Each year Escapees CARE, Inc. joins forces with CHI St. Luke’s Health System of Livingston and members of the local health care community for a health fair. The annual event is held during the last full week in March to provide low-cost testing and health care information to the community. It is also our biggest fundraiser. This year CARE is raising money for 10 additional resident sites. At present, there are 38 sites.
The Four Major Goals of the fair are:
• To promote preventive health care and encourage exercise and suggest good nutrition.
• To bring affordable Health Seminars for all Escapees.
• To provide information on healthy living through health-related seminars.
• To familiarize the attendees with the health-related agencies in the community.
Activities during the week include daily seminars, nightly entertainment, lots of meal choices and life-saving health tests at reduced rates. The tests include mammograms, blood draws, hearing and vision tests and stroke scans.
There are several seminars each day presented by local professionals who donate their time to educate us on health, wellness, finances, legal issues and other topics. Representatives from home health agencies, hospice, nursing homes, funeral homes, etc., provide information specific to seniors.
This morning I had a stroke scan done. It is a non-invasive ultrasound screening of the arteries, thyroid glands, liver and kidneys. Ultrasound cannot detect all organ abnormalities but it can detect most physical abnormalities. If a life-threatening condition is found, they inform the patient and send them immediately to the emergency room. Otherwise, they will mail a report in about four weeks. The results are read by a Board Certified Radiologist. Last year there were seven people whose lives were saved because of these scans.
This afternoon I attended a CPR refresher seminar by Kathy Metzger, RN, who spent many years teaching CPR techniques to health professionals. There have been some important changes since I took CPR training many years ago while employed by Phillips Petroleum.
Today I attended a seminar on Colon Cancer Screening by Georg Elias, MD. It was very interesting and informative. The procedure is much more comfortable and accurate than it used to be. I had my last one in July 2012, so I won’t need to get one anytime soon. Phew!
Today was CARE Health Fair Day at the Activities Center. There were representatives from home health agencies, hospice, nursing homes, assisted living, urgent care and other health-related organizations. There were free eye and audiologist screenings. The theme for the fair was Mardi gras, so all the tables were decorated and the representatives were wearing hats, glasses, beads and such, in keeping with the theme. Of course, all of them had something to give away, including candy, pens and other things. I brought home a big bag full of stuff but gave most of it to the CARE nurse. The biggest item I got was a hoodie, which I decided to keep.
It started raining right after noon. We needed the rain but I wish it had waited until after the health fair.
Today there were four seminars at the CARE Center: (1) “Improving Balance and Fall Prevention” by Dr. David Le, (2) “Alzheimer’s Association” presentation by Crystal Capps, (3) Sleep Apnea” by Dr. Elizabeth Nguyen and (4) “Lipogems/Stem Cells” by Dr. George DeLoach. All of them were interesting, especially the one on lipogems, which uses components of the patient’s own fat cells to stimulate re-growth of tissues.
Tonight there was a big barbeque dinner catered by the Triple Eagle BBQ Company. Russ Johnson, CARE Executive Director, presented an annual update. After dinner there was a speech by District 36’s U.S. Representative, Brian Babin. He is a former dentist from this area. I was somewhat encouraged by what he said.
Today was the last day of the CARE Fair. I attended three of the seminars: (1) “Cholesterol” by Dr. Sandra Hutchinson, (2) “Downsizing & Creating a Safer Home” by Jean Back, one of our volunteers and (3) “Stress Reduction” by massage therapist James ‘Leslie’ Dawley. All of these were helpful and sometimes entertaining. I was especially interested to hear Dr. Hutchinson because she is to be my new primary care physician. She is very personable and her patient ratings are good. I also talked with Mr. Dawley about possible benefits of massage to my shoulder blade area. I plan to give it a try to see whether it will alleviate my pain.