A big crowd of Hot Springs Village residents and friends came out to see the many vendors and speakers at “The Golden Years Senior Expo” held at Coronado Community Center on Oct. 6. Gift bags and goodies started the day for those who attended, as POA board directors Bob Cunningham and Bill Roe handed out the red bags, Sweet Cheeks Bakery gave out breakfast goodies and AARP coffee and tea.
The auditorium was lined with many vendors showing senior products, services and programs, all in an effort to educate residents on what’s available in the area. “We want Hot Springs Village residents to know all the services we provide,” said Billie Holsomback of Area Agency on Aging. “Our mission is to keep you at home as long as possible.”
Four informative breakout sessions took place in other rooms. Art Therapy by Joyce Koon of Whimsical Creations was one of them as Koon demonstrated painting a wooden pumpkin and embellishing it with other items.
Karen Baim Reagler gave a presentation on estate planning which pointed out dos and don’ts of planning for the future. Her information was wide-ranging covering such areas as estate planning goals, mistakes made, guardianships, trusts, transfer plans, beneficiary information, solutions to problems, wills and more.
Transition planning was covered by Michelle Clement of Area Agency on Aging. “Our mission is to help seniors live an independent, dignified life,” she said. Clement recommended a living will “for everyone.”
“This gives you an opportunity to make decisions before you must make decisions.”
Clement also strongly suggested people get one of the many life alert devices that are on the market. In terms of making that transition from being independent to getting help, Clement said, “There is typically resistance to getting help. We usually wait too long.” She said falls usually occur in the bathroom or kitchen.
Lori Voss and Tanya Sawrie held a “Use it or Lose It - Staying Mentally and Physically Active” session in which Sawrie talked about the importance of weights, endurance and balance for a healthy life. Before long she had attendees up and dancing to “The Twist,” which brought a smile to all.
HSV Animal Welfare’s “Pause for Paws” was also a big hit with furry friends on the Coronado Center Courtyard.
POA board chairman John Weidert complimented fellow board director Marcy Mermel for doing a great job organizing the event.
“This Senior Expo was superb in every respect. Folks were greeted with breakfast pastries as they came in the door, breakout sessions to give them a leg up on coping with life’s challenges, medical testing and screening provided, confidential consultation was available, 15 vendors to serve our needs and the lunch and door prizes were exceptional,” said Weidert. “The Expo organizers and sponsors put on a first class event for our first class Hot Springs Village residents.”
Mermel added her thoughts saying, “It was nice to see everyone come out on such a beautiful day. The breakout sessions were very popular and the sponsors and vendors made everyone feel so welcome.
Aside from all the very useful, important information being exchanged, everyone really enjoyed the taste of excellence (lunch).”
“My favorite part was when I found out the cutest 2-year-old doggie, Henry from AWL, found a new forever home today. That’s what I call success.”
The event was coordinated by Mermel as Expo committee chair, Wendy Fountain as vendor coordinator and Holsomback as education coordinator and aging consultant.