Expo experience

1st annual Minot Daily News Senior Expo a success

Jill Schramm/MDN Keith Hanson with Town & Country Insurance visits with Cindy and Dick Sorensen about Medicare options at the Senior Expo in the Sleep Inn & Suites Thursday.

Joel Hernes of Minot was drawn to the first annual Minot Daily News Senior Expo Thursday by a desire to meet up with other seniors.

“The social aspect,” he said of his main reason for participating in an event that drew a crowd to the Sleep Inn & Suites, “and to see if there’s some information we can pick up.”

Dick and Cindy Sorensen, newcomers to Minot, were more than pleased after coming to hear a Medicare presentation and walking out with a wealth of information about health services, a bag of freebies and a tour lined up at the Minot Family YMCA. Dick Sorensen, who just retired, said the Medicare information alone was worth attending but they gleaned much more than that.

Verdean Hofer of Turtle Lake, who works with the elderly through Senior Companions, said she came looking for information that might be of use to her clients – and possibly for herself too.

“It looks like it’s mainly for me,” she said, smiling about the information she was gleaning early on. She added she expects to take back valuable information to help improve the lives of her clients.

Jill Schramm/MDN Linn Zander, left, with the Bismarck Cancer Center, explains how the free colorectal cancer kit works to Lauren Larson at the Minot DAily News Senior Expo Thursday.

“If I can keep them in their homes, that’s what I want to do,” she said. She said she lost one client to a care center, but her client is loving the social activities and personal services there.

Seniors who attended the expo heard about some of the benefits of assisted living centers, tried out physical exercises for aging well, gained insight into scams and fraud and came away better educated on Medicare.

Erina Berg of Minot said she came to check out the new event and wasn’t disappointed.

“It’s good information,” she said, noting she wishes the expo had been around to provide the information earlier. “I wish they had it before I retired.”

Several Minot businesses and organizations participated in offering booths. Telli Johnson with Johnson’s Eyecare and Eyewear said a medical log brochure for people with diabetes and a prize drawing were top attractions at their booth, where people were invited to stop and visit about the importance of eye exams and preventive care.

Jill Schramm/MDN Seniors raise their hands in participating in an exercise demonstration led by Tanya Gillen with Trinity Health Exercise Physiology at the Minot Daily News Senior Expo Thursday.

Ed Malazdrewicz with Professional Hearing Services, who spoke on hearing loss, later took seniors’ questions at the agency’s booth.

“It’s kind of a neutral environment. People don’t have to make an appointment. People can ask some questions without committing,” he said. “They have fears about the cost of hearing aids. They don’t realize there’s inexpensive alternatives we offer.”

Keith Hanson with Town & Country Insurance, who also spoke in the afternoon, found people looking for advice on Medicare and supplements.

“I like to help seniors sort this out,” he said. “They hear so many things about what’s what. It may be true for some, but it might not be relevant for them. One size doesn’t fit all.”

Seniors who attended also were eligible for prize giveaways and received free refreshments and lunch. The Bismarck Cancer Center was offering a screening for facial sun damage and potential skin cancer as well as free colorectal cancer home kits.

Other expo participants included Trinity Health, Boppre Law, Minot Family YMCA, UND Center for Family Medicine, Edgewood & CaringEdge, Somerset Court and Northland Pace.

2019 Expo

For information about sponsorships or participation in next year’s Senior Expo, people can contact Minot Daily News Publisher Dan McDonald at 857-1912 or dmcdonald@minotdailynews.com or Advertising Director Jim Hart at 857-1963 or jhart@minotdailynews.com. The date of the 2019 event has not yet been set.