On Wednesday, April 3, the Seniors on the Go Expo returns for the 14th year, filling Shipley Arena at the Carroll County Agriculture Center with information booths, health assessments, demonstrations and bingo.
It’s a free event designed to connect older adults, people with disabilities, veterans, and their family members and caretakers with resources that can help them live their best lives, according to Celene Steckel, bureau chief for the Carroll County Bureau of Aging and Disabilities.
“We will be highlighting what we call aging into wellness. It will be six dimensions of wellness,” she said. “We’ll have emotional, physical, spiritual, intellectual, environmental and social.”
The event will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will address those six dimensions of wellness through demonstrations, conversations and assessments, according to Steckel.
“We will have the hands-only CPR, blood pressure. An oral cancer screening by the dentist over at the health department, memory and language,” she said. “We will also have balance, fall risk assessments, flexibility and endurance, those types of things.”
And returning for the second year, Steckel said, will be an array of alternative therapies.
“There will be someone there to conduct Reiki, reflexology, massage, hand massage, what they call acupoint aroma therapy, which is acupuncture with essential oils,” she said. “We will also have LED light therapy and compression therapy. That’s offered free to all the attendees, we wanted to begin offering some alternatives that they may receive help with fatigue or pain or other symptoms they may have with a chronic condition.”
That’s a real change from the original vision of the expo when it launched more than a decade ago, according to Leslie Wagner, the expo coordinator with the Bureau of Aging and Disabilities.
“In the past, the Seniors on the Go Expo was a way to get a lot of information out to the public regarding aging, and then disabilities,” she said. “Over the years, we wanted the expo to be more of an experience for the people that were coming, not just coming to receive information but also having an experience while they are there.”
It seems to be driving more engagement, Wagner said, with the past two years seeing an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 people come through the expo.
“In terms of vendors, we’ve been ranging anywhere from 125 to 135 over the last couple of years,” she said. “I love to get someone new. I just love that we can expand and capture maybe what isn’t currently in Carroll County. One was the Maryland State Senior Olympics, we were able to get them as a vendor this year. I was super excited about that.”
This year’s event will also feature a free wheelchair and walker repair booth, and a vendor bingo from 1 to 2 p.m., featuring prizes such as a $50 gift certificate to local restaurants, according to Steckel.
There will also be shuttles running from the parking lot to the event all day, according to Wagner.
“People do not need to worry about accessible parking,” she said. “We consider all the parking accessible because we will provide this shuttle service from their car down to the event.”
And all the bureau staff, as well as those in the Carroll County Department of Citizen Services, will be on hand at the expo to answer questions, according to Steckel.