Even savvy seniors learned a new thing or two at the 3rd Health and Wellness Fair on May 17 at Fremont Park, Santa Clara, next to the Senior Center.
Senior friends Judy Boccignone and Dorothy Kornder, long-time Santa Clara residents, closed down the fair at 1 p.m. They headed home, their arms loaded with their $5 BBQ lunch-to-go (subsidized by a $500 grant from Kaiser Permanente) and complimentary shopping sacks that they had filled with information.
“The fair was very helpful. There are services that I didn’t know existed,” said Kornder. “I had my questions answered about Medicare and Social Security. I got my blood pressure taken and met people taking lessons at the Senior Center. Now I’m considering taking some classes.”
“Ditto everything she said,” said Boccignone.
The fair was sponsored by the Santa Clara Senior Advisory Commission (SCSAC) in partnership with the Parks and Recreation Department. Having the fair is one step in maintaining Santa Clara’s official World Health Organization Age-Friendly City designation.
The fair was bigger than ever this year. Fifty-two exhibitors provided information about services for seniors and caregivers. Free shuttle transportation to Fremont Park was provided at no cost to the city by West Valley Trailways and Avalon Transportation.
“There’s so much useful information here for our seniors and the community at large,” said City Council Member Raj Chahal. “The fair is a supplementary resource to help solve community issues.”
“We’re excited to be able to provide resources to the community to enhance their health and wellness,” said Santa Clara Recreation Manager Kim Castro. “An event like this serves more people at one time and in a compact area. Folks can shop ‘anonymously’ for services they might be interested in.”
Grant McCauley is one of seven Senior Advisory Commissioners appointed by the City Council to advise it in matters affecting people age 50 and older.
“We’re the voice of the senior population in Citywide projects,” said McCauley, mentioning several.
SCSAC has given input on the City’s pedestrian master plan and the Central Park master plan, looking at the plans through a senior lens.
Results of the 2017 Senior Needs Assessment show that transportation and housing are concerns for seniors, who want to live in their own homes as long as possible.
“Don’t let embarrassment of the fact that you let someone take advantage of you keep you from reporting it,” said McCauley.
Better yet, don’t fall for a scam. A December 2018 talk on fraud scams — door-to-door, phone and online — was so popular that another one is being planned.
In the meantime, information on preventing fraud is available online. Check these sites and be aware: the Federal Trade Commission (https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0030-pass-it-on), the National Council on Aging (www.ncoa.org), and Today’s Caregiver (www.caregiver.com/articles/prevent-senior-scams/).
“I really enjoy being on the commission,” said McCauley. “We have major accomplishments with the age-friendly city designation and the senior assessment. And we’re having fun while we do it.”
For information about the Senior Center, 1303 Fremont St., visit www.santaclaraca.gov/residents/senior-center or call (408) 615-3170.