Categorized | Technology

Expos offer 1-stop shopping for health info

SHARON — Community events, like last week’s Senior and Health Education Fair sponsored by state Rep. Mark Longietti, are a convenient way for people to get information about available health services close to home.

The fair, held in American Legion Post 299 in Sharon, provided a place for residents to get information and ask questions of a variety of vendors – all in one building. As in previous years, Longietti’s 11th annual event drew large crowds of seniors who wanted to find out what options were available to them from providers such as Sharon Regional Health System, Primary Health Network and the American Red Cross.

“It’s a good combination of providers, assistance and a social event,” Longietti said.

This year about 50 vendors offered information and services to hundreds of seniors. Though exact numbers for this year weren’t available, Longietti said last year’s fair drew more than 500 people. Typically, Longietti said, seniors come interested in learning about the $10 car registration fee available for retired Pennsylvanians with incomes less than $19,200; PACE prescription eligibility; and tax and rent rebate programs.

New this year was a demonstration by representatives of Sharon Regional Health System performing a new CPR technique.

At Sharon Regional’s table, marketing intern Kayla Parcetich said the response from seniors was positive. Not only were a few people interested in volunteering, but a few others were interested in the CPR technique.

“We’ve had a bunch of people ask questions about stroke,” Parcetich said.

At the booth for the American Red Cross, volunteers Linda Parillo and Eileen Best provided information on volunteering, performing CPR, disaster preparedness and a raffle for a basket.

“We’ve had people say their homes burned down and that the Red Cross helped them,” Best said. “Today we want to make sure everyone’s prepared.”

For Connie Moore, 62, of Farrell, this year’s fair was the first time she attended since retiring last August. Of interest to Moore was information on the benefits seniors can receive, something Moore said she was concerned about due to her decreased income since retiring as a nurse at the Mahoning County Jail for 20 years.

“It’s really been nice, there’s lots of info and the people are very cordial,” Moore said.

Another senior, Sandra Campbell, 65, of Farrell, who retired when she was 60 as an ACCG therapist, said this was the third time she’s attended the fair. This year, Campbell said, she came early, since it takes a while to visit all the vendors.

“I like to do the medical screening and the farmers market vouchers,” Campbell said. “I’m also always interested in crime stuff, like scams.”

However, when it came to the issues with Medicare, Campbell said she felt bad for younger people who are just entering into it when there is so much debate and uncertainty.

“People of my age group I think are set, but younger people would probably have a hard time getting into it,” Campbell said.

Though Medicare is a federal issue and not a state one, Longietti said he hopes Congress will cover pre-existing conditions, provide for Medicaid and ensure health care is available.

“The one thing I think they should not do is put burden on the states,” Longietti said.

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