Caregiver Support Fair Set for May 2

The 18th Annual Caregiver Support Fair will be held at the Ohio Valley Mall in St. Clairsville from 10 a.m. to 3 pm. on May 2.

The popular event is free and open to the public.

“The idea for this event came about when several of us were going through caregiving with our families and were having problems navigating the service delivery systems,” said coordinator Ann Koegler of Altenheim Resource & Referral Services in Wheeling. “We knew that if we were having problems, other caregivers must have questions also.

“A Caregiver Fair was a service we could offer our community to help older adults and caregivers learn about services that are available to them and meet agency representatives, smoothing the way for getting the help that may be needed to provide quality of life and independence to our aging population and their caregivers,” she explained.

Koegler commented, “The Ohio Valley Mall has been an integral part of this event and has supported us throughout the years. We are able to offer this at no charge to exhibitors or fair-goers, and with the generous support of our community.”

More than 80 exhibitors have registered for the 2017 event. They include in home assistance agencies, assisted living and nursing homes, veterans’ groups, information and referral, financial institutions, volunteer organizations, the Ohio attorney general’s office, the Ohio Public Utilities Commission and area hospitals.

“We have some new exhibitors this year as well,” Koegler said. “Several of the exhibitors are offering health screens such as blood pressures, pulse oximeter readings, bone density screening and this year, one of our exhibitors is offering a modified version of the Virtual Dementia Tour which gives participants just a small idea of what people with dementia experience.”

Riesbeck’s is providing cake for our fair attendees for the 18th year.

A fashion show will be presented at 2 p.m., with clothing provided by mall merchants. Emcee Steve Mazure will introduce the models who will be escorted by Belmont County Sheriff Dave Lucas and his deputies.

“This year’s fashion show will be dedicated to Joe Ripoly who was on the fair steering committee for a number of years, and who modeled for the fashion show many times,” she said. Ripoly died shortly after the Caregiver Support Fair last year.

Entertainment will be offered again for fair attendees. Keyboardist Marilyn Delman will be on the stage from 10-11 a.m. The Chrisagis Brothers will perform from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Roz & Lynn will lead into the fashion show from 12:45-1:45 p.m.

The Caregiver Support Fair is a project of the Belmont County Adult Services Coalition, a networking group of health and human service professionals that has been meeting and sharing information for over 20 years.

The group consists of social service organizations, health care agencies, businesses and organizations that provide services to older adults in Belmont County and the surrounding area.

“The focus is on sharing resources and providing networking opportunities for the attending agencies so we can better serve our clients and our communities,” Koegler said. “There are no membership fees and participation is open to any interested agency serving our area’s older adults. We have no budget and are not an organized business entity.”

As a coalition, the group organizes two projects: the Caregiver Support Fair in May and a Secret Santa service project in December.

For more information on the Caregiver Support Fair or the Belmont County Adult Services Coalition, call Koegler at 304-243-0996.