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Senior expo to be held Wednesday

The Baltimore Sun

Organizers of the third annual Carroll County Seniors on the Go Expo are hoping for a record turnout at Wednesday's event that offers a sampling of numerous services, products and activities for older adults.

The event, to be held inside the Shipley Arena at the Carroll County Agriculture Center off Smith Avenue in Westminster, will run from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Opening ceremonies will be held at 9:45 a.m. with Bureau of Aging Director Richard Steinberg and the three county commissioners.

Floor-plan changes

"I think we're having some improved demonstrations and entertainment, and they've done some reconfiguration of the floor plan to make it easier for seniors to navigate and find what they're looking for," Steinberg said. "I know they've improved the food-service area."

The stage for entertainment will be on one end of the arena and demonstrations on other end, "so they won't be competing for the same space," he said.

Steinberg said the expo in the Ag Center attracted 500 people in its first year and 800 last year, when it moved to the Shipley Arena. This year, the bureau is hoping for 1,000.

"Part of the learning process last year was to find out what we could do," he said. "We learned things last year we're trying to improve on, and I'm sure we'll learn more this year."

Brenda Shipley, coordinator of the expo, said 103 vendors and exhibitors are expected, including the bureau's services, other government agencies and medical products.

New participants this year include the Social Security Administration; the Carroll County Register of Wills; Charlotte Hall, a veterans home in St. Mary's County; the Center for Acute Rehab Medicine at Hanover, Pa.; Blue Blazes nonemergency medical transport of Union Bridge; Advanced Diabetic Solutions of Hagerstown; Mobility Rehab Products of Finksburg; and two reverse-mortgage companies.

Glaucoma screening, hearing tests and blood pressure checks will be offered, and pharmacists will answer questions.

Entertainment will be provided by the Standard Delivery Jazz Band, the Carroll County Cloggers and the Flying Scotsman. Jim Mayola will be the master of ceremonies.

Demonstrations will be given on several topics, including an arthritis talk, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and choking, preparing for pet care when the owner is unable to provide it, balancing exercises and getting rid of excess belongings.

Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The cost is a donation of up to $3.50 for those age 60 and older and $3.50 for those younger than 60.

Shipley said shuttle buses will be available from the parking area to the arena all day.

"We have lots of door prizes, and you do not need to be present to win this time," Shipley said. "We have numerous sponsors, and it should be an event-filled day, and it's open to the public, open to anyone looking for any kind of information for their parents or themselves."

Expo for everyone

Steinberg said the expo is for everybody, not just those age 60 and older.

"It's not just for seniors, but for adult children to come and get an idea of what kind of help is out there when their parents need it," he said. "Whether we want to face it or not, there comes a time when we will have to help our parents. And it comes when we least expect it, all of a sudden, it's there and you don't know which way to turn, you feel lost."

The expo is a way for families to find out what is available and to sit down face to face with someone knowledgeable about their questions, he said.

"We encourage anybody who can to come out and take advantage of the information and demonstrations and exhibits that will take place that day," he said.

The Bureau of Aging offices and senior centers will be closed all day Wednesday for the expo.

Information: 410-386-3800.

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