speakers from the office of the Indiana Attorney General share information on scams and fraud that are targeted at seniors, as well as on prescription drug abuse.
And in the adjoining room, the bingo sessions presented by the Tribune-Star brought dozens of players.
Norma Nicosin of Clay County won $10 gift cards from both McDonald’s and Steak & Shake.
“I come every year,” Nicosin said of the Expo.
“I’m a professional senior prize winner,” she joked. “I’ve won things every since I’ve been little.”
Sitting at the same table was Patty Weir of Terre Haute, who won a $50 gift card from Walmart during the first rounds of bingo.
“I came this year because I didn’t want to miss out on it again,” Weir said, explaining that she did not attend last year due to illness. “Two years ago I won a large first aid kit and I donated that to the apartment complex where I lived.”
Weir, who said she used to be a newspaper carrier as a youth, she said likes to attend the Expo each year because she is in her 50s, and as she ages, she learns more about her health and other concerns of aging.
The final attendance count for Wednesday’s five-hour event was 550. Tribune-Star advertising director Julie Killion said attendance was among the best ever for the annual event.
Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.