Vail Daily column: Senior fair provided great information
This past Friday, the Eagle County Paramedic Services and Eagle County Healthy Aging held a fabulous education event at Colorado Mountain College — the Eagle County Senior Health Fair.
Now in its ninth year, the fair brought together numerous local and state agencies to focus on the health needs of older adults. A variety of screenings such as memory, vision, hearing, balance, strength, dental, vein and blood pressure were available. Added this year was an educational symposium that included a neurologist, neurosurgeon, podiatrist and physical therapist.
The fair featured a number of vendors such as health insurance counseling, budgeting/paperwork assistance, information on veterans service, hospice and homecare providers, the Avon library, Stryker Orthopedic devices, Web-based resource providers and many others.
Each year, the number of people attending the event increases as more programs are implemented and word gets out. This year, there were around 150 people in attendance. It was fabulous to see so many people access the resources and services. Moreover, it was great to see the increasing number of service providers. As the population over 65 will grow 163 percent by 2020, our need for services will increase.
Stephan Weiler, Ph.D., an economics professor and associate dean of research in at Colorado State University, supervised a recent study that said “many baby boomers … will leave for lack of suitable care facilities — taking their retirement income with them.” The study projects an annual $43 million loss for Eagle County’s economy.
After many attendees accessed screenings, almost 70 listened to panel of doctors and a physical therapist. It was truly a unique opportunity to be educated on very complex subject matters that support healthy aging.
Neurosurgeon Dr. David Feller explained spine and neck issues in a way that all could understand. His humor eased the seriousness of the subject. He was followed by his medical partner, Dr. Claudio Feller, who educated us on chronic pain management with spine simulators and deep brain stimulation treatments for Parkinson’s. It was noteworthy that both made mention how to avoid the need for their expertise by taking heed of information provided by podiatrist Dr. Brian Maurer and physical therapist Gentian Nuzzio.
Maurer educated those in attendance about neuropathy, changes in foot shape, arthritis in the feet and ankles, and balance and gait analysis related to the risks of falls and prevention. His presentation not only explained common issues of the feet and ankles, but also provided information on steps to be taken to maintain healthy feet.
With all the feet crammed into ski and snowboard boots, running and cycling shoes, we are truly very lucky to have such a competent and personal doctor. As Feller mentioned, many spinal issues manifest from the ground up.
Nuzzio, from Axis Sports Medicine, brought the subject matters of all three doctors together. She provided valuable information regarding methods of staying healthy and active, regardless of age.
Gentian tied together the importance of balance and core strengthening to prevent spine and back injury. She provided insight as to how the physical demands from our active lives can be more demanding on our bodies than we might realize, leading to sore muscles or, worse, injuries.
As part of the “Sandwich Generation,” I welcomed the education and resources provided by the fair. The information heard will assist me with family members’ ailments of stenosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and balance issues.
This event was remarkable. I thank the Eagle County Paramedic Services, Eagle County Healthy Aging, Colorado Mountain College, the speaker panel and all those who helped bring this event together.
Judson Haims is the owner of Visiting Angels Home Care in Eagle County. For more information, go to http://www.visitingangels.com/comtns or call 970-328-5526.