Focusing on a long slate of health concerns from exercise to hearing loss, Bethany Home’s Health Fair Friday morning was seen as a success for the community at the Town Square Apartments campus on West Main Street.
The morning took off literally with a five mile walk out of the square and down Main Street to Jack Tone and the Jack Tone Golf Course. The participants got back before the health fair went into full swing with its 29 vendors, booths and stage presentations.
Denise’s Farmers Market made the trip from her Highway 120 fruit stand location to set up her produce mart in the center of the Town Square campus with everything from watermelons to nuts and peaches.
Hearing aid specialist Julie Tyner in the Wesson booth was not only answering questions but going the extra mile for seniors like Marie DeBie who was having an issue with her earpiece that needed repair – five minutes later it was functioning. DeBie was not one of her clients. Tyner is in Ripon weekly at Almond Blossom Chiropractic where she assists her clientele with their hearing needs.
In chatting with Jerry Terpsma, she clarified a question he had about buying hearing aids from big box stores – “what’s the difference,” he asked.
“It’s our service and educational plan. I like to think people have a better experience in coming to us as we don’t have a quota to meet,” she said. “The big box stores don’t handle the high end hearing aids that we sell – mostly the entry level types,” she added.
Under special circumstances Tyner has gone to Bethany Home for hearing testing, she noted, when people are unable to get out of bed. She said the loss of hearing – the lack of communication with family and friends – is the “silent pain” that causes anguish for senior citizens. Some even stop going to church for fear of embarrassment when they can’t hear their friends talking to them.
“They just don’t go places and they don’t want to hang out with friends,” she said.
“It is the joy they demonstrate when they can hear once again that excites me,” she quipped. “We have had people actually bawling in our office when they realize they can all of a sudden hear.” The Health Fair is just one of the places Tyner visits on a regular schedule in addition to the area’s senior centers, The Commons at Union Ranch and Prestige Senior Living on Louise Avenue in Manteca.
Artist Paris Douma set up her easel in the outside patio near the entrance of the Town Square Apartments as the Health Fair got underway. Within two hours she had a finished painting of a cabin nestled in the redwoods with a stream running near the front door with mountains in the background. She said she had been painting since she was just a youngster, adding that she later took lessons from the accomplished artist Dan Petersen – formerly an art instructor at Modesto Junior College. She said at the age of nine her dad shared his pastel box with her and actually got her started.
“Just about anyone can paint,” she chimed. “It’s 90 percent desire and 10 percent talent.”
Inside the carpeted lobby of the relatively new living facility, Dick Raso had set up an art show with paintings large and small for the community to enjoy, away from the vendor health care booths that offered everything from massages to health testing.
A lunch was offered in the center of the campus for a minimal $2 charge following Fox40 News cooking demonstration by Dana Johnson and her associates from a Modesto culinary institute.