- Written by Megan Joyce Megan Joyce
One part entertainment attraction, one part informational resource, with a helping of health and a dash of community fair—these unusual “ingredients” blend to create the unique atmosphere at the York County 50plus EXPO, held recently at the York Expo Center.
The free, one-day event, which provides information and resources for the area’s 50+ community, was presented by OLP Events, the events division of Central Pennsylvania-based On-Line Publishers, Inc.
More than 90 exhibitors displayed products and services for travel, housing, medical services, nutrition, home improvements, finances, and healthcare.
“I came to see what’s available for me now that I’m a senior citizen—organizations that cater to adults my age,” Joe Labant, of Wrightsville, said.
“It wakes me up … It’s information that I wouldn’t know [to look for]. I may go online, but I’m still from that generation that likes to see it in person.”
The Health & Wellness Area, sponsored by WellSpan, included ongoing, free screenings for stroke risk, posture, blood pressure, joint pain, skin cancer, hearing, and more, as well as free seminars on treatment options for joint pain and information on pelvic floor disorders.
Linda Wildasin, from Spring Grove, sat down for a skin-cancer facial screening that used black light to detect skin damage.
“The sun does damage to the skin, of course, and I used to love lying in the sun when I was young,” Wildasin said, “but I must have good genes because I’m OK.”
Visitors also had the option of attending additional free seminars that covered identity and asset protection; changing nutritional needs; and non-operative treatment options for neck and back pain.
Kmart provided flu shots to visitors on a first-come, first-served basis.
Falls Free York, an area dedicated to fall prevention, returned to the York County 50plus EXPO. Organized by the York County Area Agency on Aging and local businesses and organizations, Falls Free York encouraged visitors to assess their own risk of falling and learn about falling hazards in the home.
Area staff offered gait/balance screenings, cane and walker checks, exercise demonstrations, medication reviews, and more.
EXPO first-timers and sisters-in-law Sharon Kahlbaugh and Peggy Williams were overflowing with enthusiasm for the event. After having their photo taken near the event signage, they made a thorough sweep of Falls Free York, taking special advantage of the balance tests offered.
“I thought, ‘What better place to get it all at once?’” Kahlbaugh said of the EXPO’s information and resources. “She (Williams) and I can sit and talk about this, about not remembering things, about it being hard to get up or hard to get started after you’ve been sitting for a while … if you [report] those things to your doctor, you can’t list them all. But they’re all listed here.
“I’m so excited. I wish my husband could’ve taken the day off. And it’s so well laid out,” Kahlbaugh added.
The day’s entertainment and presentations began with Heritage Hills Athletic Club’s interactive sampling of exercise classes for adults over 50.
Using small hand weights, fitness instructors Meghan Gray and Lisa Schreiber led their “senior squad” of fitness enthusiasts through a series of aerobic exercises and whole-body movements designed to improve balance, flexibility, and muscle strength.
For his safety and self-defense demonstration, Ken Eberle with Kentao Martial Arts/JKD Self-Defense discussed the importance of remaining alert while in public and demonstrated gross-motor defensive movements.
“You have a legal, an ethical, a moral right to life, which entails a right to protect yourself from harm. It’s natural,” Eberle said. “No one has the right to physically harm you.”
Finally, PK Dennis, from Penn State Master Gardeners, showed EXPO visitors how to create fall container gardens using plants and flowers beyond the common geraniums and mums.
“I’m glad they have these [EXPOs],” Labant said. “It’s hard to transition from what you thought retirement was going to be to what it is.”
OLP Events’ 50plus EXPOs will return in spring 2018. For more information, call (717) 285-1350 or visit www.50plusExpoPA.com.