In its 27th year, the Elder Expo will be held at The Frederick Fairgrounds on Oct. 2, and it’s open to everyone—not just elders.
“It’s for the young senior, the old senior, the professional, the caregiver, even the employer,” said Christina Forbes, president of Elder Services Provider Council in Frederick.
The event draws hundreds of attendees who take in exhibits that include home care agencies, assisted living and senior living homes, funeral homes, elder law services and more.
“We want people to leave with practical information,” Forbes said. “People often don’t look for services until they need them. Suddenly, you’re in the ER because Grandma had a stroke, and you don’t even know where to begin. We’re trying to provide one place where they can get connected with a lot of resources all at once.”
The first event was held 27 years ago at Frederick High School. RaeAnn Butler, president of Edenton Retirement Community, was part of the planning committee then and is still involved today. “We were looking for a way to provide the community with a one-stop place for information,” she said. The aim remains the same, but organizers have since moved the event to a larger space—building 9 at The Frederick Fairgrounds—which can house nearly 80 exhibitors. All of those spots sell out each year.
Frederick Memorial Hospital will be on-hand to provide free health screenings, medication audits and advance directives. Flu shots will also be available.
New this year, AARP will sponsor document shredding from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Seniors in attendance will be provided with a free lunch.
A newer component—one that was previously missing, Forbes said—is the Caregiver Conference, which takes place the day prior, Oct. 1, and, unlike the Elder Expo, requires registration.
Dorinda Adams, executive staff member of the Maryland Commission on Caregiving and director of the Office of Adult Services of Maryland, will give the keynote speech, “Senior Safety and Caregiver Sanity: Finding Peace of Mind.” Four additional speakers will sit on a panel to discuss top safety concerns in various areas—home, medical treatment and medicine, community, and the caregiver—and provide tips, techniques and best practices for caregivers. Then they’ll open it up to questions from the audience.
For those who are full-time caregivers, caregiving will be offered onsite for loved ones who need it so their caregivers can attend the event. Preregistration is required for that service.
“If someone is needing the information, we don’t want there to be any barriers,” Butler said.
For details or to register for the conference or document shredding, visit www.espcfrederick.com.