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Hundreds pack into Marshall gymnasium to participate in Senior Fair

MARSHALL – Hundreds of the region’s older adults sought answers to their questions at last week’s Marshall Area Senior Fair.

The gymnasium of the Marshall Middle School was packed with vendor tables and visitors for several hours on April 10 during the free annual event, sponsored by the Calhoun County Office of Senior Services, Oaklawn Hospital and the city of Marshall.

Participants included the Albion Health & Wellness Action Team, the Albion Health Care Alliance, Family Health Center, Forks Senior Center, Fountain Clinic, Greater Albion Chamber of Commerce, J-Ad Graphics, Maplewood of Marshall, Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce and the Marshall Community Foundation.

The focus was on information and services of special interest to older adults and care-giving family members. A light lunch was provided to participants.

Several people got into the noisy swing of things as Linda Grap, director of Battle Creek-based Senior Health Partners, led a drumming exercise as a demonstration of a program called “HealthRHYTHMS Drumming.”

During the day, information was available about such Oaklawn-related services as vascular health, hospice, physical therapy, diabetes and psychological services. Screenings about the prevention of falls and detecting arterial disease also were offered.

“We love to be part of events like this,” said Sara Andrews, Oaklawn’s services coordinator. “This is just one of the ways in which Oaklawn reaches out to the residents of this region, to let people know how to tap into health resources and services.”

During the event, several services from Oaklawn Medical Group participated, including Gastroenterology, Neurology, Allergy & Immunology, Heart & Vascular Institute, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Diabetes Education, Outpatient Psychological Services and Hospice and Home Care. Representatives of Oaklawn Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation and Oaklawn Auxiliary and Volunteer Services also were on hand.

Andrews said Oaklawn’s participation in the fair helps to address some of the most significant regional needs identified in the Calhoun County Community Health Needs Assessment, launched in early 2013.

“Those needs include proper access to care, and helping people to understand how best to deal with chronic disease, such as diabetes, heart disease and hypertension,” she said.