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March 2021

Macy's check presentation to LifeCare Alliance at Macy's Polaris Fashion Place

LifeCare Alliance’s Partnership with Macy’s Leads to Stronger Communities

By Columbus Cancer Clinic, Featured News

Macy’s 2021 check presentation to LifeCare Alliance pictured above. 

As we mark the one-year anniversary of quarantine, virtual events, and the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to work together and strengthen community collaboration has been essential in order to persevere. One such noteworthy partnership that LifeCare Alliance has shared is with Macy’s.

LifeCare Alliance’s partnership with Macy’s can be traced back to 2019, when the Agency was seeking a new venue to host Night of Hope and Support, our annual event that benefits clients with active cancer through the Heather Pick Spirit Fund of the Columbus Cancer Clinic. Macy’s at Polaris Fashion Place turned out to be the perfect fit for the event, and their team loves the work LifeCare Alliance does for the community. The manager, stylist, and the whole team at Macy’s believe in the awareness and empowerment Night of Hope provides to people living with cancer and the community at-large.

The Agency’s collaboration with Macy’s didn’t stop there. In November of last year, the store manager contacted LifeCare Alliance about an opportunity to nominate a local non-for-profit for COVID-19 relief. Because of our ongoing, trusted relationship, Macy’s nominated LifeCare Alliance and a grant was approved to support our clients.

Partnerships such as Macy’s effectively leverage the strengths of each party involved and apply it strategically to combat issues at the forefront like the pandemic. Building these relationships with a shared understanding and collective focus leads to stronger communities. Like Macy’s values of acceptance, respect, integrity, and giving back to the community, LifeCare Alliance strives to serve those in need through compassionate, responsive, quality care 365 days-a-year.

Thank you to Macy’s for their partnership and commitment in sharing our mission of leading the community in identifying and delivering health and nutrition services to meet the community’s changing needs.

-By Stephanie Rowe Bencic, LifeCare Alliance

Learn more

Watch the replay of 2020’s virtual Night of Hope and Support by clicking here!

LifeCare Alliance Mound Street Building Entrance

10TV: Need for in-home meals remains high in Columbus area

By Featured News, LifeCare Alliance in the News, Meals-on-Wheels

Photo and story published Mar. 14, 2021, by 10TV:

The need for home deliveries in the community is higher now than it was this time last year.

“Our Meals on Wheels program has shot up 65% last April, in numbers, and we are still up that high. In fact last week we were up 69%, higher than we were last March,” said Charles W. Gehring, President and CEO of LifeCare Alliance

Gehring suggests calling the Franklin County Office on Aging at (614) 525-5230 or LifeCare Alliance (614) 278-3130, to talk to a person who can help arrange an appointment and a ride to a vaccination site.

Click here to read the full story.

Diabetes Dayton logo

Dayton 24/7 Now: Local type 2 diabetics share feelings about COVID-19 vaccine eligibility

By Featured News, LifeCare Alliance in the News

Story published Mar. 10, 2021, by the Dayton 24/7 Now:

Those with type 2 diabetes are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Montgomery County has one of the highest incidence rates for diabetes in the state.

Donna Queen is living with type 2 diabetes. She said her parents and siblings have it as well. She said this is life-changing news.

Chuck Gehring, President and CEO of LifeCare Alliance, said this news is especially important in the Miami Valley. LifeCare Alliance’s Diabetes Dayton provides free diabetes education and supplies like test strips and meters to the community.

Click here to read the full story.

Logan with a big smile on his face

Dealing with Diabetes: Responsibility vs Fear

By Central Ohio Diabetes Association, Featured News, It Takes a Family

Responsibility is a necessity when it comes to living with diabetes. Diabetes doesn’t go away; it doesn’t take a break; it doesn’t give you a night off. As adults, we are accustomed to having responsibility. But it really breaks my heart sometimes to think about how much responsibility I expect my nine-year-old to have.

I have always been a “consequence driven” person. As early as I remember, I stopped doing things because they could potentially be dangerous or put me in positions where I might be made fun of.

What I used to consider the “responsible” trait, I have now realized was me living with a lot of fear. I was afraid of all the bad things that could happen. I could hurt myself, look awkward doing something for the first time, or not like something I ate.

Now I realize I was only looking at one side of the coin. I was not looking at all the GOOD “what ifs.” What if I had fun?! What if I liked the food?! What if I found a new hobby that I really enjoyed?!

I don’t want Logan, or his sister, to turn responsibility into FEAR. So while diabetes doesn’t give us a break, we don’t have to create fear while we live with it.

