By Everett Brazil, III
The Newkirk Herald Journal
The Senior Citizens Center is the heart of Newkirk’s elderly population, providing a safe place where they can meet together, share a meal and receive important healthcare information. This Friday, April 21, they will have a chance to meet with many of those organizations, as many health industry representatives across Kay County will be present as part of the Senior Center’s annual Newkirk Community Free Health Fair.
The event will be 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Lunch will be served at 11:30.
Serena Welch is the Center director, and it is her job, along with a staff of volunteers to make sure they have proper access to healthcare information they need.
“You cannot make an educated decision without all the facts about healthcare,” she said. “We’ll have a ton of information about aging in the community, so we’ll have the resources to help our community.”
The Center has reached out to many healthcare providers covering a broad spectrum of health issues, starting with first responders, including Kaw Nation Police, Newkirk Fire/EMS and AirEvac Lifeteam.
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services will provide help with Medicare and Medicaid. Several health clinics will be represented, such as Kaw Nation, AllianceHealth Ponca City, AllianceHealth Clinic, Meyer Eye Care and Newkirk Family Dental.
Several home health organizations will be available, including Homecall Home Health Care and Angels Care Home Health, which already provides information at the Center on a regular basis, including vaccinations and blood pressure tests. For those who seek end-of-life care, Humanity Hospice and Hospice of North Central Oklahoma will have representatives available.
Other organizations include Golden Villa Adult Day Services, Wheatheart Nutrition and Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP).
The Long Term Care Authority Area Agency on Aging will provide information for caregivers.
While the health fair is geared toward senior patrons, many younger generations can glean important information, especially if they are a caregiver, or know someone who is.
“Everybody has aging parents. If there is a person that age you know, that’s what we’re here for,” she said. “Everyone can come and get information to reach the senior population 55 and above.”
In addition to the myriad vendors, the NFD will be grilling hotdogs, hamburgers, hot links and sausages, and many participants will walk away with prizes.
“Some of the vendors are bringing door prizes, and the popcorn machine will be going,” she said. “We’re trying to make this as fun as possible.”
Everybody is invited to participate, whether for themselves, or to find information for someone they know who may need help.
“If you know someone come and get information for them,” she said. “Caregiving is one of the toughest jobs in the world, and we have information for them.”
For more information about the health fair and other Senior Center activities, contact the Center at (580) 362-1409 or Welch at (405) 213-5360.