By Fletcher Word
The Truth Editor
The second annual “Caring for the Caregiver Expo,” presented by “The Juice” 107.3 FM, was held on Saturday, October 28, at the Glass City Center as hundreds of area residents turned out to view the displays of various vendors, to participate in healthy activities and to receive vaccinations as a precautionary measure.
The Juice FM 107.3 has created the caregiver expo in order to thank local essential workers, parents, guardians and first responders, said Debra Hogan, president of Fleming Street Communications, Inc, The Juice parent company.
“This event is the brainchild of a friend of ours, Brenda Spencer, of Columbus and they have been doing it for four or five years in Columbus,” said Hogan. “She asked us to be her second city and we agreed to it.”
Spencer, CEO of Spencer 4Higher Media, LLC, approached The Juice to start a similar event in Toledo with the idea of also expanding it to Cleveland and Detroit in the next few years.
“It’s just something good for us to do and to give back to the community, which we do all the time,” Hogan added. “So, everything is free – free parking, free lunch, free resources. It’s a day of pampering and services for caregivers and first responders.”
The Juice had numerous partners as they presented the second annual Caring for the Caregiver Expo. Among the partners were the Area Office on Aging which presented the event’s first Vaccine Room offering flu and COVID vaccines; Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield which sponsored the Pampering Room and Ohio Sickle Cell and Health Association.
The day was filled with opportunities for visitors to hear from experts in the healthcare system. Annie Ross-Womack of the Ohio Sickle Cell and Health Association was the event’s first speaker, followed by Brenda Spencer who shared her experiences as the founder of the original event in Columbus.
Michael Carter of Lucas County Mental Health spoke about maintaining the mental health of caregivers and Dr. Karen Moss of The Ohio State University addressed the topic of advanced care planning.
The Area Office on Aging presented workshops on Medicare benefits and getting financial help in caring for a loved one.
The pampering programs included sessions on meditation, yoga, CPR, Zumba, line dancing and dance fitness.
One of the event attendees was Detroit’s Angelina Taylor, a military caregiver for her father, an Army veteran. Taylor is also a Ms. USA Ambassador who will be competing in further pageants over the next year. Taylor heard about the Expo that was held last year and made it a point to attend this year’s since she hopes to help bring the event to Detroit in the near future.
Fittingly, the final remarks of the day were offered by Rich Hogan of The Juice, by Brenda Spencer of Spencer 4Higher Media and by Ireatha Hollins of the Area Office on Aging.
The Caring for Caregiver Expo 2023 was a lead in to November National Caregivers Month.