ST. GEORGE — The second annual Senior Connection Expo was a rousing success held on Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at at the Dixie Center in St. George.
The expo featured booths and exhibits from over 40 different vendors covering topics of special interest to seniors, including health and wellness, travel, funeral services and estate planning.
“We have had an excellent response, it’s our second year so it’s starting to build, people know it is free, it’s fun and it’s informative,” Event Coordinator Denise Stramel said. “Our favorite here is the roulette wheel, you get coins for visiting the vendors, then you play them on the roulette wheel.”
There was also great entertainment provided, including three dance numbers by the local group Sassy Senior Dancers who performed to a standing room only audience. Their first number was performed to the music of “Ain’t She Sweet” and the dancers were dressed in top hats and flapper outfits. Wardrobe change and the Sassy Seniors were dressed in cowgirl outfits dancing to “Tulsa Time,” change again and they finished with a dance to “Margaritaville” dressed in Carmen Miranda style outfits.
One of the vendors, the law firm of Blaine T. Hofeling PC, is offering legal assistance for estate planning needs. It was the first year that Hofeling has participated in the show and they have had a good response, legal assistant Kirsten Hofeling said. It is important for people to fund their trust after they set it up, a lot of people set up a trust and then fail to transfer all of their assets into the trust, which can be very dangerous, Hofeling said.
Another vendor, Lifetime Vibe, offers a whole body vibration system which simulates walking without causing stress to your joints; you can get the equivalent of one hour of exercise by using their device for just 10 minutes a day, sales representative Angie Angular said.
Penny Walbom, 70, and husband Paul Walbom, 67, from the Bloomington neighborhood of St. George, arrived at the expo after riding their bicycles from home to the Dixie Center. They also attended the show last year and they like it because it’s directed to seniors, its a smaller more relaxed show and easier to negotiate, they said.
“It has things that people need and are pertinent to seniors, there is not a lot of high pressure sales,” Paul Walbom said.
Other entertainment at the show included guitar music by Brad Christensen, who is also the public relations, marketing and admissions representative for Kolob Care and Rehabilitation in St. George. The turnout for this show has doubled what it was last year, Christensen said. Kolob is one of only two nursing homes in the area that provide a secure unit for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia patients, Christensen said.
It was the first year at the expo for Southern Utah Home Care and Hospice, which provides a new service to southern Utah called palliative care. Palliative care is the management of symptoms from chronic health conditions and it is a bridge between home care and hospice care, family nurse practitioner Sheila Taysom said. “I’m impressed with the turnout of seniors and all that is offered to them here,” Judy Andra, patient care coordinator with Southern Utah Home Care and Hospice, said.
Visiting the expo for the first time were Mary Fernley, 65, and her husband Sam Fernley, 70. They moved from Salt Lake City to St. George about three years ago and they are impressed with all that is offered in the area for seniors. “St. George is so oriented to seniors and it’s good to have all of this information,” Sam Fernley said.
The final entertainment included a fashion show from C.J. Banks and Christopher Banks with all models being seniors.
And just to top everything off, “we always end the show with a free desert bar,” Stramel said.
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