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HEALTHY LIVING: Good turnout for annual Senior Health Fair in Meriden

HEALTHY LIVING: Good turnout for annual Senior Health Fair in Meriden

MERIDEN – This past week, Meriden Center Genesis Healthcare sponsored the annual Senior Health Fair at the Meriden Senior Center.

  Vendors lined the main entrance area of 22 W. Main St. with tables that displayed informational pamphlets, free goodies for attendees, and raffles. 

On the first floor there were representatives from the Alzheimer’s Association, Masonicare, the Women’s Center, and many more local organizations.

The table displays continued throughout the second story of the building. The Senior Center bustled with volunteers and visitors who participated in free health screenings and lunch box giveaways.

The entire rear section of the first floor was dedicated to assisted living facilities.

 Martha Bonaiuto and Susan Haswell, Masonicare clinical care managers, spoke to me about the opportunities for assisted living at Masonicare for seniors in various stages of their lives.

Bonaiuto and Haswell explained that Masonicare, located in Wallingford, strives to create a continuum of care that doesn’t end once patients are transferred to a different facility. 

While clinical care managers at assisted living facilities have a myriad of official duties, Haswell told me how she makes sure her patients feel comfortable, no matter what. 

“I’ll check up on my patients…bring them a hearing aid battery, their mail, the newspaper. It’s the simple things.” Haswell said.

The second story hallway of the Meriden Senior Center was vibrantly decorated with vendor tables full of jewelry, quilts, and pottery made by seniors.

Meriden Health Department Director Lea Crown stood in front of a table display for the City of Meriden Department of Health & Human Services. There were pamphlets that detailed safe ways for seniors to dispose of unwanted medication. 

“We’ve been doing this for so many years” Crown said of the fair.

The Senior Health Fair has become one of the city’s most popular events for seniors, consistently attracting a large number of the community each year.

Crown introduced me to an active member in the Meriden community, named Geraldine Fleming, who volunteers in the cafeteria of the Senior Center daily. 

Fleming, originally from Brooklyn New York, has lived in Meriden for two years. She collects meal tickets from seniors as they come to have lunch. 

She has a knack for putting a smile on every faces that comes through the cafeteria and is known to encourage visitors to partake in the many activities that the Meriden Senior Center has to offer.

“I try to get people to come here and interact with others. We have a good time here.” Fleming said.

Meriden Senior Center Director, Rick Liegl gave me specifics about the upcoming 49th Annual Special Day for Special People Picnic taking place at Hubbard Park on June 1. 

This picnic event celebrates Meriden Senior Citizens with food, refreshments, music, and games. The Meriden Antique Veterans will open with a flag raising ceremony. Transportation is provided for seniors in local nursing homes.

Liegl described the picnic as an event that is, “inclusive to all seniors.”

For more information about Meriden Senior Center events and the Annual Special Day for Special People Picnic you can visit

To learn more about how to safely dispose of prescription medication visit 

Kristen Dearborn is a Wallingford native,  NASM certified personal trainer and author of the blog dearfitkris –