- Written by Megan Joyce Megan Joyce
The clock struck 9 a.m. not a minute too soon. The lobby of the Carlisle Expo Center was filled to bursting as the crowd accumulated, waiting for the doors to open for the start of the 18th annual Cumberland County 50plus EXPO on Oct. 19.
OLP Events, the events division of Central Pennsylvania-based On-Line Publishers, Inc., and Cumberland County Aging and Community Services presented the day of information and resources for the area’s 50+ community.
“I wanted to see what’s out here and mingle with the people,” Harry D., a second-year visitor from Mechanicsburg, said. “There was a lot of information that I got [last year], so I came back to see what’s new this year.”
More than 80 exhibitors displayed products and services for travel, housing, medical services, nutrition, home improvements, finances and healthcare.
At the EXPO, guests were eligible for a variety of health screenings, all offered free. Screenings included blood pressure, hearing, bone density, glucose, foot health, and others.
Sue Keller, of Boiling Springs, used her 50plus EXPO visit to check on her bone density with a heel scan.
“You put your heel in [the device] … and it measures the density of your bone,” said Keller, no stranger to bone-density screenings. “I have rheumatoid arthritis, and that makes your bones weak, so I probably have to get [density screenings] more than others.”
Kmart provided flu shots to visitors on a first-come, first-served basis, and students from Divine Crown Academy of Cosmetology offered free mini manicures and mini facials within the EXPO’s Salon Spot.
The day’s stage presentations began with Jan Reisinger, education and outreach coordinator for the Alzheimer’s Association’s Greater Pennsylvania Chapter, covering the basics of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Reisinger differentiated between normal forgetfulness and problematic changes that could signal dementia, such as difficulty planning and problem solving, forgetting often-traveled driving routes, wearing seasonally inappropriate clothing and dramatic personality changes.
Michael A. Hasco, AIFD, from Stauffers of Kissel Hill in Mechanicsburg, showed how to create an autumn-inspired mixed container of annuals, perennials, and faux florals.
Hasco highlighted cold-tolerant plants that can withstand the season’s temperature fluctuations and incorporated pumpkins and grapevine into his designs to signal fall’s theme of abundance.
Finally, Michael Gilbert, DPT, owner of Gilbert Physical Therapy in Mechanicsburg, conducted a workshop on sciatica and lower back pain to a full audience. Gilbert focused on nonsurgical, physical therapy-based techniques for lower back pain relief.
“You don’t have to have one specific [incident] create your pain or problem, but what you do every day is going to affect your pain or problem,” Gilbert said.
Gilbert said the decision to participate in the 50plus EXPO as its seminar sponsor was an easy one.
“This enabled us to have a great captive audience for a back pain and sciatica workshop, and our primary [patient] that has back pain and sciatica is 50-plus,” Gilbert said.
“And I must say I am quite surprised by the crowd … I think it’s been very encouraging to see so many people moving around, coming to the booth, getting information.”
OLP Events’ 50plus EXPO will return in spring 2018 in Chester, Dauphin, and Lancaster counties. For more information and updates, visit www.50plusExpoPA.com.