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April 05. 2013 9:52PM

Senior Health Fair set for April 23 in Derry

DERRY - The annual Senior Health Fair at the West Running Brook Middle School is scheduled for Tuesday, April 23, and this year's event will once again feature a variety of screenings, demonstrations, and information on health issues for area seniors.

The fair is free and open to anyone 60 years or older and all attendees will receive a backpack they can use to store information from the more than 90 vendors. The event runs from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., with a free lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This is the 10th year for the health fair, and unlike many large annual events, the committee overseeing this one has remained remarkably consistent over the past decade, according to Community Caregivers Executive Director Cindee Tanuma.

Although the health fair is a lot of work, she said the commitment of the committee members speaks to the strength and importance of the event.

One of the big draws of the fair is the health screenings, Tanuma said. The past several years, local hospitals have been under some restrictions on screenings they can provide at a health fair, but this year will see a number of new and popular returning health screenings.

"Osco Drug in Derry, along with the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, will be providing blood pressure screenings, diabetes risk assessment, blood glucose screening, and a new one, which is a test for nicotine dependence," said Tanuma.

A local chiropractor will give computerized spine readings, which Tanuma said is always one of the most popular screenings at the event.

"We are also going to have a breakout session for the first time," she said. The session on aging with grace and dignity will be given by two geriatric nurse practitioners in the cafeteria from 10:50 to 11:30 a.m., and will include an informal question and answer period, as well as information on topics such as what is normal and what is not in regards to memory loss.

About 600 people attend the event each year, and Tanuma said it gives seniors a chance to gather information they may not necessarily need immediately, but could need at some point in their lives.

"It's important for me and Community Caregivers because we want to do outreach for when a crisis hits," Tanuma said. "For example, if someone breaks their leg and needs crutches, they don't need to make nine phone calls because they will know that we have free loaners."

The event will also feature two $100 Walmart gift cards as grand door prizes, and Tanuma said many of the vendors will have individual raffles. A courtesy shuttle is available from the car door to the front entrance and wheelchairs will be available on site.

Vendor applications are still being accepted for the senior health fair. Anyone who is interested can contact Amy Bizeur at Vintage Grace at 425-6339 for more information.

aswift@newstote.com


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