Part of that starts with what many of us strive to do…live without restriction! I am always amazed when people ask, “He can’t eat that can he, since he’s diabetic?” It really comes down to educating him (And myself, honestly!) that we are not striving for a restrictive diet. We are striving for a balanced diet. We want to have all the fun stuff: the birthday cake; the ice cream; the big bowls of yummy mac & cheese. AND we want to have the healthy food that fuels our body in a way that builds us up.

Then we get to recognize where we can incorporate a little more flexibility! Again, it’s about balance. Diabetes can feel very heavy sometimes with all the necessities, planning ahead, and device changes. How we keep those things less restrictive is to allow fun in other areas. Maybe it’s about having more friends over to play than we normally would be willing to have, or it’s going for an extra scoop of ice cream on the special days. Maybe it is even playing before homework gets done.

Whatever helps you balance the responsibility with still being a kid…LET IT WORK FOR YOU!

There is no right or wrong answer…so practice and see what works. We are all figuring it out as we go, which, in itself, can feel like a responsibility! Don’t give yourself more pressure than you have to.


Family photo of Dunlap family

This blog post is PART ELEVEN of IT TAKES A FAMILY: LIFE WITH TYPE 1, written by Lindsay Dunlap.

The Dunlap family lives with two generations of T1D, and Lindsay is graciously sharing their experience with us. If you’d like to connect with Lindsay, she’d be happy to talk about the highs and lows with you at

Learn More

Click here to learn more about the Central Ohio Diabetes Association, including support for families through programs such as Camp Hamwi.

Bananas on display at a supermarket

10 Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget

By Wellness

Even when you know what healthy foods to choose, being able to pay for them can be hard, especially if you are on a fixed income. Start by deciding how much you can afford to spend on food.

There are websites that can help you plan a food budget. For example, the U.S. Department of Agriculture supports Iowa State University’s Spend Smart-Eat Smart. This website also has inexpensive recipes based on the Dietary Guidelines.

Once you have a budget, find store ads in the newspaper or grocery store websites to see what is on sale. Try to plan some meals around featured items and pick up some extra canned goods or staples that are on sale. And check the expiration or use-by date. A product might be on sale because it is almost out of date. Choose items with dates farthest in the future.

While shopping, make use of these budget-wise 10 tips.

  1. Ask about discounts. Ask your local grocery stores if they have a senior discount or a loyalty or discount card. Besides getting items at a lower price, you may also get store coupons.
  2. Use coupons when you can. Remember, coupons only help if they are for things you would buy anyway. Sometimes, another brand costs less even after you use the coupon.
  3. Consider store brands—they usually cost less. These products are made under a special label, sometimes with the store name. You might have to look on shelves that are higher or lower than eye level to find them.
  4. Be aware that convenience costs more. You can often save money if you are willing to do a little work. For example, buy whole chickens and cut them into parts, shred or grate your own cheese, and avoid instant rice or instant oatmeal. Bagged salad mixes cost more and might not stay fresh as long as a head of lettuce.
  5. Look at unit prices. Those small stickers on the shelves tell you the price but also the unit price—how much the item costs per ounce or per pound. Compare unit prices to see which brand is the best value.
  6. Try to buy in bulk, but only buy a size you can use before it goes bad. If you buy meat in bulk, decide what you need to use that day and freeze the rest in portion-sized packages right away.
  7. Focus on economical fruits and vegetables like bananas, apples, oranges, cabbage, sweet potatoes, dark-green leafy vegetables, green peppers, and regular carrots.
  8. Think about the foods you throw away. For less waste, buy or cook only what you need.
  9. Resist temptations at the check-out. Those snack foods and candy are put there for impulse buying. Save money and avoid empty calories!
  10. Sign up for meal delivery. While some older people have trouble finding enough money to buy food, others need help preparing meals. There are a variety of groups around the country that deliver meals to people who have trouble getting out of their homes. These groups usually offer one hot meal a day. One of the largest is Meals-on-Wheels.

-Information from the National Institute on Aging

Make Smart Food Choices for Healthy Aging

By Wellness

Choosing healthy foods has health benefits for everyone. As you age, food provides the nutrients you need.

This infographic from the National Institute on Aging offers tips on how to help you maintain a healthy weight, get the nutrients you need, and lower your risk of chronic disease.

Healthy Eating Tips Infographic by National Institute on Aging


Make Smart Food Choices for Healthy Aging

It’s never too late to make smarter food choices. Healthy eating is an important part of staying healthy as you age.

