Wellness checks, immunizations, blood tests and health information will be available to adults 60 and older at the Senior Health Fair on Friday at the Steamboat Springs Community Center.

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Wellness checks, immunizations, blood tests and health information will be available to adults 60 and older at the Senior Health Fair on Friday at the Steamboat Springs Community Center.

Aging Well: Health fair offers array of services

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Senior health fair

The fair is from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. Friday at the Steamboat Springs Community Center. Coffee, juice and snacks will be provided. Transportation is available in Steamboat and from Hayden and South Routt County. Call 970-879-0633 for more information.

The following services and information will be available:

■ Blood tests

• Health Profile (includes cholesterol panel, glucose, TSH (thyroid), liver and kidney function): $30

• CBC (Complete Blood Count): $15

• PSA (men only; Prostate Specific Antigen): $25

• Hemoglobin A1C (for diabetes management): $25

• Colorectal Take Home Kit: $10

■ Blood pressure checks

■ Immunizations

• Flu: Medicare accepted (bring card), otherwise $14

• Pneumonia: Medicare accepted (bring card), otherwise $14

• Tetanus: $14

■ Nutrition information from Karen Massey, Routt County Extension Office

■ Foot care information

■ Information about Medicare counseling

■ Alzheimer’s Association information

■ Aging Well and Adult Day Program information

■ Advance directives/living wills

Flu vaccine information

The vaccine this season includes H1N1 and is recommended for everyone 6 months and older. For VNA flu clinic schedules in Routt and Moffat counties, visit www.nwcovna.org or call 970-879-1632. Vaccinations also are available by appointment.

Adult flu shots are $14 ,and the FluMist is $25 (a higher dose vaccine for adults 65 and older is available from some health care providers, but not the VNA). Child flu shots or FluMist are $14 or less. Medicare and Medicaid are accepted; must bring card.

So you forgot to sign up for the early blood draw and can’t make it to the Community Health Fair later this month. Or you prefer to avoid crowds.

Whatever the reason, if you’re 60 or older, there is another opportunity for you to take advantage of low cost blood tests and other services and information for older adults.

The Senior Health Fair is from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. Friday at the Steamboat Springs Community Center. It’s sponsored by Yampa Valley Medical Center, Aging Well and the Routt County Council on Aging.

Senior health fair

In addition to affordable blood tests — the health profile alone typically costs more than $400 — the Senior Health Fair will provide a calm setting to get flu, pneumonia and tetanus immunizations.

Depending on immunization demand, Joan Dalrymple, a registered nurse from the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, also may be available to speak with older adults about their general health and medications.

Peggy Lawton, VNA foot care nurse, will be available to talk about free foot care clinics for older adults in Craig, Steamboat, Hayden and South Routt County.

Karen Massey, consumer and family sciences agent from the Routt County Cooperative Extension Office, will be on hand to answer questions and provide information about nutrition.

The fair also will include information about adult day programs in Hayden and Steamboat Springs, Aging Well fitness and chronic disease self-management classes, and Medicare counseling through the Senior Health Insurance Assistance program.

Flu vaccine

For the first time, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone 6 months and older receive a seasonal flu vaccine in order to protect those at higher risk of developing seasonal flu complications — adults 65 and older, pregnant women, young children and people with underlying health conditions.

This season’s flu vaccine includes a strain protecting against H1N1. Although the U.S. Public Health Emergency for H1N1 expired in June, the CDC expects it will continue to spread like a regular seasonal flu virus.

There is a high-dose version of this season’s flu vaccine for adults 65 and older. Fluzone High-Dose has four times the amount of antigen, which prompts the body to make antibody, encouraging a better immune response.

The high-dose vaccine is available from some health care providers but not the VNA.

It can take as long as two weeks after vaccination for a person to develop protection.

Children ages 9 and younger who never have had the seasonal flu vaccine should get a booster vaccine four weeks after the initial vaccination for maximum immune response.

Allergic reactions to influenza vaccines are rare. People should consult with their doctor before getting the vaccine if they are allergic to chicken eggs, have had a severe reaction to the vaccine in the past, have a moderate-to-severe illness with a fever or have had Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Children younger than 6 months should not receive the vaccine.

For more information about flu vaccine safety, visit www.flu.gov.

The CDC also recommends adults 65 and older receive a pneumococcal vaccine, which significantly lowers a person’s risk of developing pneumonia, meningitis and other infections caused by a certain family of bacteria.

Individuals ages 2 and older who have chronic conditions as well as smokers and people with asthma also are advised to get the vaccine.

A person typically only needs to be vaccinated once, unless they are 65 or older, at which time they should receive another dose of the pneumococcal vaccine — as long as at least five years have passed since the last dose — according to CDC recommendations.

— Tamera Manzanares writes for the Aging Well program and can be reached at tmanzanares@nwcovna.org. Aging Well, a division of Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, is a community-based program of healthy aging for adults 50 and better. For more information, log onto www.agingwelltoday.com or call 871-7676.

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