Health services agencies come to Riverview Apartments
Residents at Riverview Apartments got a crash course recently on a variety of health topics, ranging from coping with Alzheimer’s, lining up home care services, and much more.
The day-long Health Fair at the 344-unit Springfield Housing Authority development in the city’s Brightwood section included two dozen vendors and service providers, and proved a solid draw for the seniors, handicapped and family residents there.
The event was organized with SHA’s Resident Services Department, with Ross Coordinator Amy Santiago in charge. She said the fair was aimed at providing education and information, with a bit of fun thrown in.
“It’s always a good thing to be educated in terms of your own health care, whatever your needs are,” said Santiago.
“Here at Riverview, we wanted to get some providers out to let our residents know specifically what is out there that might meet their health care needs. We have senior service providers, and a few that are geared more to families.
Riverview is the only SHA development that has both elderly/disabled housing and family housing. Of the 344 units, 40 are occupied by families, in brick units on the west side of Sanderson Street, opposite the high rises that make up the elderly and handicap units.
Riverview Tenants Association President Racquel Sanchez said she was pleased with the turnout, and could see residents inquiring about the various services represented.
“We’re trying to get some awareness in the community that these services are available,
Sanchez explained. “People know the services are out there, but a lot of them don’t know how to access them.”
Angel David was one such resident who said he was talking with representatives and taking informational brochures.
“It’s very important for the people who live here to know where they can go when they need assistance,” said David, who has lived at Riverview the past 15 years. “This is very good.”
Among the many vendors and service providers included Project Fitness, Mass Health, the Alzheimer’s Association, Caregiver Homes, Hawthorn Elder Care, CHD Springfield, Mercy Life, Herbalife Nutrition, HCS Head Start, Springfield Department of Elder Affairs, and Greater Springfield Senior Services.
Belinda Valentine of Greater Springfield Senior Services said her goal was to provide information and give a cheerful welcome to potential clients.
“We want to give people the knowledge of what we offer. A lot of people know the services are out there, but they don’t know where to find them,” Valentine noted.
There were plenty of giveaways such as pens, calendars and notebooks. Children found fun with crayons, coloring books and games.
Elsie Dones minded the Caregiver Houses table while her daughter Leyla, 6, played.
“This is a good crowd, and a great event,” Dones said. “We’re happy to be here to help those people who may need it. So far, it’s been awesome.”
Santiago said the Health Fair will be repeated periodically at Riverview so that residents will have ongoing, and updated, information about agencies and services that can help them to stay healthy in their own homes.
“The more you know about what’s available in terms of health services, the better off you are,” Santiago said.
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