Like so many others, Kathy Persilver first came to the Livingston Council on Aging for one reason: to make some new friends.
She’s done exactly that in the 10 years since she first walked through those doors, meeting others who, like herself, were in search of new camaraderie for the next phase of their lives.
On Thursday, Persilver spent about four hours with some of her new friends and many others at the Livingston Council on Aging’s yearly health fair, learning ways to make their lives a little more pleasant.
There tend to be several booths at this yearly event, but never too many for Persilver.
“I’m going to all of the booths,” Persilver enthusiastically said, minutes before the health fair got started.
So did everyone else.
The Livingston Council on Aging (COA) held its annual “Health Wellness and Information Day” on Thursday, June 15, at the organization’s building located at 949 Government Drive in Denham Springs.
Less than a month after celebrating COA’s 44th anniversary, more than 100 senior citizens attended the once-a-year health fair, which offered them a chance to chat with experienced professionals from nearly 20 businesses and organizations in and around Denham Springs that specialized in health, assisted living and other such areas of focus.
The vendors arrived a little before 8 a.m. Thursday to begin setting up shop, lining up their stations along two of the four walls in the COA’s cafeteria.
The senior citizens began trickling in around that time but arrived in mass a little before 9 a.m., when the fair was scheduled to begin. They then formed one long line at the Griswold Home Care booth before making their way around the room to each station where they were offered brochures and information — plus snacks in some instances — on how to better their lives.
Some places also provided services on the spot, such as Parris Cardiovascular Center, which provided blood-pressure checks. EZ Baths LLC of Baton Rouge also brought a walk-in tub for the health fair, and several senior citizens sat inside to experience how it felt.
It took a little longer than an hour for everyone to make the rounds around the room, but COA handed out door prizes — donated by several of the represented businesses and organizations — after every senior citizen had visited each booth.
But above all, the health fair was another opportunity for senior citizens to come together, exactly why Joan Truxillo started coming to COA in the first place.
Truxillo raised foster kids for much of her adult life, but she’s had to find other companions as she approaches the age of 80.
COA — and the many events it puts on and services it provides such as the health fair — has fit the bill.
“I needed to meet people who were like me, and everything at COA has been what I was looking for,” Truxillo said.