THE CAREGIVERS really care.

The display of services and equipment available to area residents during the 13th annual Caregiver Support Fair at the Ohio Valley Mall was encouraging to those needing help.

It also was heartening to those individuals’ families.

Jeanette Wojcik, executive director of Faith in Action Caregivers and chairperson for this year’s fair, earlier pointed out that the number of elderly in Belmont County is growing so it’s important to put this kind of information into the hands of the elderly and their caregivers.

And they did it well.

Not only did the various exhibitors – and there was a goodly array – provide leaflets, booklets and related materials to those attending the 13th annual fair, but they were willing to explain services and medical matters. Also, free health care tests were provided during the fair.

Information was available on diverse topics such as volunteer services, in-home care, home health, nursing homes, Medicare and other topics. The fair provides a central location to dispense information to area residents.

YET, the fair, a project of the Belmont County Adult Services Coalition sponsored by the Belmont County Department of Job and Family Services, wasn’t all work and no play.

There was camaraderie among those attending as people encountered others they might not have seen for some time, and this includes attendees as well as exhibitors.

In addition, musical entertainment and a fashion show helped to contribute to the festive atmosphere. Drawings with a chance to win prizes as well as “freebies” also were featured. There also were different-sized bags available to carry items and informational sheets at the fair, and these are practical for other uses in the future.

Those attending also had the opportunity to sit and relax with a piece of cake. A cake is donated annually by Riesbeck’s Bakery.

These did not detract from the serious purpose of the fair.

IN FACT, the services and the entertainment features have combined to contribute to the success of the fair for 13 years. They’re are good reasons for this educational event to continue.