Local senior citizens were able to refresh their memory or learn valuable safety lessons they never thought of at the 12th annual senior safety and wellness fair in Blaine.
From approximately 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 2, 80 senior citizens were at the Spring Lake Park-Blaine-Mounds View (SBM) Fire Department’s Station No. 3 in Blaine to listen to seven different presentations on staying safe at home, senior fitness, volunteer opportunities, current health trends, how to reduce stress and scams to watch out for.
Some other these topics are covered at other events such as the Anoka County Senior Expo or open houses at fire stations, but Ed Lanz, a Mounds View resident and SBM volunteer firefighter, saw the need for this safety and wellness fair when he was giving presentations at the Mary Ann Young Senior Center in Blaine, according to Shelly Johnson, senior center director.
Johnson said the sessions that Lanz led were well attended and some people commented that it would be great if important safety tips could reach an even broader audience because not every senior citizen goes to the Blaine Senior Center.
The senior center has worked with the fire department, the Blaine Police Department and the Spring Lake Park Recreation Department for the past 12 years to put on this fair for senior citizens, according to Connie Forster, chief prevention officer for the SBM Fire Department.
“We started it up as a way to help people stay independent in their homes as long as possible,” Forster said.
Kelly Lindell, owner of Active Aging, showed some simple exercises they could during commercials of their favorite television shows. They could put their feet on a couple of paper plates and swivel them around to strengthen their legs and hips. This works best on carpet because it provides the most resistance.
Moving their arms up and down as if they were doing jumping jacks or standing up and holding onto a chair while raising and lowering a leg were just a couple of other exercises Lindell walked through with the local senior citizens.
In another session, Dr. George Mburu from a local Walgreens talked about immunizations, pneumonia, seasonal influenza, shingles, Medicare Part D prescription coverage and drug and syringe disposal.
Johnson said demand is always high for this senior safety and wellness fair. About 15 people were unable to attend because the 80 available slots filled up. About half of the 80 people at this year’s fair have gone before and several have attended every year.
Shirley Olson of Mounds View has been at all 12 fairs and appreciates the chance to become more knowledgeable, especially about issues like identity theft.
“It keeps me in the know about what I can do in my own home,” Olson said.
Eric Hagen is at firstname.lastname@example.org