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Senior Health Fair highlights available help

The Dunkirk Senior Center and the Chautauqua County Office for the Aging hosted their annual Senior Health Fair at the Dunkirk Senior Center on Sept. 28. The purpose of the event was to give older adults and their family members an opportunity to learn more about the many valuable community resources Chautauqua County has to offer seniors to keep them safe and healthy.

Vendors included the Chautauqua Center, Dunkirk-Fredonia Meals on Wheels, CARTs, Alzheimer’s Associations of WNY, Doyle Medical Monitoring, Chautauqua Adult Day Center, the Lions Club, Literacy Volunteers, RSVP, Foster Grandparent Program, Hospice, Dunkirk VA Clinic personnel and county and state veterans’ service officers.

This event is usually held in September prior to the Medicare Open Enrollment Season so that older adults can also learn more about the various health insurance choices as well as EPIC, Medicaid, and Medicare Savings Programs.

Chautauqua County OFA staff who are certified Medicare counselors were on hand to answer questions and make counseling appointments as well as representatives from EPIC, Medicare Savings and SW Independent Living who assist people applying for Medicaid.

As people age falling becomes a real concern. Falls are the number one reason older adults lose their independence and many die from fall-related injuries in and around their homes. Office for the Aging health and wellness programs includes several that improve balance and help prevent falls. Brooks Hospital’s physical therapist was on hand at the Health Fair offering free balance and fall screening. In addition to helping people recovering from a fall who are hospitalized, Brooks PT department has several out-patient exercise programs to improve balance and prevent falls.

In the fall, a goal is to remind older adults of the importance of getting a flu shot. Older adults are especially vulnerable to complications and death from the flu due to underlying health conditions. The pharmacists from Concord Pharmacy were on hand to give flu shots to attendees.

The event was sponsored by Dunkirk Senior Center, Chautauqua County Office for the Aging, Doyle Medical Monitoring and Concord Pharmacy.

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