The Annual Wellness Fest at the Goebel Adult Community Center is a gathering of local businesses and public service agencies that focus on supporting positive, mindful living for the senior population in and around the Conejo Valley.
This year’s event, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Jan. 17, is expected to bring together more than 65 vendors who will provide valuable information about resources in the local community.
“It is important to know and understand all of the different services offered in our community—everything from our hospitals to care facilities to public services,” says Julie Spivack, Director of the Conejo Senior Volunteer Program who is organizing the 2018 Wellness Fest.
The annual Wellness Fest is designed for everyone with a passion for changing lives through health and wellness. Event organizers want to inspire, motivate, educate and meet older adults on their journey to be healthy.
“The Wellness Fest is a wonderful opportunity for older adults to be able to come to one space and find out a plethora of information,” Spivack says.
For instance, vendors onsite offer details about care facilities, caregiving services and end-of-life service, as well as information about other topics, such as financial, medical, nutrition, fitness, recreation and entertainment.
“We like to make it easily accessible for everyone to be able to come and meet people and speak with these agencies,” Spivack says. “It is so difficult to get any face to face time these days, and I believe just getting to meet someone and have a real conversation is a huge deal when it comes to trusting someone with your wellness.”
These vendors include Los Robles Hospital, Sunrise Senior Living, Conejo Hearing Center and the Stagecoach Inn. Additionally, a Summit Health Group will be onsite providing chair massages.
Representatives from Senior Concerns will also be sharing a wealth of resources available to older adults in Ventura County.
“The Wellness Fest is a great way for Senior Concerns to make our services better known to the community,” says Andrea Gallagher, president of Senior Concerns.
For instance, attendees can learn about an Adult Day program for seniors with physical or cognitive impairment, which is considered “a vital way” for seniors with challenges to feel part of a social family and be engaged in meaningful activities.
“It is also an important step in providing the family caregiver some essential respite time for themselves,” Gallagher says.
Senior Concerns will also provide information about its Meals on Wheels program, which is offered in Thousand Oaks and Newbury Park 365 days a year. Other programs will also be highlighted, including free Senior Advocacy services which provide information and resources to seniors about Medicare, Social Security, housing, insurance and other senior-related topics.
Senior Concerns will also have information on its Caregiver Support Center, which provides professional and compassionate assistance for seniors and their families coping with the challenges of eldercare.
“We will also offer a free File of Life for anyone that stops by the booth,” Gallagher says.
The File of Life is a voluntary program designed to help local first responders to quickly obtain in an emergency your necessary medical history, your support needs and your emergency contact information.
“It could help save your life,” Gallagher says. “It is a refrigerator magnet with an attached red plastic pocket labeled FILE OF LIFE. In the plastic pocket is a tri-fold card on which you can record your vital emergency information… the information will help first responders to better assist you in an emergency.”
Gallagher added that almost universally, people do not think about the various complexities of aging and caregiving for an elder.
“Often seniors are thrust into difficult situations without the right information and resources to manage them,” she says. “Senior Concerns is here to help make the journey easier, as long as folks know about us.”
The 2018 Wellness Fest involves sponsorship opportunities, in which proceeds benefit the Conejo Senior Volunteer Program. For the past 45 years, this program has provided meaningful volunteer opportunities for adults age 55 and over in the Conejo Valley.
Last year, more than 1,000 CSVP volunteers worked more than 180,000 hours at such places as Conejo Free Clinic, Meals on Wheels and the Stagecoach Inn Museum. These hours of meaningful community engagement provide physical and mental stimulation, which is proven to be essential for maintaining health and wellness in retirement.
Furthermore, Independent Sector research estimates these hours of volunteer work to be valued at nearly $5 million in human resource contributions. This creates a trifecta of benefits as senior volunteers stay active and engaged by helping public services to better serve the community.
The Wellness Fest is a free event that does not require a ticket. In other free offerings, screenings will take place throughout the day for hearing, blood pressure, BMI, dental, cardiovascular and more.
Additionally, Thousand Oaks Transit will be providing a courtesy shuttle from the library and back, and many raffle prizes will be awarded to guests throughout the day.
The Wellness Fest is also designed to be fun—so this year’s festival is based on a Western theme.
“We will have some wandering entertainment including mini- therapy horses,” Spivack says.
The Stagecoach Inn Museum in Newbury Park will also bring items from their Western Collection, which will be on exhibit on the Goebel stage.
“We will also have a 20-pound therapy rabbit, Henry the Flemish Giant, visiting us for the fest,” Spivack says. Additionally, “Master gardeners will be providing tours of the garden in front of the Goebel Center, and Shelter of Hope Pet Shop will be bringing dogs and we will also have comfort dogs.”
Although this event is free, advance tickets are required for lunch, and will be available at the Goebel front desk beginning Jan. 2. There are 300 lunch tickets available, sponsored by Sunrise Senior Living at Wood Ranch and Westlake Village. Call 805.381.2742 for more information.
“The ultimate goal is to support the older adults in our community in every way possible,” Spivack says. “It is about obtaining information, but also about maintaining relationships, developing new ones and, of course, having fun.”
After 50, lifestyle becomes a stronger indicator of general health than genetics, so leading a healthy lifestyle is even more important as we age, Gallagher adds.
“The Wellness Fest is meant to bring awareness to community resources available to support better health as we get older.”
For more information about the Goebel Adult Community Center’s Wellness Fest, call 805.381.2744.