A multitude of services and products are displayed
STANDARD — Everyone needs a bit of help now and then, but one of the biggest obstacles toward getting that help might simply be a lack of awareness of what assistance is available.
To help local residents stay informed about the wide variety of health care and assistive products and services there are, the Putnam County Community Center (PCCC) held its Health Fair on May 31.
“An event like this is important because it’s helpful to be aware of all of the benefits and services available and people often overlook many of them,” PCCC Director Michelle Halm said.
The fair hosted booths that included product demonstrations and informative help from representatives of the U of I Extension; Social Security; Axline Pharmacy; a variety of medical alert services; St. Margaret’s; the Western Illinois Area Agency on Aging; PCCC Outreach; the Illinois Valley Center for Independent Living; the Caring Friends Alzheimer’s Support Group; Alternatives; Illinois Assistive Technology Program (IATP); and more.
A picnic-style lunch and door prizes were also featured attractions. Prizes included a Dollar General gift card, a snack basket, and a gift certificate for a massage.
Susan Glassman, a nutrition and wellness educator with the U of I Extension, said dietary questions were a common topic of the day, and she was happy to share a variety of ways to eat healthier while still enjoying varied and flavorful meals.
“It’s a good way to get new information and see all of the different things and learn what’s available,” Granville’s Mary Bence said of the health fair.
Amy Phillips, of the Western Illinois Area Agency on Aging, said she was mostly asked questions about Medicare.
“We do a lot of SHIP (Senior Health Insurance Program) counseling, and it’s very common for people to have several questions, so we’re happy to be here to share information and help our Putnam County residents,” she said.
While all the booths shared information and provided valuable assistance, the table that seemed to be attracting the most attention was the IATP table, which was full of cleverly designed assistive products.
Many simple tasks can become stressful if struggling with dexterity or visual problems, but the products on display at the health fair can help to change these challenges back to easy routines.
Weighted and helpfully designed forks; enlarged, weighted dice; enlarged playing cards with an easy-to-use holder; cups with unique side grips; clothing aids; voice and color-coded alarms and prescription medicine alerts; cooking utensils and products; writing aids and many more products can all be found with assistance from the non-profit IATP.
The PCCC is also going to be at the Hennepin Library from 9 to 11 a.m. on June 14 to help residents with Medicare Part A and B Preventive Benefits and Extra Help enrollment. Anyone needing assistance with available benefits can also call the PCCC at 815-339-2711 or visit www.pcaservices.org for more information.
The U of I Extension’s nutritional information can be found online at www.web.extension.illinois.edu/state/nutrition/index.php. Glassman regularly hosts a variety of informational nutrition classes throughout the Illinois Valley, and her schedule is also available on the website.
The PCCC will be hosting its Italian Night fundraiser from 4 to 7 p.m. on June 29. Tickets are $12 each and are available at the PCCC and area banks. The proceeds will benefit the community center. Each ticket will provide a carry-out, homemade dinner, which will include beef tortellini with meat sauce, a small pasta fritta, a salad and dessert.