“Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive,” boomed through the exhibit hall at Duluth’s Infinite Energy Forum, seniors and baby boomers bobbing their heads to the beat of the song.
On the projector screen before them, two tips popped up: “call 911” and “push hard and fast in the middle of the chest.”
Though the American Heart Association’s hands-only CPR commercial made performing CPR look fun — the commercial urged those performing the lifesaving measure to “push hard and fast” to the beat of “Stayin’ Alive” — the actual experience of having a heart attack is much more serious, something Gwinnett Medical Center Chest Pain Practice Specialist Mary Hudgins stressed to the audience.
One of six speakers at the Daily Post’s Generations Expo on Saturday, an annual free event designed for baby boomers and seniors as well as their families, friends, caregivers and anybody else interested in the issues facing today’s seniors, Hudgins spoke about heart attacks, what signs to recognize and what to do in the event of a heart attack.
For those who live with other people, she said, make sure someone in the house knows how to perform CPR and knows to call 911 immediately.
For those who live alone, she recommended buying some type of life alert system.
“I think you ought to have an alert system of some sort, I really do,” she said. “They make them so they tie in with your security system so when you’re home, you can wear it or have it by the bedside. It’s a great device, and you know, if you’re healthy, you don’t worry about that kind of things, so the first thing would be to take good care of yourself and try to make sure that your risk is as low as possible. But having one of those alert devices is also important.”
The expo, which is now in its fourth year, drew a large crowd to the Infinite Energy Forum Saturday morning, where attendees were able to meet with vendors that provided health and wellness information, enjoy free health screenings, participate in educational discussions such as Hudgins’ and win prizes.
The event, Noreen Brantner, director of events for SCNI — the Daily Post’s parent company, said, was a success.
“We’re really excited to be offering the services that the older community needs,” Brantner said. “I think one of the things with this event is that Gwinnett County is just growing like crazy — especially with the older population — and retirement communities are popping up left and right so this is the type of event that is needed. Attendance has been overwhelming as always and it was a great turnout and a great morning.”
Jo Hall, a local resident who attended Saturday’s expo, echoed Brantner, saying events like the expo are definitely needed.
“I was very interested in seeing all the information for elderly people and baby boomers,” Hall said. “I’m on the cusp, so I sat in on a couple of speakers and they were very, very helpful. It’s just interesting to find out about new procedures and medicine and things like that, so it’s a (good event) to have.”