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Baby Boomers and Beyond Health Fair Debuts in Vienna

Shepherd’s Center of Oakton-Vienna and the Town of Vienna partner to host wellness exhibitions.

The first health and wellness fair focusing on mature adults was held on April 21 at the Vienna Community Center. Featured were screenings, information dissemination and exercise classes.

The first health and wellness fair focusing on mature adults was held on April 21 at the Vienna Community Center. Featured were screenings, information dissemination and exercise classes. Photo by Donna Manz.

Viewpoints

How Do You Keep Healthy?

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Ed Donnelly, Reston "Stay in motion, keep busy, participate in activities. I attend six senior centers. I’m on the go. I try to keep busy; that’s my challenge."

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"By exercising. I do yoga and I walk. I go to the gym, at least four times a week. Walk in my neighborhood. I also do stretching exercises. "I’m very particular about my foods. I eat a lot of whole foods, and I do pay attention to my food and weight. I’ve started to meditate. I like to travel, just got back from Cabo and Tucson. I hiked in Tucson. And I like to dance, too."

"Baby Boomers and Beyond" were introduced to the broad diversity of health and wellness services offered in the Vienna area at the health fair sponsored by the Shepherd’s Center of Oakton-Vienna [SCOV] and the Town of Vienna Department of Parks and Recreation. From health care navigation to dancing to Latin music, the four-hour exhibition on April 21 at the Vienna Community Center focused on the wellness needs of the area’s senior population.

"What we hope people take away is the knowledge and information to take charge of their own health and to navigate the health care system," said Casey Tarr, health advocate volunteer at SCOV. "We want them to have a better quality of life as they age."

Michelle Scott, Director of SCOV, thought of the idea of a senior health fair and talked it out with Cheryl Harlan, mature adult programs coordinator with Vienna Parks and Recreation. Tarr chaired the committee to produce the fair.

Over at the Inova Health System screening table, people waited to have their BMI assessed. Body mass index is helpful in determining healthy weight and most of the participants appeared to be women.

Elisabeth Russell, specialist at Patient Navigator, said that most people who stopped by her table asked about Medicare and health care reform. "I’m really impressed with the level of health literacy here, which is wonderful," said Russell. "We want people to take charge of their health."

Exhibitors included a Fairfax County agency on aging, Patient Navigator Elisabeth Russell, the Virginia Hospital Center and INOVA health system outreach, Capital Caring palliative care, the Alexandria Asian-American Lion’s Club, Alzheimer’s Family Day Center, and the Fair Oaks Parkinson’s Support Group. The Town of Vienna Parks and Recreation Department offered exercise classes geared to mature participants.

Cheryl Harlan suggested seniors look into nutritional counseling with a licensed nutritionist.

"How people perceive themselves as being healthy and what really creates good health is not always the same thing," Harlan said.

To learn more about the services of the Shepherd’s Center of Oakton-Vienna, go to www.scov.org. For information on classes and programs offered by the Department of Parks and Recreation of the Town of Vienna, see http://www.viennava.gov/index.aspx?nid=75.