Expo highlights healthy living for seniors

Scores of senior citizens took advantage of the Timmins Healthy Aging Expo to get their annual flu shot on Thursday. The flu shot clinic was hosted by the Porcupine Health Unit. Nursing student Rozanne Pepin, left, administered the shot to city resident Claire Delorme. The health unit is encouraging citizens to get their flu shot at a variety of free immunization clinics that will be held during November. Residents can make an appointment online by checking in at http://www.porcupinehu.on.ca, the health unit website.

Len Gillis/The Daily Press

Len Gillis / Len Gillis/The Daily Press

Senior citizens in Timmins might be finding that the city is becoming more age friendly now that the city has a formal age friendly strategy in place.

Part of that came to life Thursday when a Timmins Healthy Aging Expo was held at the Science Timmins venue in the Autumnwood Building behind city hall.

Laura Imhoff is a project coordinator with NEOnet Inc. which put on a workshop teaching seniors how to get the most out of their mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Imhoff is also a member of the Timmins Age Friendly Community Strategy which helped sponsor the expo. She said making seniors more aware and feeling more included in part of what the strategy is trying to achieve.

“We had more than 40 exhibitors here today, so we feel it was quite successful,” she said.

“We are also offering the flu clinic for seniors, put on by the Porcupine Health Unit. We had some 150 participants last year and we expect more than that this year,” she added.

The clinic itself saw a steady stream of older men and women entering the Autumnwood chapel where they filled out the paperwork, and then sat and waited while a team of public health nurses administered the flu shots.  After that they were invited to enjoy a free lunch, courtesy of Autumnwood.

Imhoff said the expo itself featured information booths, displays and health care representatives on hand to answer questions and provide advice.

Among the presentations at the expo that were humorous theatrical skits on such things as good nutrition, fall prevention and other topics relevant to seniors, said Imhoff.

Another workshop, called Protect Your Money, gave advice to seniors on how to recognize and avoid the scams and fraud artists that try to target senior citizens.

The Canada Revenue Agency was also at the expo to provide a workshop on tax credits and other benefits seniors should be aware of such as pension payments, online services and the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program.

“The exhibitors are here to tell seniors about all the service offerings that are here in Timmins.  So we have everything from health care providers, to exercise classes, to computer training and to anything else you’d think seniors might want to learn about,” said Imhoff.

“This is definitely making Timmins more age friendly,” she added.

“That’s what the strategy is, to make Timmins more age friendly. Part of the strategy is also the launch of our website,  http://www.seniorsintimmins.ca.  That website is there to inform seniors of all the things going on in the City of Timmins, and what is available for them,” said Imhoff.

She said this would include the regular line-up of activities at the Timmins Seniors Centre as well as activities, events and presentations in local retirement type homes.

“It’s all to let more seniors know about any type of public event that is geared to healthy aging,” she said.

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