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Information Flows At City's Senior Day
Representatives from a wide range of businesses that cater to the needs of senior citizens were brought together in Escalon on Thursday, with the third annual Senior Day hosted at the Community Center.

Put on by the Escalon Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with the City of Escalon, there were multiple presenters, ranging from geriatric in-home care to Oak Valley Hospital and Escalon Community Ambulance to the San Joaquin County S.T.A.R.S., Sheriff's Team of Active Retired Seniors, to banks, the county Department of Aging, insurance firms and more.

"It went very, very well," said co-organizer Annie Gallagher. "We had real good comments from vendors, they liked the layout and we had about 150 seniors attending ... I was hoping for more but I'm satisfied. There was no real 'down time' and those attending said they got a lot of information, things they could use."

Annie Newman of Geriatric Health Care, based in Modesto, said she and her co-workers were there to offer information ... and a snack.

They had peaches in cups and topped it off with a spritz of whipped cream, going along with the 'peaches and cream' theme of this year's event.

"We're here to target the seniors, their families and their loved ones," she explained. "We do have in home geriatric services, we do a wide variety of care, from meal preparation to transportation, bathing, medicine reminders."

The business covers both San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties and has corporate offices in Los Gatos, Rocklin and San Mateo in addition to the Modesto location.

They are currently hiring CNAs, they noted, as the need for their services increases as the population ages.

Susan Klusman of Peace of Mind in Lodi was back for a second year at Senior Day.

"I thought it was a wonderful community event," she said.

The Peace of Mind product is a personal emergency response system, including medical alarms and fall sensors that can help protect the elderly living alone.

Most of the vendors were inside the community center with a few lined up on the edges of the newly renovated main room and two blocks of tables in the middle. Outside on the patio, UC Cooperative Extension had a table of information, as did the local P & L Concrete.

"I've had questions today on garden pets and I'm also offering information on growing fruit trees, 'how to,' the maintenance of trees, composting," explained UC Master Gardener Marcy Hachman.

She said many people, including seniors, are looking into starting fruit and vegetable gardens to save on grocery costs and the program can offer useful information to them.

"The master gardener program is a free resource for the residents here in the county," she said. "We've had a huge increase in people asking how to start a vegetable garden and we've also had a lot of contact with schools wanting to get into that."

At the San Joaquin County S.T.A.R.S. table, volunteers Roy Clevenger and Joyce Mahin said they are actively recruiting volunteers for the program and anyone interested can contact coordinator Mary Ann Dahl at 482-3303.

Gallagher said she was pleased with the variety of vendors and the wealth of information provided to seniors. A bag lunch was available for a slight cost and they sold more than 100 of the bag lunches.

In the 'senior room,' adjacent to the main area of the center, artwork by the Oak Valley Art Society was on display and music for the day was provided by local crooner Jess Bradley.