“The aging population in Minnesota, of those 65 years of age and over, will nearly double in the next 12 to 15 years,” says John Durham, founder and chairman of the Boomers and Seniors Expo. The expo hosts its second annual Woodbury event this month, on September 7, at HealthEast Sports Center (followed by an expo in Hudson on November 2 at Camp St. Croix). Organizers hope active older adults—and their caregiver children—will attend to find resources easily accessible, all in one place.
Durham says the expo serves as an important hub for resources. “While there are a lot of wonderful services for those [over] 55 available around the metro area and state, these services are often too scattered, too distant, [or] unavailable to the elderly who might not drive [and] are not tech savvy,” Durham says. “The purpose of the expo is to unite the local business community who serve this demographic and bring all these specialty services under one roof to benefit the aging population and their adult children.” The expo offers 11 education sessions, plus over 100 exhibitor booths.
Organizers want the expo to be as easy as possible to attend. “We eliminate schedule and transportation problems by holding the expo on a weekend during the early fall, for adult children to drive their parents,” Durham says. “Last year, we coordinated rides for the elderly with the Stillwater Trolley, providing rides to and from the Woodbury YMCA, and we had Saint Therese of Woodbury providing a van to and from their facility.”
Exhibitors are largely local businesses and organizations, like Affinity at Eagan, Applewood Pointe, Arbor Glen Senior Living and Woodbury Massage Envy. “In our inaugural expo in 2018, we had 76 exhibitors, 11 separate educational sessions and nearly 800 attendees,” Durham says.
What should you expect when you get there? The expo is laid out so visitors can easily find what they’re looking for while learning about new opportunities. When you arrive, you’ll get a map of the expo and the booth numbers for all exhibitors, Durham says. Educational session times are posted throughout the space.
Caregivers are “strongly encouraged” to attend to learn about services that might benefit their families or clients. And people who work in the senior-living industry should consider attending, too. The expo “also provides those specializing within the aging population community an opportunity to network with other professionals,” Durham says.