By Autumn Gray
The 26th annual Prime Time 50+ Expo, Albuquerque’s largest free health fair for seniors, is scheduled for 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. October 11 at Embassy Suites Hotel near Downtown. The event will provide ages 50 and over with the chance to learn from about 60 health-related vendors and providers giving information on Medicare, retirement living, immunizations, and general health and wellness topics of interest to this age group.
Lovelace Health System will conduct screenings for blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol checks, and Lovelace UNM Rehabilitation Hospital will provide balance screenings.
Walgreens will be dispensing flu shots and Covid-19 vaccines beginning at 9 a.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. Anyone wishing to get a shot must present their insurance card.
IMA Clinical Research, formerly known as Albuquerque Neuroscience, will have a mobile research unit on site, conducting clinical trials that support the development of safe and effective medical treatments. Mobile units will provide an on-site opportunity for attendees to volunteer to participate in a study and get screened for qualification.
Attendees can also expect free snacks, hourly prize drawings, and live music. Local Latin-based band Nosotros is set to perform from noon to 1 p.m., and the dance floor will be open for folks to salsa to their hearts’ content.
Anyone seeking a ride to the event can get one on free shuttles provided by the City of Albuquerque Department of Senior Affairs. Shuttles will run every hour between City senior centers and the Embassy Suites. They will leave the centers beginning at 8:30 a.m., and the last shuttle will leave the Embassy Suites at 1:30 pm.
An impressive lineup of notable speakers is set to give presentations shortly after doors open. That schedule is as follows:
9 a.m.: Medicare 101 with Kathi Rieger, health insurance broker and owner of Medicare Benefits Advisor, LLC. This presentation can help you understand all the parts of Medicare and how they work together to provide your coverage. Rieger will cover enrollment periods, special election periods, and how Medicare coordinates with other types of insurance plans and options.
10 a.m.: Senior Health with Dr. Latha Raja Shankar, chief medical officer at Blue Cross Blue Shield New Mexico. Dr. Shankar will discuss how you can stay healthy in your senior years. Her talk will cover medical screenings, vaccines, how to eat right, and simple steps you can take to maintain a healthful lifestyle. There will also be an opportunity for you to ask general health questions.
11 a.m.: Living Healthier with Health Screenings with Dr. Charissa Lateesha Geyer, medical director of Specialty Care at Optum New Mexico. Dr. Geyer will share information about screenings that adults 50 and older should consider, why they are important, and how they work to keep you out of the hospital emergency room.