MATTHEWS – South Charlotte Weekly’s Thrive Over 55 Senior Expo proved to be a win-win for both the senior community and local organizations.
The event, held March 16 at Christ Covenant Church, featured 51 vendor booths and offered dynamic breakout sessions on topics such as reverse mortgages, health and wellness, and active adult living. Publix Super Markets provided breakfast and lunch for the estimated 510 attendees.
“Our newsroom regularly receives calls from senior citizens in need of answers or help relating to basic needs, so I’m proud our staff created an event that connected them to resources in the community,” Managing Editor Justin Vick said. “This was another example of how our newspapers create value for the communities we serve.”
Joyce Siener, of Monroe, and Nancy Jones, of Indian Trail, were impressed by the turnout, as well as the giveaways and food.
They enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere while perusing the different booths and said the information about assisted living was most valuable.
“It’s very informative and they’re not pushing anything on you,” Jones said. “They’re giving you the information and asking if they need to explain anything.”
“Also, any medical information is always helpful for seniors,” Siener added.
Nancy Simmons, patient care coordinator at Beltone, called the expo “one-stop shopping” for seniors and a great opportunity for people to ask questions.
“They can get a little information, take it home, mull it over and follow up,” she said.
The company specializes in hearing products and care and brought some of its equipment to the expo for demonstration. Robert Smith, Beltone’s hearing care practitioner, used a scope to show attendees the inside of their ears on video.
“It’s really cool because you get to actually see what he sees,” Simmons said.
Over at the Waltonwood booth, company officials provided information about the two independent senior living, assisted living and memory care communities in Cotswold and Providence.
Marketing manager Carrie Dunlap said seniors asked a lot of questions about services, amenities and the different types of living arrangements Waltonwood offers, and the expo was the perfect place for answers.
“It’s just for the knowledge for when the time comes – whether it’s for themselves or for a family member – so they know what the options are,” Dunlap said. “I think people are surprised there’s this type of assisted living our there.”
While the March 16 event was a first for South Charlotte Weekly, Vick said it wont be the last.
“A lot of the credit for this successful event goes to Sales Manager Adrian Garson,” he said. “She drove the planning for this first event and she has already been working with the staff in brainstorming ways to make it better next year.”