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Area seniors get fit at Wellness Fair

About 100 seniors received relaxing massages, medication education and financial advice  all free of charge  during the second annual Senior Health and Wellness Expo on Friday at Great Plains Technology Center.

The Senior Center for Creative Living presented the expo with the purpose of informing seniors about health, wellness and safety. About 50 vendors from local businesses, such as Nora O'Neil, Platt College and Anderson Pharmacy, volunteered to visit with seniors.

Furry friends of seniors also were treated to nail clipping, micro-chipping and other services at a free clinic. Throughout the day, guest speakers, including Mark Stratton of the University of Oklahoma School of Pharmacy, spoke about topics relevant to seniors, ranging from fraud prevention to depression. 

Lorene Miller, director of the Senior Center for Creative Living, said she was excited to be able to serve local seniors and improve their quality of life.

"I would like them to be as safe as possible and knowledgeable about issues they face as they age," Miller said. 

Stratton discussed medication safety, which is important for seniors because medication-related incidents are the No. 2 cause for emergency room visits, Miller said.

Taking too much medication isn't always the issue, Miller said. At times, seniors "feel fine," so they don't take their prescribed medication, even though they actually need it, she added.

Wyonna Alberty, a senior who listened to Stratton's presentation, said she takes many medications and learned that she does not always need to choose narcotics in place of over-the-counter medication when she experiences pain.

"Sometimes, Tylenol can relieve the pain better than a narcotic," she said. "(Narcotics may) make you lightheaded or dizzy."

David DeFord, a senior, said he is diabetic, and though he does not use insulin, he takes multiple other medications. He said Stratton taught him how to effectively communicate with his doctor about what medications he might not need to be taking.

Lauren Coody, marketing director for Anderson Pharmacy, spoke with seniors about the two biggest benefits the pharmacy offers them  adherent packaging and free deliveries.

The Lawton Constitution

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