SJSU’s Center for Healthy Aging in Multicultural Populations (CHAMP) partnered with the Santa Clara county Department of Aging and Adult Services and the Timpany Center to host the Fifth Annual Senior Wellness Fair Oct. 24.
More than 500 people attended the fair. SJSU students and faculty provided health education, basic health screenings and community resources to the visitors with whom they interacted. Employees and volunteers from local nonprofits, city and county agencies also set up tables in the gymnasium to share resources with senior citizens during the fair.
The College of Applied Sciences and Arts’ CHAMP is an interdisciplinary effort of the School of Social Work; the Valley Foundation School of Nursing; Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging; Kinesiology; Occupational Therapy; Psychology; and Communicative Disorders and Sciences. Students and faculty from each of those departments volunteered at the Senior Wellness Fair, with students from the School of Journalism and Mass Communications (JMC) providing PR for the event.
“It was excellent,” Harlow Williams, 71, of San Jose, told JMC students at the event. “I didn’t realize how many different things would be available.”
He said the wellness fair was comprehensive.
“I am hard of hearing and I found a number of things very specific to that situation,” he said, noting that he and his wife also found services that would help a friend in need of assisted living services. “I’m not computer literate so it is important to me to talk to people one-on-one to listen to what they have to say and be aware of what they have to offer.”
Naomi Gomez, a social work graduate student, said she and her fellow students were there to educate seniors on mood changes that lead into depression in the aging population.
“We are offering seniors today different support systems and referrals to help lift their moods, or if they know of someone, they can pass this useful information to (them),” Gomez said.
Sadhna Diwan, director of CHAMP and a School of Social Work professor, said the fair offers students an opportunity to practice their communication skills, learn how to engage seniors in screenings and health education, and learn about the array of community services available to promote wellness and healthy aging.