Retirement Expo at Von Braun Center: some get surprising health news

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Senior citizens came out to the Von Braun Center for the 21st Retirement Lifestyle Expo. 

Seniors say they were excited for another year of free parking, freebies, and apparently, the food. 

One attendee told us, “I come here every year and the first thing I always do is get my blood sugar tested, and cholesterol, and screened for blood pressure– before I eat all the free snacks that they have at the sampling booth.”

But, the benefits go far beyond the fingerfood. Seniors who attend have access to, local activity programs, financial advisors, and medical professionals, who perform quick exams. 

Meet Jesse Johnson Jr., the Sight Conservation Chairman of the Huntsville Pacesetters Lions Club, one branch of an international organization that repurposes old eyeglasses and provides free hearing aids to those in need. He manned a booth at the expo performing free vision exams. Jesse Johnson Jr. says, “When a person loses their sight, really they’re losing a major part of themselves. What we’re trying to do is conserve that sight as long as possible.”

Mr. Johnson tested Howard Ross’ sight at the expo, who just found out that he’s showing early signs of glaucoma.

Ross says, “I couldn’t believe it… Well, it’s a good thing I caught that. I’m turning 65, and I’ll be on Medicare… It’s a good thing to know what kind of things I’ll have to be getting my care for.”

Greater Huntsville Humane Society even brought some furry friends by to invite seniors out to the shelter to volunteer to help socialize the dogs who need a little extra love. Vickie Young, Greater Huntsville Humane Society’s Volunteer Coordinator says, “What we’ve seen is that if people have a purpose, it’s the same with animals… if they have a purpose, their quality of life is better.”

The expo is put on every year by the Huntsville-Madison County Senior Center. This year they added two “Don’t Stop Learning” centers. The goal was to have guest speakers come and inform the adult public about things they never knew, or never thought they’d be interested in.

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