Both informative and fun!
The Home Reporter and Brooklyn Spectator hosted their annual Senior Health & Financial Fitness Expo at the Dyker Beach Golf Course, 1030 86th Street, on Friday, April 27.
The morning featured over 20 exhibitors and was highly attended by seniors from around the community who gathered information on an array of topics.
Along with raffles and free screenings, the day included a panel discussion featuring Keynote Speaker Director of Pulmonary Medicine for Maimonides Medical Center Dr. Michael I. Bergman, and representatives from AgeWell, New York Life and Accessible Dispatch.
Bergman discussed the importance of screening for lung cancer.
“Lung cancer is still the leading cause of cancer death,” he said. “People don’t really realize that. A lot of women think it’s breast cancer. Most people are familiar with the fact that there’s something called a mammogram to detect breast cancer in its earliest stage when it can be cured, but lung cancer screening that’s equivalent to mammography has only been available pretty recently.”
Because of its “low dose radiation,” Bergman said, “It’s a safe way of screening for early lung cancer.” That’s critical, he added, because, without it, “Most lung cancer is caught in its latest stages because early stage lung cancer doesn’t cause any symptoms.
“By the time it does cause symptoms, like coughing blood, it’s in its advanced stages and most of those cases are not cured,” he went on. “The technology is such that it’s a safe, effective way of screening at an early stage for lung cancer.”
Going to a specialized center is also important, Bergman added.
“If you’re going to get screened, you shouldn’t just go to a regular radiologist,” he said. “You should go to a center where they’re set up to do lung cancer screening, find spots when they’re very small and know what to do about them. There are several centers in New York but Maimonides has a large lung cancer screening program and we’ve caught quite a few at an early stage that can be operated on. That’s why we are here.”
In addition, during the event, Steven Williams, community outreach trainer for Accessible Dispatch, discussed the significance of bridging the city’s mobility gap.
The company, he says, helps to “Connect the community to wheelchair accessible vehicles. This is very important because only 22 percent of the subways are wheelchair accessible so this just makes up for that gap.
“Plus there are some areas like Canarsie where you can’t find a lot of bus stops and you can’t find subway stops, so this is just an initiative to make New York more accessible,” Williams continued. “The program was first launched in 2012 and we only did Manhattan. Now we do all five boroughs. There are roughly 2,000 accessible cabs available and that number is going to go up as the years go on.”
Long term care was the subject discussed by Bryan Van Huele, financial services professional for New York Life.
“Our discussion today is about long term care but as an agent of New York Life, we’re helping with retirement planning, long term care life insurance and preparing for retirement,” he said. “The importance of being here today is to put a face to the name. So many people hear of New York Life but it’s nice to see the agents in action helping out the community.”
Senior Benefits Advisor Gregory Staine-Pyne of Agewell New York discussed the company’s offerings, including a program that he said was “Designed for anyone that has Medicare and Medicaid and anyone who may have Medicaid with very specific needs and need additional care, to make sure they stay out of the hospital after they come out of a hospital or nursing home,” as well as FIDA programs, “For people that need special care. These programs are excellent because families don’t always know where to turn.”
All exhibitors spoke highly of the informative event.
“It’s a fantastic idea,” said Bergman. “I think they’re amazing to sponsor this. It motivates people to think about the health and other concerns that people in this age group have. It’s a great thing.”
“The expo is a wonderful opportunity for seniors to get out and network with one another and learn about different services and facilities and I find it to be a very joyous occasion,” added Shelly Blake, a spokesperson for Silverlake Care Center.
“A lot of seniors don’t want to travel far so we come to the seniors. We go wherever they are,” added Van Huele.
“I think it serves an important purpose,” said Staine-Pyne. “You have all these wonderful organizations here showing our community basically how to stay healthy and what the options are for health care.”
Attendees also enjoyed the day.
“It was wonderful, very informative, very helpful,” said Marie Riley. “We come every year. We also love the raffles.”
The sponsors were Maimonides Medical Center, AgeWell New York Health Plans, New York Life and Accessible Dispatch.
The exhibitors were AARP 3630; Accessible Dispatch; AgeWell New York Health Plans; Bay Ridge Holistic Healthcare; Brooklyn Integrative Health Care; Engage-Global; GuildNet; Island Shores; Maimonides Medical Center; MJHS Menorah; Metropolitan Financial Group 7; New York Life; New York Department of Aging; New York Department of Public Service; Norwegian Christian Home and Health Center; NYU Langone; OHEL’s Project HEAL; POP-DOC – HEP LLC; Right at Home Care; Silverlake Care Center; the Allure Group; the Run NYC Team Keller Williams Real Estate; and United Health Care.
Raffle prize donations were made by 3 Guys, AgeWell New York, Bagel Boy, Engage-Global, Foodtown, Food Dynasty, LaVilla Pizzeria, Livan Savino, Malson Jewelers, Rimini Pastry and Tasty Pastry Bakery. Entertainment was provided by Russell Targrove of ReQuestAnything.com.