At Silver Linings Expo, older Granite Staters seek information and enrichment

·2 min read

Aug. 28—After all the restrictions and worry during the height of the pandemic last year, older adults in New Hampshire are looking to get out, have fun, travel and learn something new.

At the 2021 Silver Linings Senior Healthy Living Expo in Manchester on Saturday morning, area retirees and near-retirees said they were excited to learn about companies that focus on travel for older adults, and a program at Granite State College that offers inexpensive classes for the 50-plus set. The Union Leader has put on several expos around the state in recent years.

"We have to do a little more than hanging around with our grandchildren," said Joanne Bagarella, who attended the expo with husband, Nick Bagarella.

The couple recently moved to Litchfield from Woburn, Mass., and were excited to learn more about local programs for older adults and retirees.

"Our plan was to retire, and then travel all we want," Nick Bagarella said.

The lingering pandemic has made them want to stick closer to home, at least for now, so they were exploring what they can do in New Hampshire.

The expo brings together dozens of companies that cater to older adults, and convenes seminars on topics such as estate planning and mental health.

Looking at the options for Medicare and estate planning are important, of course. So are knowing the options for assisted living, home care and nursing homes, should those become necessary.

"It's very informative, very helpful," said Nicole Roy. Still, she said, she wished there were more vendors who acknowledged the broad interests of older people. Roy said she wanted to see someone who focused on things like hairstyling and beauty for women of a certain age.

Most of the expo attendees were swarming booths for Terrapin Tours and Granite State College's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, looking for ways to have fun and broaden their horizons.

Kathy Odiorne of Bedford attended with a group of friends. They are still working, but retirement is in sight. Odiorne said they were looking for information about health care, health insurance, and about ways to spend time post-retirement.

"There are a lot of companies, a lot of choices," she said.

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