- Written by Megan Joyce Megan Joyce
The crowd of guests during the recent Lancaster County 50plus EXPO (Spring) comprised a mixture of moving, talking boomers and seniors, many meandering from booth to booth with relaxed expressions, soaking in the event’s inherent sociability, chatting with friends and neighbors they came across.
But Alan Rudin’s more purposeful gait marked him as a man on a mission.
“I’m looking for one of the senior downsizing services, [for] relocation,” Rudin, of Quarryville, said. “I’m planning in the next couple of years to move, and I’ve got a big house that I need to downsize to an apartment sized place, so I figured I might find someone here to talk to.”
There were plenty of opportunities for that with the event’s more than 80 exhibitors, representing products, information, and services for the 50-plus community: housing, medical services, nutrition, home improvements, finances, healthcare and more.
OLP Events hosted the free, one-day event at Shady Maple Conference Center in East Earl.
Jennifer Boley, marketing manager with Red Rose Transit, said the company has participated in the Lancaster County 50plus EXPO since the event’s inception more than 20 years ago.
“We find that [the EXPO is] beneficial for our service because we have a lot of senior programs that we like to get the word out about as much as possible to the senior population,” Boley said, “so that they’re aware of the services that are available to them.”
Students from Lancaster School of Cosmetology pampered the hands and fingernails of visitors eager for a free mini manicure.
Attendees were also eligible for door prizes and took advantage of free health screenings for blood pressure, glucose, spine health, bone density, balance, hearing, posture, vein health, and more.
The onstage entertainment began with the Office of the State Fire Commissioner’s presentation on fire and fall prevention, which included guidance on creating a home-escape plan as well as safety tips and prevention measures.
“You should have two ways out of every room in your house,” Kraig Herman, public education specialist with the OSFC in Harrisburg, said. “If you’re sitting there watching TV, think, ‘How am I going to get out of this room [in an emergency]?’ Be prepared and think ahead of time. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.”
Actors from Lancaster’s Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre performed musical selections from their current and upcoming productions. Songs included “Greased Lightnin’” from Grease, belted out by a group of slick-haired guys in leather jackets and rolled jeans, as well as “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz, performed by Dutch Apple’s gingham-clad Dorothy Gale.
Jerry Mitchell, outreach specialist with the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, conducted his Senior Crime Prevention University to educate older Pennsylvanians on the latest scams.
Mitchell noted that scam artists purposely prey on the older generation, knowing they were raised during a trusting time “when a handshake meant something, and when someone’s word meant something.
“Scam artists are all about customer service,” Mitchell continued, “and the longer they can keep you engaged, the longer they can keep you on the phone and keep you talking, the higher the probability that scam is going to work.”
Brian Horn, owner of Flower & Home Marketplace in Blue Ball, showed the audience how to create a tropical-themed “tablescape” for summertime entertaining by using both fresh and silk flowers and leaves.
Horn added dimension and height to the arrangement by mixing palm leaves, succulents, and candles.
Finally, Carcy Vreeland, licensed instructor with Choice Fitness in Denver, guided the audience through a demonstration of Zumba Gold, a part dance, part fitness exercise routine that uses low-impact moves geared toward older adults.
After 48 years in the healthcare industry, retiree Edwina Stoltzfus, from Narvon, came to the 50plus EXPO to find out what’s available for older adults now that she has emerged from the workforce.
Stoltzfus had also picked up information for friends but intended to persuade them to meet her at the event before it closed.
“I had asked several of my friends [to come], and it didn’t suit anybody, and I am so sorry that they did not come to see this … I think it’s so important just to talk face-to-face,” she said. “So I’m going to call them and say, ‘Get up here!’”
OLP Events’ next 50plus EXPO will be Wednesday, June 6, at Church Farm School, 1001 E. Lincoln Highway, Exton.
For more information, call (717) 285-1350 or visit www.50plusExpoPA.com.