Community neighbours
Recreation Coordinator Karen Parks and Development Manager Lynne Smith from the Garden Villa in Chesterville were promoting volunteer opportunities and the upcoming Christmas Bazaar at the Dundas 50+ Wellness Day on Thurs., Oct. 12.          Sawyer Helmer photo

Kalynn Sawyer Helmer
Record Staff
DIXON’S CORNERS – The fifth annual Dundas 50+ Wellness Day was busier than ever at Matilda Hall in Dixon’s Corners on Thurs., Oct. 12. Head of the committee Taryn Hoogeveen from J.W. MacIntosh Seniors’ Support Centre explained organizing begins as early as May. This is her fourth year at the helm and Hoogeveen hopes to continue to reach more people each year. The goal, she said, was to especially reach the caretakers. “It’s the folks around 50 years old who are taking care of their parents that we’d really like to reach,” she said. By doing so, the committee hopes to show caretakers in the community the vast services available to them, some that many don’t even know about.

Caroline Rooney and Nancy Galway from Carefor Nor-Dun Seniors’ Support Centre manned the agency’s information booth at Matilda Hall for the 50+ Wellness Day. Sawyer Helmer photo

The 32 agencies included hands on demonstrations from Summers PhysioFitness and Champlain LHIN. Dave Summers offered clients a lower body alignment test using a laser fitting system. The test involved clients standing on a contraption to determine if the shape of the foot causes stress on lower body joints. The foot is then corrected with orthotics. Should the realignment prove unsuccessful with just orthotics, clients are given exercise suggestions to help strengthen weak joint areas.

Program Supervisor Erica Tripp and Team Leader Cathy Tupper from J.W. MacIntosh Seniors’ Support Centre helped provide information about community services available in South Dundas on Thurs., Oct. 12, at the 50+ Wellness Day. Sawyer Helmer photo

Champlain LHIN offered a fall risk assessment for seniors over the age of 65. Steps include a questionnaire and light exercises to develop a data report on the likelihood of the client experiencing a fall.

These hands-on demonstrations added an interactive aspect to the informative event. When clients were done listening to the many guest speakers, including SDSG MPP Jim McDonell, they could meander through the stalls to discover the many options available to seniors in the community.

Chesterville’s own Garden Villa was in attendance once again. Recreation Coordinator Karen Parks and Development Manager Lynne Smith were promoting their Christmas Bazaar and the always available opportunities for volunteers. “Volunteers are always welcome and it can often help with the transition. You get to know the people and surrounds and then one day it can be a good move [to become a resident],” said Smith. “It’s also great for youth,” said Parks. “The seniors know they are the future and they like to see and hear from them. It’s intergenerational.”

The event was another big success, seeing record numbers even in comparison to similar events in Ottawa, explained Hoogeveen. While Matilda Hall was at capacity, in coming years it’s possible that with more space, the event could continue to grow and be one of the best annual resources for seniors and their families.