Fair provides health info for seniors

Fair gives seniors resources, info to manage health

JANELLE PATTERSON The Marietta Times Seniors at the O'Neill Center in Marietta file into the center's health fair Monday.

Whether seniors walked away with some extra band-aids or information on nutrition to help with managing diabetes, the goal of the O’Neill Center’s health fair Monday was simple.

“We want to provide the resources and let people know what’s available to them,” noted Heather Custer, activities assistant at the center. “We have many different vendors from retirement communities to health professionals all in one location.”

Linda Nicola, of Williamstown, said she went to the fair simply to stay informed.

“We come to the senior center all the time because they’re so friendly,” she explained. “Here (vendors) seem very outgoing and willing to talk with you.”

Registered Nurse Janet Lee, the quality assurance manager for Quality of Life Home Health located on Second Street, was checking the pulse and oxygen levels in seniors blood Monday.

“A lot of people in our community have COPD, which is a chronic lung disease,” she explained. “Often this comes from smoking but also from living in this area and the environment. So people can have issues breathing.”

So Lee took the health fair as an opportunity to check levels and give a quick educational rundown for attendees about what their numbers meant.

“You want to stay above 90 percent in your blood oxygen level,” Lee detailed. “If you’re showing low numbers we’d guide you to speak with your physician–that can indicate other things they need to keep an eye on.”

Lee said the fair was also an opportunity to share the other services of home health from education with COPD and diabetes diagnoses to wound care and medication administration.

Zac Napper, co-owner of Ohio Valley Hearing Professionals in Vienna, was also at the fair to share the many options anyone with hearing loss has available to them.

“It was about this time last year we started promoting the free CaptionCall service, too,” he said. “Anyone with verifiable hearing loss can get these phones and have the installation free of charge.”

The service provides clients with a free phone that provides live captions during a phone call so that a person hard of hearing can participate in the conversation whether it’s with their doctor or their grandchild.

“When a patient uses the phone the company bills the government, it’s something everyone with a cell phone already pays for,” explained Napper. “We’ve dispensed just under 70 in this area since last year’s health fair.”

Napper also noted that this Thursday the hearing company will provide free cleaning and adjustments of hearing aids, and in June will offer free hearing testing for seniors.

“We alternate months providing hearing tests and hearing aid cleanings, adjustments and ear checks for blockages,” he explained. “And we provide referrals, too.”

Agencies and organizations represented at the O’Neill Center Health Fair:

• Arbors of Marietta.

• Quality of Life.

• Marietta Home Health and Hospice.

• Buckeye Hospice and Palliative Care.

• Back in Line Chiropractic.

• Marietta Health and Wellness.

• Housecalls.

• Ohio Valley Hearing Professionals.

• Stone Rise at Home.

• Alzheimer’s Association.

• Glenwood/Harmar Place.

• University of Charleston.

• Memorial Health System.

• Buckeye Hills Regional Council – Area Agency on Aging.

• MOV’n Dragons.

• Washington County Health Department.

• Cedar Grove.

• RSVP volunteers.

• Curves.

• Marietta Family YMCA.

Source: O’Neill Center.