The Invermere Seniors Association (ISA) is hosting the first ever Seniors Health Fair in The Columbia Valley. The fair was conceived when ISA members noticed the lack of awareness local seniors had on the spectrum of health and wellness services in the area. After taking stock of senior-related expositions in Cranbrook and other urban centres, the impetus for a local fair was born.
“A lot of seniors think they have to go to Calgary or Cranbrook for care but the reality is the Valley offers most of these services locally,” said Gerry-Ann Donahue, board member for the ISA. According to Ms. Donahue, education and awareness, are essential components for the prevention and treatment of serious conditions including diabetes and even stroke.
“We have vendors lined up for the fair that specialize in foot care for diabetes patients — our specialist can show the patient techniques to improve mobility and to help keep the foot healthy,” she said.
Other vendors will include Invermere physician Dr. Shannon Page with the introduction of The Most Form, a form designed to streamline patient care by providing specific details on a patients’ medical history. It can be shared directly with hospitals and doctors in the event of an emergency, or just to help expedite patient care in any medical setting.
“The form could mean the difference between sustaining more trauma to the patient during a stroke, simply by giving physicians permission to use a stroke shot (an injection of TPA),” said Ms. Donahue. The stroke shot is available locally and would prevent a patient from foregoing immediate treatment during a long ambulance ride to Cranbrook.
“This is the difference between a patient having facial paralysis or even having to use a walker and undergoing a difficult and lengthy rehab.”
The fair will also be hosting demonstrations, including one on how to use a defibrillator. Ms. Donahue affirms they are user-friendly and have been placed in strategic destinations around the community. When citizens have the ability to use them effectively, it’s guaranteed to save lives, according to Ms. Donahue.
The fair has been designed to act as an interface between the public and a host of services to help improve the quality of senior living in the community while providing the opportunity for an outing.
“It’s important that seniors know there is curling and carpet bowling available to them and that the Legion offers free lunches,” said Ms. Donahue. “When people learn of these services, their eyes light up, and it brightens their spirits.”
A host of vendors are already on board for the fair and Ms. Donahue is reaching out to the community to make sure everyone has the opportunity to showcase their services. The registration deadline for vendors is Saturday, October 21st and the fair itself is scheduled to take place at the Columbia Valley Centre on Thursday, October 26th from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. with vendor set-up at 1 p.m. Interested parties are invited to contact Ms. Donahue at 250-342-9893 or firstname.lastname@example.org.