Patrons of the Falls Active Adult Center took advantage on Thursday of the numerous services available during the annual Health Fair.
Those over 65 could receive shots from Walgreens of Dallas to provide immunization against flu and pneumonia. Eye examinations to detect glaucoma and other problems were provided by the Association for the Blind. A station by The Meadows of Dallas performed testing for blood sugar. A blood pressure check was available from the Gardens. And folks with seeing and hearing disabilities were instructed on what devices are available for assistance from the Pennsylvania Initiative on Assistive Technology.
“We hold it at the center once a year,” explained executive director Twila Watkins. “This year, it was a bit smaller because not as many (medical) people showed up.”
Still, by 12:30 p.m., about 25 people had taken advantage of the services provided at the fair. Each station handed out flyers and brochures related to specific health issues. Many asked questions and were provided information about various health care needs. Sometimes, these screenings can provide unexpected benefits.
“One lady who came in several years ago and had a vision screening learned she had glaucoma,” Watkins explained. “It if had gone untreated, she would have gone blind.”
While the health fair is no substitute for seeing a physician, it provides patrons with early detection which had help prevent certain medical issues from becoming more serious.
“People need to be checked on a repeat basis,” Watkins explained. “The Active Adult Center provides this, as well as other health and wellness services, as a service to the community. Our goal is to help keep people healthy.”
Watkins also recalled another incident in which a woman who had her blood pressure taken discovered that it was extremely elevated. This caused her to ask her doctor for advice, who subscribed treatment procedures.
While four of the stations provided screenings, the PIAT offered a variety of devices geared to helping people overcome various handicaps. Items ranged from the simple to the complex - including magnifying glasses, phones with amplifiers for the hearing impaired, and oversized playing cards.
“Assistive is defined as any device that a disable person uses to accomplish a task,” explained Heather Taber of PIAT. “It includes not only electronic devices, like the phones, but simple things like a rubber grip which can help a person open a jar or a door.”
Over 4,000 of these items are available free of charge through a lending library overseen by PIAT, she said.
“I come every day,” said Phillip Culver of Vernon. “It’s great. You can get a flu shot. I’ve been getting them for years, and haven’t had the flu since. Same way with a pneumonia shot.”
“I came here for a health checkup. It’s great,” said Norie MacDonald of Scranton.
“I got a lot of information from this,” said Linda Bauman of Pittston.