This year’s Senior Health Fair sponsored by the AARP Maumelle Chapter was the most successful of the four health fairs the chapter has sponsored, with an estimated 250-300 area seniors attending to receive health information, services, and screenings.
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The 2011 Senior Health Fair was held April 14 at the Jess Odom Community Center in Maumelle and was held in partnership with the Maumelle Senior Wellness Center operated by the City of Maumelle Department of Senior Services.
The Senior Health Fair had 43 exhibitor tables, including 3 massage chair stations provided by a local school of massage. Also featured was a "Meds in a Bag" station where people could bring their medications and ask questions and have the medications evaluated for possible drug interactions. Other tables offered attendees services such as tests for blood pressure, oxygen levels, blood sugar levels, balance testing, strength testing and BMI (Body Mass Index), and verified that seniors were up to date with necessary inoculations, such as the vaccine for shingles.
Attendees also were able to get their Medicare and Social Security cards laminated. Information also was available about the SilverSneakers Fitness Program, an innovative health, exercise and wellness program helping older adults live healthy, active lifestyles.
The Co-Chairs for this event were Judy Gregory and Isabel Gathright. Maumelle Chapter President Theresa Hutcherson said this year’s fair was “by far” the most successful of the four fairs sponsored by the Chapter and received media coverage from the Arkansas Democrat- Gazette, Maumelle Monitor and Aging Arkansas. The Chapter also secured public service announcements on several area radio stations and the fair was promoted by the city with banners on Maumelle Boulevard and flyers distributed to every pharmacy and business in Maumelle.
Hutcherson credited the Maumelle Chapter’s Publicity Committee, particularly Publicity Chair Bev Alberson, for the increase in attendance this year.
“The success of this health fair has proven that when you build on the lessons provided from those past events, provide careful planning and great publicity, have so many willing volunteers, free health and medical screenings and so many other services, it will all culminate in a successful health fair," Hutcherson said.
AARP Arkansas Senior State Director Maria-Reynolds Diaz said that the Senior Health Fair event in Maumelle demonstrates the valuable work that local chapters perform for their communities.
“Through the work of our local chapters, AARP is able to help make things better for society,” said Reynolds-Diaz. “We are pleased and proud that this year’s Senior Health Fair in Maumelle reached such a wide audience and performed a public service by helping raise awareness about the importance of health screenings and healthy living.”
The Maumelle chapter joins many others across the state in addressing important issues in their communities.