GREEN More than 150 local seniors attended the city’s senior expo Sept. 12, taking part in the opportunity to learn about local services available to them.
Green Recreation Programmer Matt Kress said the city developed the expo as a way to bring various agencies and service providers together in one place, on a single day.
“We have had a lot of inquiries from businesses who want to meet with and speak to our seniors,” Kress said, noting that the city has become attractive to a large population of senior citizens for a number of reasons, not the least of which being access to Interstate 77 and the city’s safety services.
“We thought this would be a great way to bring all those (businesses and services) together,” he said.
By the midway point of the three-hour expo, attendance was already larger than last year’s event, according to Kress. He said the 24 vendors on hand, including health care providers, personal trainers, senior housing representatives, estate planners, safety services, and court representatives, provided a wide range of available services that seniors may not have even known were available.
“We hope they get useful information that can help them in their everyday lives,” Kress said. “Just knowing what services are available to them.”
Valuable to vendors and attendees
The vendors also found the event positive.
“I’m here trying to recruit volunteers and get the word out about volunteer opportunities,” said Jessica Goff, volunteer services coordinator at the Summa Health Barberton campus. “We need volunteers; they are a very important part (of what we do) every day.”
Goff and SummaCare Senior Sales Representative Brian Gladysz agreed that the expo was a well-run event.
“The chance to interact with people and meet face-to-face is very important,” Gladysz said. “They are inundated with so much information already.”
Uniontown-based attorney and estate planner, Victoria Schafer, said that while the number of senior living communities and condominium developments in recent years in Green is an obvious sign of how attractive the city is to seniors, reaching them with information can still be a challenge.
She said events like the senior expo are “incredibly important” for that reason.
“Seniors have a tendency to hibernate,” said Schafer, who also hosts an estate planning-focused show on talk radio station, WNIR-FM.
Jackson Township resident Chris Kurtz said such events as the Green senior expo are a positive reflection on the entire region.
“We are blessed with the benefits provided by all our towns,” she said. “And Green has great hospitals, great parks, a great library, a great mayor. We live down the road, but it is all home to us.”