Last Friday, over 100 area seniors and senior caregivers attended the Barry County OACAC Neighborhood Center's first senior resource fair. Nearly 50 vendors offered information on emergency services, healthcare, home health, long-term care, fitness, credit counseling, disability services, dental service, volunteer opportunities, end-of-life planning, hospice, insurance, legal services, medical supplies, transportation, prescription medications and Social Security.
Seniors who attended the resource fair had the opportunity to complete a comment sheet before leaving the event. According to Gail Reed, Barry County OACAC director, many of those who attended the fair said that they hoped to see the event continue. Seniors also offered recommendations for information they would like to see at future events.
As I visited with individuals at the senior fair, I realized that not only will those who had the opportunity to attend the event benefit from the multitude of information offered at the fair, but many of the vendors volunteering at the event also took time to visit the booths of other vendors to obtain information in order to refer their patients and clients to services available in the local community.
The Barry County Neighborhood Center's annual senior fair joins a list of successful events offered by the local OACAC facility, including the annual School Readiness Fair, which provides hundreds of low-income families with school supplies for the upcoming school year, and Share Your Christmas, which offers Christmas gifts to local low-income families. The Neighborhood Center also offers a job training program, weatherization services and other resources for individuals in our community.
Congratulations to Gail Reed and the staff of the Barry County Neighborhood Center for adding another valuable resource in our community. The senior fair, like all of the Neighborhood Center's activities and events, will reach far beyond Friday's event to provide a valuable support system to countless county residents.