BY CHERYL SLAVIN
Close to 1000 people attended the second annual Senior Fair, hosted by Sen. David Carlucci at Rockland Community College last Thursday. The event showcased a wide variety of resources, services and opportunities available to and for Rockland senior citizens and their families. “Rockland seniors need and deserve the best quality care possible,” Carlucci stated in his opening remarks. “So we’ve gathered all of these resources right here in one place as a way of making this information available as easily and completely as possible.”
“Rockland Community College is proud to support our senior community by offering such programs as our Senior Citizens Club and our senior audit program,” Dr. Cliff Wood, the college president added. “We were thrilled when Senator Carlucci asked us if we could provide the venue for this fair.”
At the Field House, over 100 individual vendors staffed rows of information tables on such topics as healthcare, insurance, homecare, assisted living and nursing homes, estate planning, volunteer and recreation opportunities, senior centers, senior programs and hospitals. Many non-profit organizations, including the college and the Senior Citizens Club, Rockland Independent Living Center, Meals on Wheels, The Library Association of Rockland County and the New City Library, as well as the Rockland JCC, also distributed materials.
In addition to the information booths, the fair presented a series of speakers to address topics germane to the senior population. Rockland DA Tom Zugibe spoke to a rapt audience about consumer protection against such crimes as identity theft, caregiver abuse and solicitation scams. Drs. Nunzio Pomara and Donald Goff presented the latest on Alzheimer’s research. George Hoehmann of Rockland Independent Living Center brought the public up to date about services RILC can provide seniors. He also announced RILC’s newest program, a “Durable Medical Equipment Loan Closet,” designed to make medical equipment available to those who cannot afford it on their own. New City Library director Mitch Freedman informed the public about the various programs the library offers seniors, including its new “Director’s Film Series.” Attendees were also treated to a musical performance by the Rockland Symphony Orchestra.
Judging from the packed parking lots, the smiling faces at the information tables and the animated questions directed to the speakers, the fair certainly appeared to have been a success. Seniors and their families came away with a wealth of information about programs and services designed to improve the quality of their lives along with opportunities to become more engaged and active within their communities.