Hannibal News

Hannibal Senior Expo showcases services for older adults

Mary E. Parsons, left, and Jerry Bridges, both of Palmyra, Mo., stop by the Hannibal CASA booth Thursday during the Hannibal Senior Expo to look over material and pick up any goodies being given away. Nearly 80 vendors gave older adults a look at the services they provide during the 10th annual expo, which was held at the Admiral Coontz Recreation Center. | H-W Photo/Michael Kipley
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Apr. 20, 2017 6:50 pm Updated: Apr. 21, 2017 8:55 am

HANNIBAL, Mo. -- Robert Burditt usually visits the annual Senior Expo every other year. Since his last sweep through the aisles of vendors, he's developed arthritis.

"I'm just a senior trying to get around, see what's new, get a feel for things," the Hannibal resident said during Thursday's Senior Expo. "This time, I've found vendors that help with arthritis, and I've met people who I knew but didn't know what (services) they do."

Connecting senior citizens -- and anybody of any age -- to services and businesses they might not have known about was the point of the Senior Expo, held at the Admiral Coontz Recreation Center and now in its 10th year.

"It affirms what people know, and it gives them an opportunity to expand knowledge on stuff they thought they already knew," said Stacey Nicholas, director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program at Douglass Community Services.

"For example, anybody, not just seniors, can ride OATS (transportation service), and it gives vendors an opportunity to talk and listen to clients and see if they really understand their clientele."

There were about 80 vendors and 600 senior adults at Thursday's expo. New this year were scavenger hunts where attendees found answers to various questions by talking with vendors.

"It's a way for vendors to be able to interact with people better," Nicholas said.

Also new was a soup giveaway. Each person attending received a can of Progresso chicken noodle soup from General Mills, a supporter of the Senior Expo, after filling out and turning in an event survey. Attendees had from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to mill about.

"I never miss this. I come every year so I can see the people I know and learn new things," Joanne Stone of Monroe City said.

Linda White of Center added: "There's three generations of us here today. I enjoy this, and it gives me a lot of information. Today, I got help with Social Security and Medicaid."

Mandy Bridgeman with the Northeast Missouri Area Agency on Aging represented the organization and passed out bags filled with pamphlets on various topics.

"We try to get this info out to them so they know where to go for services and help them remain independent," Bridgeman said.?One business relatively new to the expo is Lewis County Nursing Home. This was its second year as a vendor.

"Our biggest thing is reaching out to a lot of people and get our name out there and the services we provide," marketing director Debbie Barnard said. She added that many people had taken pamphlets that showed interior photos of the home in Canton.

Planning for the Senior Expo began in January.

"This event means something to the demographic it's aimed at," Nicholas said. "And it means something for the children who are looking for more information on services for their parents."

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