West Virginia University health sciences faculty members and students will be providing valuable health screenings and information for those who attend the Senior Monongalians Center at the “Keeping Healthy and Active in your Senior Years” event.
The first session of the appointment-only events will take place from 8-10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, at the Senior Monongalians Center located in the Mountaineer Mall, 5000 Greenbag Road, Morgantown.
Seniors who participate in the activity will move through a series of five stations, each offering health information or a free health screening related to that topic. Stations include oral health education, health education and medication history, blood work and blood pressure, fall risk and bone mineral density, and car fitting.
Free health screenings that the WVU Health Sciences Center faculty and students will provide include blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol, hemoglobin, hematocrit levels, bone mineral density testing, and a fall risk/balance assessment. Students will also be providing health information about prescription and nonprescription medications, oral health, and other health-related topics.
The community-based care event was made possible through a WVU Office of Interprofessional Education grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.
“The purpose of our event is to promote healthy aging to seniors in our community,” Gretchen Garofoli, Pharm.D., clinical assistant professor in the WVU School of Pharmacy, said. “Students and healthcare professionals from the WVU Health Sciences Center pulled together to provide health services based on the needs of our senior population.”
Dr. Garofoli said older adults may take several prescription medications because they may have more than one health condition to treat. By speaking with a faculty member or student pharmacist at this event, they will receive information on how to manage their health and medications for the best possible health outcome.
“Another example of a healthcare need we are hoping to meet at this event is oral health,” Garofoli said. “Dental services are not covered under Medicare, so the information seniors will receive may help them prevent the dental health conditions seniors often experience.”
Kimeran Evans, D.P.T., assistant professor in the School of Medicine’s Division of Physical Therapy, added that various aspects of mobility, strength and function will be evaluated in order to assess fall risk and maximize independence within the community.
“Falls are one of the most common reasons for hospital admissions in older adults,” Dr. Evans said. “Screenings such as these are one way to detect risk for falls and educate the community on methods of prevention.”
Physical therapy faculty and students will perform tests to assess fall risk while occupational therapy faculty and students will perform a CarFit. This is a standardized educational program that offers older adults the opportunity to check how well their personal vehicles “fit” them. It is another way to maximize independence and safety within the community.
WVU students in the Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy, as well as students in the Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy programs, will be participating in the event as part of their coursework.