Always something new at senior health fairs |

Always something new at senior health fairs

by Sharlene Irete

The Douglas County Senior Center has shared information with the community at the annual senior health fair for 12 years, but there is always something to be learned.

Douglas County recreation specialist Amanda Reid said that at least 325 people attended the senior health fair at the Carson Valley Inn on Wednesday.

“We had a good turnout. I got a lot of positive feedback from people who said they found out something they didn’t know before,” Reid said.

“People ask us questions at the senior center, and sometimes we don’t know all the services available. So it’s nice to get organizations together to present their information at the health fair. It’s a good program.”

The annual health fair offers residents the opportunity to check out area services. This year’s 40 booths included information on home health and hospice care, hospitals, eye care, audiology, chiropractic and medical providers, and also information on legal and Medicare counseling.

Douglas County Assessor Doug Sonnemann was at the health fair to let residents know about tax exemptions for veterans and surviving spouses, and about the tax/rent assistance program.

“People are finding out they can take exemptions on government service tax, which is available to veterans,” said Sonnemann. “It was kind of a nice surprise to a couple veterans who had no idea of it.”

Get information about tax exemptions at 782-9830 or Sonnemann said they will help with paperwork, but that it has to be filed in the assessor’s office in the Old Courthouse office in Minden.

Health fair participants learned that blood draw services are offered at discounted prices by Carson Valley Medical Center.

“We had 25 people waiting for us this morning to have blood tests,” said Terri Swab, lab assistant for Carson Valley Medical Center. “The service is good for people who have high deductibles or no insurance. A complete blood count could cost $200 but here it’s $40. A lot of people didn’t know what was available at these prices. It’s a big difference.”

Residents learned out their drinking water at the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection booth.

“People should be aware of where their water comes from,” said Steve Lewis, educator for the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. “We are responsible and have a role in maintaining good quality water.”

The cooperative extension and Nevada Department of Environmental Protection offered a survey to health fair participants about their knowledge of drinking water. Take the online survey at

Gardnerville residents Grace Morris and Kathleen Copple spent hours visiting the booths and filling their swag bags at Wednesday’s health fair. Besides the usual gifts of bottle openers, pens and pencils, and a sewing kit complete with threaded needles, the ladies had samples of eye drops, packages of vitamins, and a personal health journal.

“That was the steal of the day,” said Morris. “You use the journal to take to the doctor and to keep track of your medical records. It empowers seniors to prevent health care fraud. We have to be our own watchdogs.”

“I won a bottle of wine from Great Basin Imaging,” said Copple. “We talked to a lot of people and got a lot of nice snacks: cookies, muffins, fruit, cheese and crackers.

“We found out about prescription drugs. I learned about home health care and got information on macular degeneration,” Copple said.

The ladies found the health fairs they attended over the years to be very informative.

“Each time I go to the fair, I learn something new,” said Morris. “It’s good for the community.”