Senior citizens of southern Brooklyn got the chance to hear expert advice and learn about helpful services available to them from legal and healthcare specialists at the Senior Health and Financial Fitness Expo on Friday, April 17.
The expo, held in the grand ballroom of the Dyker Beach Golf Course, was hosted by The Home Reporter and Brooklyn Spectator and attracted around 175 seniors and over 25 different exhibitors.
Seniors moved from table to table, learning about everything from the importance of getting regular blood pressure screenings to the intricate details of estate planning.
“My wife and I came to enroll in healthcare programs,” said Peter Orlando, 67, of Dyker Heights. “I’m impressed. It’s good for the older people and it’s good for the community.”
Peter Killen, president of AARP’s Bay Ridge chapter, said that it’s common for seniors to be unaware of programs that may be helpful to them.
“They might need these services,” he says. “There are loads of services they need. There’s also the comradeship–they get to meet people in the same age group and make friends.”
Health was a major topic of the morning. Rey Bolic, director of marketing for Immediate Care, an event sponsor, noted, “We specialize in senior health and would like to make the senior community aware that there is an alternative to health care when it comes to their treatment. It is imperative to follow up quickly on symptoms in the senior stages of life, and sometimes there is no availability for them at their primary care doctors and something simple as a common cold can progress to something more severe. At Immediate Care, they don’t need an appointment and only wait minutes to see the doctor.”
Doctors from the Bay Ridge Multispecialty Group, which operates in SUNY Downstate Medical Center, said that they came to the expo to let seniors know about their easy-to-use services.
“We try to make it as convenient as possible,” says Dr. Maria Fodera, a general surgeon. “In this economic climate, people are feeling a pinch. We want the community to know that we’re still here for them.”
Also on hand were attorneys from Korsinsky & Klein, a New York legal firm that handles elder law, estate planning, healthcare proxies and more.
“We’re here to help people navigate the system,” says Joseph Klein, a founder of the firm. “The senior population is increasing, and there’s always a need for it.”
Annette Fisher, a licensed mortgage broker, real estate salesperson and community activist, was speaking with seniors about WalletICE, a small, easy to fill out form containing crucial medical information in cases of emergency.
“I took my knowledge of forms and made this. This little form can actually save your life,” she said.
As the expo came to its conclusion, gift baskets and prizes were raffled off to the golden-aged crowd. Frances Schwartz, of Sheepshead Bay, took home a small bouquet of orange and white flowers.
“It’s something different, something exciting and it’s great meeting new people,” she said.
Sponsors included Immediate Care, Korsinsky & Klein LLP, Hospice of New York, AgeWell New York and Aetna Insurance, and live entertainment was provided by Russell Craig,RequestAnything.com.