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Eighth annual Seniors Expo designed to help seniors find resources

Amherst Daily News

Amherst – Rhonda Jackson, faculty member of the Nova Scotia Community College – Cumberland County and her students initiated a program eight years ago. It started out as a “bring your grandparent in for lunch day” and it quickly evolved from there.

Shortly after, seniors began approaching Jackson, asking her about the different services and resources available to them and how to access them.

“From there we decided to bring the resources to them all in one room. It’s a little bit easier that way for them,” Jackson said.

Suddenly the Seniors Expo became an anticipated annual event.

This year marks the eighth annual Seniors Expo. The event is planned for the NSCC Learning Centre in Amherst on April 11, from 1 to 3 p.m., and all are invited.

Twenty-six Continuing Care Assistance students with the help of Jackson are organizing the event as part of the service learning project.

Part of the college’s mandate is to teach about service learning and to give back to the community.

“(The students) love it, they buy in right away, they absolutely love it, they really shine that day.”

The idea of the expo is to bring in resources for seniors and their caregivers to make them aware of what services are available in the area.

Each year a theme is chosen. This year’s theme - Wellness Matters: Sharing Resources with You.

The students contact various organizations who work with seniors and their caregivers, offering them various services. Organizations involved include Continuing Care, Seniors Safety, VON and others. There will be 12 booths in total.

 “It’s meant to enlighten the seniors on the services that are available for them. It allows them to advocate for themselves so that they can become a little more aware of what is available.”

Jackson is expecting 100 visitors to attend the event. The seniors come in and go through the booths and see what interests them and what’s available to them. There will also be opportunities to win door prizes, a lunch in and a chance to meet the students who prepared the event.

“There’s the bond that’s formed between the senior and the student as well,” she said.

In the past, the Expo has been well received by seniors and Jackson is expecting much the same.

“The seniors love it. The past couple of years that it caught on I’ve been getting phone calls wondering when it’s (the expo) going to happen. It’s a really good feeling.”

Students Jackie Jux and Marley Pugsley, who is also co-chair of the event, are eagerly anticipating the upcoming expo.

“We are really excited,” Pugsley said.

“I think it’s a good way to get the seniors involved with the community to see what’s out there available for them,” Jux said.

reporter@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Nova Scotia Community College, Daily News, NSCC Learning Centre

Geographic location: Amherst, Cumberland County

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