It was both a pleasure and a privilege for me to have served alongside several other Nakusp area residents who were members of the planning team and other volunteer assistants, all helping to bring fruition to the highly successful Seniors’ Resource Fair which took place May 4 at the Nakusp Auditorium.
Over 170 participants attended this important community event which was sponsored by the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL), represented by Liz Gillis the adult literacy program coordinator, and was aided by the Fair coordinator Ann Barrington.
Invited guest speakers included Karen Miller (Trail) who spoke on the topic of Well-being for Older Adults; Rob Smallwood (People’s Pharmacy Nakusp) who provided useful tips on Safe Medication Use; Cpl. Ryan Fehler (RCMP Nakusp) on the subject of Fraud and its prevention, and Christie Heuston (Nelson) who spoke about Advanced Care Planning.
A total of 23 business and service organizations were represented in person, with close to 30 tables being well stocked with current health and wellness-related literature on hand to refer to or take home. Live demonstrations by local Qi Gong and Tai Chi practitioners also sparked interest.
According to Gillis, the planning committee’s goal was to attract over 100 community residents who would hopefully attend the event, noting “we are very pleased that we met these goals.” Gillis also emphasized the fact that health literacy (the ability to access, understand and act upon information for health) is the concept which fits within CBAL’s mandate and commitment made to improving literacy skills.
“From our experience and feedback given to us, the Fair had a positive impact on local residents and service providers,” Gilles stated. “We observed participants picking up information, networking with resource providers and listening to experts who shared information in response to questions.”
Evaluation forms which included the opportunity for attendees to identify suggested practical improvements and expanded participation all around, showed active interest in CBAL’s facilitating the Fair next year and perhaps annually.
Local and area businesses generously donated door prizes which were awarded by draw to members of the public, with recognition also extended to partners representing the Arrow Lakes Health Care Auxiliary who made the success possible by assisting in funding the event in addition to CBAL as well as the Regional District (Paul Peterson).