Council on Aging encourages healthy living at first Health and Wellness Fair

Foster parenting group, Land Trust, Wareham Police among those represented
By Lydia Goerner | May 17, 2017
Photo by: Lydia Goerner Foster parent Silke Kistner (left) and Kara Hemingway of the Department of Children and Families try to interest seniors in considering foster parenting at their informational table.

To encourage healthy habits this summer for seniors, the Council on Aging held its first Health and Wellness Fair on Wednesday. The fair had more than 20 tables of health related services available for residents.

Council on Aging Director Missy Dziczek said the fair was intended to inform people about what is offered in the community, from assisted living facilities to walking trails around town.

Some of the tables were typical services related to senior health care, like the Southcoast Health table, which had a lot of “inquisitive” people coming through, according to company representative Ana Heard.

Other tables were more surprising but had less interest from fair attendees. The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families had a table encouraging older people to consider becoming foster parents.

According to foster care recruiter Kara Hemingway, this table was an appropriate addition to the fair.

“We have a lot of elderly people over the age of 60 fostering,” Hemingway said. “We do not discriminate.”

Hemingway added that the state has one foster parent who is 82 years old. Though she did not get “as much interest as we’d like” at the fair, she said she hopes seeing the table will plant a seed for some.

Rounding out the diverse couple dozen tables, the Wareham Land Trust had a table full of brochures, newsletters and a donation jar, hoping to spark interest in the trails that are “very accessible for seniors,” according to assistant clerk Kathy Pappalardo.

Dziczek said the turnout throughout the afternoon was better than she hoped for. She would like to make the health and wellness fair a yearly event to raise awareness of opportunities for people of all ages to take care of themselves.

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