Find flu shots, health information at Friday fair in Ladysmith

Ladysmith Health and Community Services Fair Friday from 2-5 p.m. has more than 30 displays about health and wellness at any age.

What can you find at the Ladysmith Health and Community Services Fair?

Walk into the fair being held this Friday (Oct. 26) at Ladysmith Secondary School any time between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., and you’ll have a chance to receive a free flu shot, have your blood pressure tested and pick up information or consult someone about heart health, diabetes, healthy weight loss and a wide range of other topics.

The annual fair features free flu shots for those who are eligible, on-site testing for cardiac risk, blood pressure and blood sugar, and about 30 displays about health and wellness at any age. Topics include diabetes information and resources, heart health and stroke prevention, mental health and addictions services, early years and child development services, hospice and end-of-life care and planning, seniors’ support services, government services, and more.

Some of the participants include the Canadian Red Cross, Ladysmith Family and Friends, the Canadian Cancer Society, Teleheath, the Vancouver Island Regional Library, the RCMP, Global Vocational Services and Wildflower Natural Health.

There will be information tables, and representatives will be on-hand to answer questions and provide details about their services. There will also be some interactive aspects, such as cardiac risk assessments and exercise demonstrations.

The Ladysmith Health and Community Services Fair has been offered since at least 2006.

“It’s an opportunity for the community to receive their flu immunization as well as receive information from more than 30 community and health service agencies and partners,” said Heather Dunne, site manager of the Ladysmith Community Health Centre. “The health fair is designed for all ages.”

The flu shots are provided by Public Health nurses and are free to everyone who is eligible — people 65 years of age and older and their caregivers; children and adults with chronic health conditions and their household contacts; health care workers; emergency responders; healthy children up to the age of five; household contacts and caregivers of infants and children younger than five; pregnant women who will be in their third trimester during the influenza season; residents of nursing homes and other chronic care facilities; owners and operators of poultry farms; aboriginal people; people who are very overweight; corrections officers and inmates in provincial correctional institutions; and those who provide care or service in potential outbreak settings housing high-risk persons, such as crew on ships.

Anyone who is eligible for a flu shot must bring their CareCard.

Dunne believes Ladysmith residents of all ages can benefit from visiting the Health and Community Services Fair.

“I think it is important to have your flu immunization every year; it certainly does help protect you, and it helps protect the community as well,” she said. “Also, I think it is an excellent opportunity for people to find out what is available in their community. For the people who take part, we’ve also found it is an excellent way for service providers to network and talk about what they’re providing so there’s no overlap.”

Friday’s fair is being presented by the Ladysmith Community Health Advisory Committee and the Town of Ladysmith, in partnership with the Vancouver Island Health Authority.