Flu shot? Check. Hearing check testing? Check. Vaccinations? Check. These were some of the services offered to senior citizens Sept. 26 during Super Senior Day, a health expo in Frankfort.
Super Senior Day is one of two ways the Frankfort/Mokena Health Triad aims to serve the community. They also hold meetings regularly with senior citizens to present safety information and address community concerns.
This year, between 75 and 100 people flocked to the Founders Community Center to take part in the program.
“It’s a good number, and it makes it worthwhile for us to do it even if some seniors get a little bit of safety information or some get the vaccines or their screening that helps them,” said Leanne Bender, the Frankfort Police Department’s crime prevention officer. “It’s helpful to us to do this.”
This year’s program was made possible thanks in part to Bender, Wendy Kovach, a secretary for the Frankfort Police Department; and Dennis Boardman, a police officer for the Mokena Police Department. They are all part of the Frankfort/Mokena Health Triad.
The gymnasium was filled with people manning booths representing a number of community organizations that aim to support senior citizens. People enjoyed raffle drawings, safety information, health screenings and vaccinations.
“We always do it at this time of years because of flu-shot season, and we add on the vendors and some safety seminars for seniors to get some information,” Bender said. “We try to make it a real, nice event for seniors to attend.”
Violet Tolsky, of Mokena, sat looking over the various materials she collected from the vendors.
“I picked up a lot of stuff,” she said. “I’m going to read it.”
Tolsky said she finds the information they provide during Super Senior Day to be very helpful.
“Ever since I’ve lived out here—what 15 years, 20 years—I’ve been coming here for my flu shot,” she said. “[I drop in] either here or at the [Frankfort] Township.”
Joe Rohaly, president of the Frankfort Lions Club, was on hand with other volunteers to provide hearing check screening for people who dropped in during the program. He said they met with a number of people who found the service to be of great value.
“Most people don’t want to do it for some reason, and we cajole them into going and signing up and getting it done,” Rohaly said “When they get it done, they say, ‘OK.’ It’s up to them to try to follow up and decide whether they want to get hearing aids and help improve their lives with better hearing. Hearing is a strange thing because you lose your hearing so gradually that you don’t know it’s happening to you, and you adapt to a low-hearing world. You think, ‘Well, I’m doing OK.’ What you don’t realize is how much better life could be when you have a hearing aide.”
Rohaly said he met some people who hadn’t been tested in a while and went on to stress that regardless of the type of insurance they have, hearing is often not viewed as a top priority, which is concerning to him.
“I don’t think it’s insurance as much as people don’t realize they’re having a problem,” he said. “They think everything is OK with their life the way it is. They’re satisfied, and yet they could be so much better if they knew they had a problem and did something about it.”
Bender said in the last 10 years, she has noted a trend in some of the issues seniors report.
“What most seniors and older adults complain to me about is the amount of scam phone calls they get, and that they’re solicited more,” Bender said. ‘There’s like the grandparent scams; there’s a lot of telephone scams that are going on; there’s people coming to their home occasionally, and this is everywhere—not just Frankfort. Everywhere they’re having people try to scam them out of money. So, we have seen a little bit of increase in that. So, we need to be very aware and vigilant of what to do and what to ask when people come to their home.”
In such situations, seniors are encouraged to ask for identification, a permit to solicit, hang up the phone and not talk to people who ask for money or a credit card over the phone.