Gonzales resident Gail LeBeouf spent most of her working life in noisy gyms as a physical education teacher.
Those loud sounds took a toll on LeBeouf’s hearing.
So, she spent quite a bit of time at the Lighthouse Louisiana table during the April 30 Ascension Parish Council on Aging Health Fair. There, she listened as interpreter Sylvie Sullivan translated information from Paul Winfree, deaf services coordinator with the nonprofit.
LeBeouf picked up information on services and equipment provided by the agency, which started providing services for deaf and hearing-impaired residents three years ago.
More than 30 tables lined the walls of the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center’s gym, each with information on services and products targeted for senior citizens.
Council on Aging Executive Director Darlene Schexnayder said the health fair has grown from just a few exhibitors at the Gonzales Senior Center several years ago to “having to move to a bigger space to accommodate all the people interested in taking part.”
Schexnayder said the health fair helps her agency fulfill one of its goals: “to get them (seniors) living in their homes as long as possible.”
In addition to offering free health screening, the fair provided information on home safety, legal services, hospice care, health insurance options and health care to “give the seniors a chance to see what’s out there to help them,” Schexnayder said.
But getting the right information in the hands of seniors can be a challenge, Shexnayder said. Some seniors are isolated and don’t know where to go to get information.
They are bombarded with mail and telephone calls about scams targeting the elderly, she said.
“So we bring the information to them at events like this one and at programs at the senior centers,” Schexnayder said.
The Ascension Council on Aging has centers in Gonzales and Donaldsonville. For more information, call (225) 473-3789 or (225) 621-5750.