- Written by Megan Joyce Megan Joyce
The event signage insisted it was the spring Lancaster County 50plus EXPO, but the thermostat that day—at 90 degrees—was reading full summer.
Still, crowds of baby boomers, seniors, and caregivers filled Shady Maple Conference Center for the recent Lancaster County 50plus EXPO (Spring), a free, one-day event that provided information and resources for the area’s 50+ community.
Hosted by OLP Events, the EXPO comprised more than 80 exhibitors displaying products and services in travel, housing, medical services, nutrition, home improvements, finances, healthcare, and more.
Michelle Singewald traveled in from Chester County to bring her father to the 50plus EXPO and to see the available services her father might need in the future.
“It’s good to be prepared and know what’s out there. The (exhibitors) are very friendly and helpful with information, and there are a lot of good vendors,” Singewald said.
George Y., of East Cocalico Township, was also looking toward the future, scoping out possible options for retirement living.
“I’m here to find out some information and see what’s out there for the next phase of life,” he said. “I’ve got to downsize eventually, so here I can look at the different places that are out there.”
Students from Lancaster School of Cosmetology pampered the hands and fingernails of visitors eager for a free mini manicure, while a lineup of stage presentations informed and entertained EXPO guests.
Kristin Kissling, therapist with CPRS Physical Therapy, began the day’s seminars and entertainment speaking on fall prevention. Kissling demonstrated several balance and range-of-motion tests adults can perform at home to begin assessing their fall risk.
Kissling also discussed several risk factors that increase the chance of falling, including the use of assisted devices, such as a cane or walker.
“A lot of people use assistive devices to prevent falling,” Kissling said, “but it actually puts you at a higher risk of falls … because of the trip risk.”
Monica Kirchner, owner and teacher at Bridge Yoga Studio, conducted a 40-minute chair yoga class. Kirchner coached the seated audience through a series of breathing exercises, stretches, and simple poses to increase relaxation and flexibility.
Pat Doughty, Shady Maple Farm Market’s retail production supervisor, showed how to decorate cupcakes and shared tips for accenting cakes with edible flowers.
Christopher & Banks’ fashion show presented fresh, colorful clothing and accessories for spring and summer, including pieces with patriotic accents appropriate for upcoming Memorial Day or Independence Day festivities.
Vicki Hoak, CEO of Pennsylvania Homecare Association, spoke about streamlining systems, supporting family caregivers, and her frustration over the lack of a strong advocacy network for older Pennsylvanians.
Attendees were eligible for door prizes and took advantage of free health screenings for blood pressure, glucose, bone density, peripheral artery disease, vision, and more.
Exhibitor Mary Jo Wagner, prevention specialist and KidSight coordinator for VisionCorps in Lancaster, hoped to spread the word about its free screenings for both adults and children.
“We do a lot of the health fairs to bring information about our services,” Wagner said. “We also do vision screenings for adults (at the EXPO).”
OLP Events’ next 50plus EXPO will be Thursday, June 8, at Church Farm School, 1001 E. Lincoln Highway, Exton.
For more information, call (717) 285-1350 or visit www.50plusExpoPA.com.