The calls to Lisa Sydnor come in waves.
Seniors facing seemingly insurmountable life changes.
Children looking for resources for their parents.
As Programs Manager for the Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command, Sydnor is charged with plugging those in need with those needed resources.
“People are beginning to understand the dynamics of getting older and it’s not always fun,” Sydnor said.
Instead of tackling the challenges one at a time, Sydnor came up with the idea years ago to host an entire event dedicated to educating seniors.
The Salvation Army 7th Annual Senior Living Fair will be Friday, April 27th from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Warr Acres Senior Center, 4301 N. Ann Arbor, Warr Acres.
This year, the Senior Living Fair’s focus is to provide a variety of resources from across the community ranging from affordable housing to getting finances in order for seniors and their families.
“This year’s event promises to offer a wealth of information,” said Sydnor, senior programs manager at The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma. “Many seniors and their families may be facing life-changing decisions and do not know who or where to turn for help. Our goal is for them to leave with their questions answered and to know there is a network of agencies ready to step in and help.”
The Senior Living Fair is free to the public – thanks to sponsors like Senior News and Living and United Health Care – and includes exhibits with information about health and wellness, housing, Medicare, insurance, aging-in-place, and end-of-life decisions.
Exhibitors for this year include Neighborhood Services Organization, Sunbeam Family Services, Around the Clock Home Care, Village at Oakwood Assisted Living, Concordia Life Care Community, Grace Living Centers, and many more.
The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma operates four senior centers throughout the Oklahoma City metro. The centers are open every weekday to seniors ages 55 and older. Seniors have the opportunity to socialize, enjoy lunch and participate in numerous activities that include Bible study, exercise classes, crafts, dancing and much more.
The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.
More than 183,000 Oklahomans receive assistance from The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children.
About 82 cents of every dollar raised is used to support those services.
As senior programs manager, Sydnor helps families struggling with crucial decisions when loved ones have an unexpected life change.
She was one of those people years ago when her mother faced a world-altering event.
The Senior Living Fair is an annual event that is free to the public thanks to sponsors and includes exhibits for health and wellness, housing, Medicare information, insurance, aging-in-place, and fun ways to stay active.
The Salvation Army Senior Programs offer participants the opportunity to learn, innovate, promote healthy activities, express and fulfill artistic talents, and socialize. The enhanced self-worth, dignity and hope are intrinsic to the well-being of every person.
Sydnor says experts from a number of relevant industries are brought together to provide a resource – not just for seniors but for everyone as they age.
“I want to see the seniors come with their families and with their children or grandchildren who will make decisions and help them,” Sydnor said.
The Senior Living Fair, presented by Senior News & Living, strives to spread hope by providing resources that empower older Americans to be more positive, active and physically fit.
The event has continued to grow because seniors are finding value in it.
“I want to see young people who have aging parents or grandparents,” Sydnor said of who she would like to see at the event. “I can’t get my grandchildren to talk about anything and they’re in their 30s. That’s when they need to be talking about it. “So many times the children don’t know what to do, the grandchildren don’t know what to do and then they start butting heads.
“I want to get the children, the grandchildren along with the parent or grandparent to come and seek out information.”
For more information, go to www.salvationarmyokcac.org. The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command is a proud partner agency of the United Way of Central Oklahoma.