Below is a list of providers and contacts from many of the exhibitors
— The Akron Area YMCA recently hosted a Senior Health Fair at its 4477 E. Market St. University Park location in Akron.
There were children’s activities, container gardening, blood pressure checks, ask-a-doc, health screenings and giveaways.
The Senior Health Fair provided residents with an excellent opportunity to learn about many resources and support that are available to area seniors. In an effort to get the word out to the community about what they have to offer, there were folks on hand representing a variety of organizations that have available support and services for senior citizens living in the Akron area.
There were representatives from Summa Health System and the YMCA to share prediabetes and diabetes information, as well as program offerings for people with or at risk for getting type 2 diabetes.
The YMCA’s program focuses on diabetes prevention and works with patients who have been diagnosed with prediabetes in an effort to help them avoid developing diabetes.
According to Karen Carbaugh, the Y’s Prediabetes program coordinator, diabetes is the leading cause of adult blindness, kidney failure and non-traumatic lower limb amputations and adults with diabetes have a shorter life expectancy than those without it.
She also shared that only 10 percent of people with prediabetes know they have it. Carbaugh explained that the Y’s program is open to anyone who is at least 18 years old, overweight with a BMI of 25 or greater or anyone who has been diagnosed with prediabetes or has had a previous diagnosis of gestational diabetes.
The program’s curriculum is approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and it aims to reduce body weight by incorporating healthy eating and and increasing physical activity. Go to http://www.akronymca.org/HealthyLiving/DiabetesPrevention/ to learn more about enrollment in the program.
Summa Health System shared information about their programs that offer diabetes education and self-management resources. According to Summa’s representative, their diabetes self-management training program includes group classes as well as individual sessions, yearly refresher classes, medical nutrition therapy and free education seminars for people with diabetes and their families.
The program focuses on healthy eating, regular physical activity, monitoring, taking medication, problem solving, healthy coping skills and risk reduction. Patients in the program and their family members work as a team with their physician, nurse educator and dietician. To learn more about Summa’s diabetes prevention and treatment programs, go to http://www.summahealth.org/specializedservices/diabetes.
Jewish Family Service (JFS) of Akron offered information about their LGBT Outreach Program for LGBT adults 45 and older and their allies. According to JFS’s representative, as older adults in the LGBT community age and face the issues that come with aging, it can be difficult for them to navigate social service and healthcare service agencies without experiencing discrimination.
JFS, located at 750 White Pond Dr. in Akron, offers help with grief counseling, dealing with family conflicts, depression and anxiety, daily living struggles and social and networking support. To learn more about the JFS LGBT Outreach Program, go to http://jfsakron.org/jfs-of-akron-services/jfs-of-akron-community-outreach.
While you are at the JFS site, be sure to check out information about their Volunteer Guardian Program, which trains and provides seniors with support when they need help coordinating care and making informed decisions and there is not a family member to assume that role. Another goal of the program is to provide stability and emotional support to those who need it.
Another organization that was at the fair was Cleveland Clinic Akron General. Community Liaison Mary Meli shared information about their hospice and visiting nurse programs. To learn more about how these programs are available to serve seniors and their families, go to http://www.vnsa.com/portal/page/portal/vnsa/vnsa.
A representative from Summit County Adult Protective Services (APS) was available to answer questions about elder abuse and the resources that are available to protect adults 60 and older from neglect, exploitation, physical abuse, emotional abuse and sexual abuse, including how to identify and report elder abuse. The APS elder abuse hotline number is (330)643-7217. To learn more about elder abuse, go to https://www.summitdjfs.org/services/adult-protective-services.html.
The East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation (EANDC) offered information and support about mortgage and energy assistance, senior home buying assistance and other senior living options. More information may be found at http://eandc.org/.
United Healthcare representatives provided information about Medicare and Medicaid options, and the Akron Summit County Public library offered information about its summer reading program, “Mind, Body & Sole: On Your Mark, Get Set…Read!” Mature Services, AxessPointe Community Health Center, Falls Village Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation and Green Village Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation also were each present at the event to offer information about what their facilities and staff could offer seniors.
The Senior Health Fair was made possible with the support of the Summit County Office of Minority Health Outreach Committee, United Healthcare Community Plan and Caresource. The event was funded by the Ohio Commission on Minority Health.