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Senior Expo 2014 — An Active Aging Fair

The Senior Health Expo brought out an estimated crowd of 1,200 at the Earl Warren Showgrounds.

Staff from Cottage Hospital and the Sansum Clinic were involved in check-ups and one-on-one meetings with those attending.

More than 1,000 seniors rolled up their sleeves for a flu shot, took an eye exam or visited some of the 90 vendors who participated with information about health, senior issues, housing, and transportation.

The annual event serves as one-stop shopping for locals as they get older.

“There’s banking, insurance, hearing tests, physical testing, walk-in bathtub, you have it,” said Maria McCall, one of the event organizers. “If it serves senior citizens, it was here,” said McCall.

This year’s event also put a special focus on falling and the major injuries it can cause.

Of all the patients who needed care at the Cottage trauma center last year, nearly one out of four were seniors who suffered from a fall. From that group, more than 80 percent of the seniors ended up being admitted to the hospital.

Fall Stop, a free risk assessment, was another service offered at Wednesday’s event to test a person’s balance.

Sansum provided 1,200 flu shots for the event at $5 dollars a pop and for the first time, the Santa Barbara Police Department set up its medicine-drop unit for expired prescriptions

Some participants told NewsChannel 3 they were able to talk more openly with the staff at the event than they can with their personal doctor.

Michael Kwan said he talked about possible concerns with his bone mass.

Kwan is a road bike rider and wants to take more precautions in case of an accident. He has also had open heart surgery. He said checking out the event and getting a flu shot took him about an hour.

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