Following these tips can help you maintain a healthy weight, get the nutrients you need, and lower your risk of chronic disease.

  • Try to eat and drink from these food groups each day: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. Variety is an important part of eating healthfully!
  • Cut back on foods and beverages that are high in calories and added sugars, sodium, and saturated fats. Shift to healthier options like fresh fruits and vegetables instead.
  • Instead of high-calorie snacks, such as potato chips, try nutrient-dense snacks, such as carrots.
  • Instead of fruit products with added sugars, such as fig cookies, try fresh fruit, such as a peach.
  • Instead of regular cola, try water flavored with fruits or vegetables.
  • Use a food diary to help you keep track of your total daily calories, carbs, protein, etc., and see if you are making healthy choices. Understand how many calories you need based on your level of daily activity.
  • Choose a variety of foods that are packed with nutrients and low in calories.
  • Check the food labels to understand what foods will meet your nutritional needs each day.

How Many Calories Do You Need Each Day?


  • Not physically active — 1,600 cal.
  • Moderately active — 1,800 cal.
  • Active lifestyle — 2,000-2,200 cal.


  • Not physically active — 2,000-2,200 cal.
  • Moderately active — 2,200-2,400 cal.
  • Active lifestyle — 2,400-2,800 cal.
Vegetables on display at a market

Fresh, Canned, or Frozen: Singing the Praises of Produce

By Wellness

Fruits and vegetables contain many vitamins and minerals that are good for your health. Whether fresh, canned, or frozen, produce has many benefits.

Fresh produce

Fresh produce is rich in flavor and nutrients. Generally, the fresher the produce, the better in terms of nutrition. You may opt to purchase in-season produce at the local grocery store, or even grow your own!

Tip: To avoid fresh produce from going bad, freeze it for another time.

Canned produce

Buying canned produce is cost effective and long lasting, but often times, it is higher in sodium and slighter lower in nutritional value.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, canned foods can be just as nutritious as fresh and frozen foods because canning preserves many nutrients. The amount of minerals, fat-soluble vitamins, protein, fat and carbohydrate remain relatively unchanged by the process of canning. Interestingly, though, the heating process that may harm some vitamins can actually increase the antioxidant content in canned foods.

Frozen produce

Like canned foods, frozen produce is often packaged at the peak of freshness has high nutritonal content and flavor. It also has a long shelf life. In addition to a time-saving convenience, frozen foods can be a benefit for individuals with limited kitchen space or utensils. Not only can frozen foods be more affordable in price, but they also can aid in reducing food waste.

To get more nutritional tips like this, contact one of LifeCare Alliance’s registered dietitians! Schedule a one-on-one session to learn important diabetes management/nutritional therapy. Contact Elana Burak at 614-437-2912 or by email at

Getting Started

Planting your own fruits and vegetables can be a fun hobby that leads to real flavor and nutrition! Here’s how to get started:

  1. Find a space where you want to plant your veggies (remember: it needs to have at least 6 hours of sun exposure).
  2. Grab some potting mix and dirt.
  3. Pick your favorite vegetables and herbs and get to planting!

Here are some easy-to-grow favorites: Radishes (grown from seeds), leaf lettuce (grown from seeds), cherry tomatoes (grown from a plant), bush beans (grown from seeds), and many more!

To grow your own herbs, grab a pot, some potting mix, grab rosemary, basil, oregano, thyme, chives or whatever your favorite herbs might be and place it in the pot. Get ready to add some nutrition and flavor to your diet!

Volunteer looks over Senior PetCare AniMeal route sheet in car.

Columbus Dispatch: LifeCare Alliance’s Senior PetCare program delivers pet food to those in need

By Featured News, LifeCare Alliance in the News, Senior PetCare

Photo and story published Mar. 5, 2021, by the Columbus Dispatch:

Despite her deep love for their pets, Natalie Joe and Michael Kennison almost had to give them up because they were having a hard time affording pet food.

Similar to Meals on Wheels, LifeCare Alliance’s Senior PetCare program regularly delivers dog and cat food to people’s front doors. To receive the monthly pet food, someone must be a client of LifeCare Alliance, which serves older adults, the medically challenged and homebound adults.

Senior PetCare volunteer Liz Alcalde has delivery routes for the program on the East and South sides. She says, “…everybody that I deliver to is really, really struggling financially, and I just really think it’s important that they are allowed to have their pet with them.”

Click here to read the full story.