Fair links seniors with health, safety options

Published 7:53 am Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Photo by Brandon Hicks Erin Dula with East Tennessee State Univeristy Audiology tests Dot Oaks' hearing.

Photo by Brandon Hicks
Erin Dula with East Tennessee State Univeristy Audiology tests Dot Oaks’ hearing.

Health and safety were the focus of the day for the annual Seniors and Law Enforcement Together health fair on Tuesday.
SALT President Karen Mansfield said the goal of the event was to promote awareness of services in the community.
“We just want to educate the public, especially the senior citizens, about the different services and options open to them for health and safety,” Mansfield said.
A variety of booths at the Truman Clark Annex at the Carter County Health Department for the fair offered information on joint and spine care, heart health, physical fitness, mental health, law enforcement assistance, preventative screenings, hearing care, medications, child care, assisted living, legal aid and insurance.
Representatives with Sycamore Shoals Hospital Chest Pain Center were at the fair sharing information on the signs and symptoms of heart attacks.
“Approximately 1.2 million Americans suffer from a heart attack each year, and heart attacks kill around 800,000 people each year,” said SSH Chest Pain Coordinator Christy Williams. “That happens because we do not pay attention to the warning signs of a heart attack.”
The Chest Pain Center provided information on the signs and symptoms of heart attacks and other information about the center.
Employees from the SSH geriatric psychology unit presented information on memory loss and services provided by the unit.
“It is just having them know we are available and that we are located here in town in the hospital,” said therapist Kassandra Wynn. “We are right there for families who need resources and many don’t know that we are here. They can call if they need information or have a question. They don’t have to be a patient in the unit for us to help them.”
Several employees from Medical Care LLC were also present at the health fair sharing information on mammograms, pap smears, colonoscopies and flu shots. They were also providing blood sugar screenings.
“The fair gives us a good opportunity to reach people in the community that might not come into our office,” said Registered Nurse Rebecca Morris.
More information was available from employees at HealthSource Chiropractic. The office provided information packets – along with 5-minute chair massages.
“Our main goal is to educate as much as we can,” said Crystal Turner, community relations and therapist. “A lot of people are not aware of the chiropractic health benefits.”
Dr. Howard Dennis said the fair provided the office with the chance to gain connections in the community.
“The theme in our office is relationships,” Dennis said. “Developing relationships in the community is our top priority.”
Legal Aid of East Tennessee was on hand at the fair with details about services they provide, including power of attorney, wills, Social Security and disability assistance and assistance with identity theft protection and medical bill costs.
“We want to make the community aware of what we provide,” said Legal Aid receptionist Cindy Tittle. “A lot of the aid we provide is for civil issues for low income residents.”
The Carter County Sheriff’s Department and the Elizabethton Police Department were also part of the fair. The EPD was promoting the department’s drug take-back event at the Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce this Saturday along with the drop off box that is always located in the EPD’s lobby.
CCSD Sgt. Mike Carlock offered a variety of public safety tips.
“This is a way to let the community know that we are very much invested in their safety,” Carlock said. “If they have any questions we are here to help.”
Carter County Health Department employees manned a booth with information on the Women Infant and Children Program, healthy toddler tips and toddler sleep tips.
“We know that a lot of grandparents help take care of their grandbabies, so we can give them this information and they will pass it on to the parents or guardians,” said Stephanie Hopson.
This is the seventh year the fair has been held and it is expected to become an ongoing annual event.

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