MARION — An event Tuesday offers area seniors an opportunity to do a little one-stop shopping for health care needs.
The Senior Fair 2019 begins at 9 a.m. at The HUB Recreation Center in Marion. Sponsored this year by state Sen. Dale Fowler, R-Harrisburg, and state Rep. Dave Severin, R-Benton, the event plays host to multiple state, county and local organizations that will allow visiting seniors opportunities to talk to multiple health care and service providers all in one place.
“It gives other providers an opportunity to get under one roof and give important information to our seniors,” Fowler said Monday. There will be on-site free glucose screenings as well as blood pressure hearing tests.
Fowler said he sees these types of fairs as being a great opportunity for seniors in the community who do not have great means of getting around or getting in contact with some health care providers.
“Our seniors don’t necessarily have the social media contacts that we maybe as younger people have to communicate,” he said.
Henry Long, executive director for Senior Adult Services in Carbondale, agreed.
“Any time that you can have something that seniors can get out and enjoy, I’d say that’s a benefit,” he said.
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Sarah Patrick serves as an adjunct professor in Southern Illinois University’s Public Health Program and said these types of events can have a broad, positive impact on seniors.
“Those are all positives for seniors, especially if they can go to one place,” she said, adding that there are two caveats that she would remind people of: One is that there may be more options out there than what is at the health fair — attendance is sometimes based on who can show up that day, she said. Also, Patrick said health fairs should never replace primary care.
“But you still need to be in a full-person-centered care setting,” she said.
Both Fowler and Severin will be at the fair, as well, and will be able to chat with seniors and others about their state government concerns.
“We just want them to know we are there for them,” Fowler said.
The event is free and Fowler said there is no need to RSVP.