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More than 1,000 attend senior fair at Chambersburg Mall

In Franklin County, people 65 and older make up 16.8 percent of the county's population

September 07, 2012|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com
  • Bob Sedlor, 84, and his wife Lillian, 83, of St. Thomas (Pa.) check out information at one of the 80 displays set up at the Senior Fair at the Chambersburg Mall on Friday. The annual event was hosted by state Rep. Rob Kauffman.
Photo by Roxann Miller

SCOTLAND, Pa. — State Rep. Rob Kauffman hosted his annual senior fair at the Chambersburg Mall on Friday.

Representatives from 80 state agencies, local governments, businesses and nonprofit organizations were on hand to provide information and answer questions important to seniors.

“It’s a clearinghouse for information and services for our senior community,” said Kauffman, R-Franklin/Cumberland.

With an aging population in Pennsylvania, it’s important to make sure seniors have all the information about the government and services that are available for them as well as private groups who want to be of benefit to them, Kauffman said.

More than 1,000 seniors attended Friday’s senior fair, sponsored by The Village of Laurel Run.

Pennsylvania ranks fourth in the U.S. by percentage of the population age 65 and older (behind Florida, West Virginia and Maine), and one in five Pennsylvanians is 60 or older, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

In Franklin County, people 65 and older make up 16.8 percent of the county’s population.

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Nellie Mae Gearin couldn’t wait to get a chance to meet Kauffman and have her picture taken with him.

Gearin, who lives in subsidized housing in Chambersburg, said the senior fair and Kauffman’s office have provided her with valuable information on property tax rent rebates and $10 vehicle registrations for low-income seniors in Pa.

Being on a fixed income, Gearin watches where every penny goes.

“I’m worried about everything the way the economy is now,” Gearin said. “Everybody I talk to is worried about it.”

The lack of transportation available to seniors was on Audrey Snowberger’s mind.

The Waynesboro (Pa.) senior citizen suffered a stroke, which prevents her from driving.

She used to be taken to Chambersburg Mall every month by Franklin County Transportation. But, she said, the economy has put the brakes on the monthly transportation.

“I’d get my hair done, my fingernails (done) and shop,” Snowberger said. “I miss those trips.”

Charlie Coleman, 75, and his sister Kathleen Coleman, 72, both of Shippensburg, Pa., sat near center stage in the mall. Both said they are concerned about the outcome of the November election.

“I am worried that Obama might be elected,” Charlie Coleman said.

This country is not what it used to be, he said.

“I’m concerned about Obamacare because it’s a tax, and it’s going to tax the death out of my grandkids and their grandkids. It’s a no-win situation,” Coleman said.

Bob Sedlor, 84, and his wife Lillian, 83, of St. Thomas walked around the senior fair checking out the various displays and exhibits. Married 64 years, the couple said they didn’t expect to have so many physical issues as they grew older.

“We’ve had to stop traveling,” said Lillian Sedlor, who has a number of health issues including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, heart problems and eye issues.

For 10 years, the couple traveled across the U.S. in their recreational vehicle, but that has stopped.

“All of a sudden, here it is, and we’re going to the doctor every other day almost, it seems like,” Bob said.

But, Lillian’s advice for growing old is simple: “Keep moving.”

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