Seniors from not only all over Oakdale, but even from as far as Waterford, came together to the Bianchi Community Center to attend the 17th annual Senior Information Day on Friday, June 8.
On one side of the room, tables were set up for attendees to sit at and talk with one another. On the other side and lining walls were booths for seniors to stop at and get information. Booths ranged from offering free blood sugar testing (courtesy of the Oakdale Nursing and Rehabilitation Center) to providing care information and senior living options in Oakdale and surrounding cities.
“I’m new and it makes me feel very welcome,” attendee, Barbie Brown, said of the event.
Some seniors reported this was their first time attending the info day, while for others it was their fifth or sixth time, and they planned to keep coming back.
Jane Finkenbine, the Recreation Services Coordinator for the City of Oakdale, noted that there was a shuttle around Oakdale to take seniors to and from the event. They also offered a free lunch, timed around daily activities at the Senior Community Center. To top it all off, seniors could participate in a raffle and take home plenty of “freebies.”
“I do know that our Senior Center and the services provided to this community are absolutely amazing,” Finkenbine enthused. “We provide such a variety of services that are so unique to this area.”
She reported that they planned on lunch for about 200, paid for by Oak Valley Hospital District – which was a close estimate, as the event saw about 120 seniors and 145 meals eaten (with vendors included).
Of the activities offered that day, an especially notable one was “baliotherapy,” courtesy of the Family Support Network. It was an exercise that seniors could do sitting in chairs or standing up – as they played music, a leader would dance primarily with arm movements, and onlookers would copy her moves.
FSN had also put an event on in the same venue last month for Mental Health Awareness Month; they returned to promote the hospital, FSN, and mental and physical health.
“We’re letting the community know what’s out there,” Shellie LaMar, Community Outreach Manager at the Family Support Network said.
Other programs and services represented included Alzheimer’s Association, Astoria Senior Living, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), River Oak Pharmacy, and more. The event was capped at 30 vendors on a “first come, first served” basis.
The event is put on in partnership with the Senior Community Center and Oak Valley Hospital District. Margarita Padron communicates with vendors and, as Finkenbine puts it, “works tirelessly from February through June” to help put the event on.
The outreach event had everything “from exercise to healthcare, transportation to nutrition,” and proved to be one of the many valuable resources Oakdale has to offer its senior citizens.