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Washington County CARES hosts 2012 Senior and Caregiver Expo

Event provided information about multiple organizations that can assist seniors, caregivers

May 24, 2012|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com
  • Mary Ellen Tulloch, left, and Kitty Harbaugh, right, take Rebecca Montgomery's, middle, one-hour long art class at the 2012 Senior and Caregivers Expo held Thursday. Montgomery, who currently teaches at various senior centers, says that art benefits seniors by giving a feeling of accomplishment, social contact and even good health.
By Yvette May, Staff Photographer

More than 30 vendors filled Hager Hall in Hagerstown Thursday for the 2012 Senior and Caregiver Expo put on by Washington County CARES.

The expo provided information for seniors and caregivers about the multiple organizations that can assist them.

“I wanted to see what all is out here,” said Hagerstown resident Grady Grimm, 91. “I’m always looking for things I can do to keep my motor going.”

Grimm, a World War II veteran, is part of Ravenwood Independent Living and drove to the expo on his own. He said he wanted to get his blood pressure checked and meet people he knows at the event.

“I enjoy coming because I see a lot of my friends,” he said. “Mostly, I come out to see if they have anything that could help me.”

Lasting from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., the expo offered multiple activities, including skin care, oil painting, aerobics and Bingo.

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Thelma Campbell, 77, of Boonsboro showed up looking for information.

“There’s always something new to learn,” she said. “I may need assisted living eventually, and you can’t pick up information on this anywhere.”

Vendors also used the expo to build connections to help seniors and caregivers.

Seniors Helping Seniors, in which seniors provide in-home care for other seniors, was at the expo for multiple reasons, said Laura Johnson, the group’s director of operations.

“This is a great opportunity to let seniors know there is help for them,” she said. “We’re trying to meet seniors who need help, and seniors who provide help.”

Johnson also said she wanted to build connections with caregivers who might need help taking care of a family member, as well as with other organizations that help seniors.

“Seniors can connect with active seniors helping them,” she said. “They can get house work and yard work from people they can trust.”

The Alzheimer’s Association was also among the vendors. Program Coordinator Cathy Hanson said she was hoping to get the information out about how important it is to discuss Alzheimer’s disease.

“The disease is the sixth leading cause of death, and age is the leading factor,” she said. “We hope to raise awareness here and link people to services in the community to help support them.”

However, attendees did not just have to use the expo to help themselves.

Halfway resident Jeane Kadle, 77, said she was at the expo for multiple reasons, including volunteer work.

“I like meeting people, and it gives a sense of accomplishment when you help others,” she said. “This expo brings people together and provides a lot of useful information.”

Kadle said she was also looking for things for herself.

“I’m looking for information that would help me,” she said. “I’ll probably need assisted living.”

Members of assisted-living establishments were also scheduled to appear at the expo, said Dawn Johns, president of WC CARES, an organization of caregivers supporting community work. 

“This is the only thing of its kind to really reach out to the community,” Jones said. “It’s great just to say that there are people here who do care and want to help you.”

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