Expo to expose seniors to resources
By Lea Boyd
Carpinteria seniors are about to expand their horizons. The first ever Carpinteria Senior Expo comes to town on Saturday, Oct. 17, bringing representatives and reading material from 25 businesses and services that aim to improve quality of life for the elderly.
“It’s a good opportunity for Carpinteria seniors to learn what businesses and services cater especially to seniors,” said event chair Donnie Nair.
Carpinteria, with its 900-plus mobile homes and a senior apartment complex, has a large population over the age of 65. Many of the older residents do not drive and have trouble accessing or even becoming aware of resources in their own small community, much less the expanded services available in Santa Barbara and Ventura.
In addition to gathering resources under one roof for the benefit of local seniors, the event will serve as a fundraiser for the Carpinteria Alzheimer’s Caregivers Support Group. It is free to attend, but nonprofits and businesses promoting their services and products have paid a small fee for a space. There will be a raffle with prizes donated from throughout the business community.
Attendees will find information on home health care, assisted living, health and wellness and transportation solutions. Some of the exhibitors are EZ Lift, HELP, Steadfast Living, Visiting Nurses, Visiting Angels, Pacific Health Food Store, The Gym Next Door and Sansum Clinic.
There will also be bone density testing, flu shots and blood pressure checks, as well as free shoulder massages.
The committee responsible for the expo is made up of Nair, Jilla Woolsey, Linda Tornello and Carol Nichols. Funds raised will allow the Alzheimer’s caregivers group to promote itself in the community so that people struggling in the caregiver role know there is support if they need it.
“Being a caregiver is emotionally, physically and financially draining, and caregivers are often elderly themselves,” Nair said. Nair helped to found the group eight years ago when she was a caregiver to her husband, who suffered with Alzheimer’s for many years and has since passed away.
Two caregivers meetings take place weekly in Carpinteria and are attended by anywhere from 12 to 17 people. “It’s changed lives,” Nair said. “People say that without our group, they couldn’t have done it.”
Carpinteria Senior Expo will take place on Oct. 17 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Faith Lutheran Church, 1335 Vallecito Place. It is free to attend.