Medical services usually cost money — and a lot of it — but that won’t be the case Friday during the sixth annual Senior Health and Wellness Fair at Reeves Community Center in Mount Airy.
Free health screenings will be available from various agencies for the target group of 50 and older. Included will be blood pressure checks, blood sugar screenings, ankle-brachial index (ABI) services, balance and strength testing and cholesterol screenings, along with others, organizers say.
A variety of hand-outs and other information also will be distributed, along with samples — all of which will be free during the event scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon in the RCC gym.
“It’s just something we like to do for the people in our community,” Fonda Mooney, family services director at the community center, said of the fair. It is sponsored by Mount Airy Parks and Recreation/Reeves Community Center along with Surry County Senior Center.
With screening services in particular often accompanied by a price tag, Mooney added that Friday’s event can fill a void for those on a budget.
“Some people can’t even go to the doctor because of the cost,” she said. The purpose of the annual fair is held to “let them know that health is very important, and it gives them lots of information. And also at the same time they can get screening done free.”
About 150 to 200 people usually take advantage of the fair’s offerings.
Typically, about 30 entities are represented at the event, which will have stations set up throughout the gym.
Among those to participate this year are The Heart and Vascular Center, Choice Physical Therapy, Blue Ridge CareNet, Delp Chiropractic, Northern Hospital of Surry County, UniHealth Home Health and more.
Information will be offered about various services, such as home health, which could be of interest to the targeted age group.
Other exhibitors will stress the importance of preventative health, including the SilverSneakers program at RCC which allows free recreational services funded through insurance carriers. Personnel will be on hand Friday to assist individuals in determining if they are eligible for SilverSneakers, Mooney said.
“This (the fair) is a great opportunity to find out what our community has to offer for our senior adult population to get fit and stay healthy.”
More information about the event is available from Mooney at 786-8313.
While the Mount Airy Police Department is a regular participant at the health fair to provide information about prescription medication dangers, this will include an added feature Friday.
For the first time, fair-goers can dispose of unused prescription drugs during the event, substances that might be taking up space in medicine cabinets as well as posing a hazard if falling into the wrong hands.
Police department personnel will be on hand to collect such items as part of the new “Operation Medicine Drop” feature of the senior health fair.
“That’s something we think is really important,” Mooney said of the fair’s new attractions.
Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or email@example.com.