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All Posts By

Brendan Heffernan

An elderly woman applies a cream to her hands

Knowledge is Best Tool for Managing Chronic Conditions

By | Fan Campaign

Chronic conditions, such as arthritis or diabetes, can have multiple causes and symptoms that vary over time. One of the most important steps to manage your condition is to understand as much about it as you can and make choices that help you manage your health.

The Ohio Department of Aging detailed several ways that people living with chronic illnesses can manage their health.

Take your medicine as ordered by your doctor. Read the label on your prescription to make sure you take your medicine correctly. It is important to know how much medicine to take and take the medicine as long as ordered by your doctor. If you are confused about your medicine, call your pharmacy or talk with your doctor.

Questions to ask your doctor or pharmacist:

    • Why do I need to take this medicine?
    • When should I take it?
    • What is my dose?
    • What if I forget to take my medicine?
    • Does this medicine have any side effects?
    • Are there any foods I should not eat while I take this medicine? It may help to use a chart to keep track of your medicines.

A pill box or daily alarm can help you remember to take your medicine each day.

Make healthy choices each day. Your diet can make a big difference in managing your chronic condition. Try to add one fruit and one vegetable at each meal. Fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrients that help you maintain a healthy weight, gain energy, and help prevent additional chronic conditions.

Stay hydrated. Water helps to keep your body working well. It is important to drink plenty of water each day. Drink at least 8 cups of water each day, unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Try to switch out one of your other beverages, such as pop or juice, for a cup of water this week.

LifeCare Alliance helps people living with chronic illnesses by providing them with medical care and social support. Here are some of the services LifeCare Alliance offers to make life with a chronic condition feel more manageable:

  • Wellness — Patients can schedule one-on-one sessions with registered dietitians to learn important diabetes management skills. These sessions offer individualized coaching and customized education on lowering and managing blood sugar.
  • Help-At-Home — Personal care professionals help seniors battling chronic illnesses maintain a comfortable and independent life in their home by taking care of things like laundry, cooking, and running errands.
  • Project Openhand-Columbus — People living with HIV/AIDS can have nutritionally enriched meals delivered to their homes, as well as one-on-one nutritional counseling.

You can support these services and all of LifeCare Alliance’s work online here.

Photo credit: Pixabay.com

 

A Loving Touch - Elderly couple embraces

Photo Contest Showcases Moments of Joy, Dignity for Seniors

By | Featured News

Beauty is often found in the quietest moments.

The National Council on Aging held a photo contest for its Age + Action Virtual Conference. The contest encouraged photographers from all over the country to submit photos depicting people enjoying their advanced years and awarded prizes to some of the most impactful submissions.

The photos showcased seniors in moments of joy, companionship and quiet dignity.

The winning photo was titled A Loving Touch, and featured a black and white image of an elderly interracial couple sharing a tender moment.

“The judges chose this photo because of its artistry, poignancy, sensitivity, and dignity,” said Ken Bracht, NCOA chief marketing and business development officer.

The second-place photo, titled Grandma Quality Time, showed a toddler and her grandmother sharing a chocolate milkshake. Other honorees included On the Bench, a photo of several older men sharing a laugh in the park, and One Day Like the Next, which depicted a man watching television in a cozy, cluttered living room.

You can see the NCOA’s entire gallery here.

Photo Credit: Allan Mestel

See More

Click this box to see the National Council on Aging’s full gallery.

A worker loads fans into a client's car

With Cooling Centers Closed, Fan Campaign Offers Refuge from Heat

By | Fan Campaign, Featured News, Uncategorized

The city of Columbus has decided to keep its community centers and public libraries closed amid coronavirus concerns. In a normal summer, these spaces are designated as “cooling centers,” where people without air-conditioned homes can wait out the hottest hours of the day.

People who in the past relied on cooling centers will need to find new ways to stay safe during summer heat waves.

For the past two decades, LifeCare Alliance has been committed to keeping central Ohioans cool with its “Beat the Heat” Fan Campaign, a service which provides unused box fans to people in need of assistance cooling their homes. Drive-through fan distributions are held at 670 Harmon Ave. Call the LifeCare Alliance Fan Hotline (614-437-2870) to learn when the next fan distribution is scheduled.

Fan donations can be made at any Franklin County fire station or at 670 Harmon Ave, Columbus, OH 43223.

Here are 10 tips to protect yourself and your loved ones from extreme heat:

  1. Check on neighbors and loved ones you know don’t have air conditioning, especially those who spend most of their time at home.
  2. Drink plenty of water even if you don’t feel thirsty. Avoid caffeinated drinks and alcoholic beverages.
  3. Close blinds on windows facing the sun.
  4. Never leave people or animals in enclosed vehicles.
  5. Spend time on the lowest level of your home. Basements can be a great place to wait out extreme heat.
  6. Avoid large, protein rich meals which can increase metabolic heat, eat smaller meals more often.
  7. Avoid strenuous outdoor exercise during the hottest part of the day.
  8. Keep buckets or basins filled with cool water to soak your feet in, take cold showers and baths and use towels soaked in cold water to keep cool.
  9. Avoid sunburn, as it makes it more difficult for your body to dissipate heat.
  10. Make sure pets have adequate access to water and shade. Before giving your pet exercise on a paved surface, check with your palm to see if the pavement is too hot for their sensitive paws.
Woman walking dogs

Healthy Habits Can Help Ward Off Alzheimer’s

By | Featured News

A recent study funded by the National Institute on Aging identified five healthy habits which together can drastically reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. The study done on 3,000 aging Americans found that people who practice at least four of these five habits are 60 percent less likely to contract Alzheimer’s than people who practice one habit or less.

Researchers looked for these healthy lifestyle factors among subjects of the study:

  • Exercising 150 minutes a week: Among the benefits of staying active are improved disease management, mood, and strength. Exercising is even known to help with balance, helping to prevent falls and fractures.
  • Light-to-moderate alcohol use: Alcoholism can be particularly dangerous for elderly people. In addition to increasing the risk of Alzheimer’s, heavy alcohol use makes older people vulnerable to liver problems, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
  • Being a non-smoker: Alzheimer’s has been linked to vascular issues which can be caused by tobacco use. Smoking can also cause oxidative stress linked to the onset of Alzheimer’s.
  • Eating a high-quality diet: The NIA recommends the MIND diet, a combination of the Mediterranean and DASH diets. The MIND diet is built on foods which decrease the loss of brain function caused by aging. Staples of the MIND Diet include berries, leafy greens and fish.
  • Doing intellectually engaging activities: Reading books, playing games and making crafts are a few examples of activities that can decrease older people’s risk of Alzheimer’s.

“This population-based study helps paint the picture of how multiple factors are likely playing parts in Alzheimer’s disease risk,” said Dallas Anderson, Ph.D., program director in the Division of Neuroscience at NIA. “It’s not a clear cause-and-effect result, but a strong finding because of the dual data sets and combination of modifiable lifestyle factors that appear to lead to risk reduction.”

The NIA is funding over 230 clinical trials on Alzheimer’s and other related dementias, including 111 non-pharmaceutical trials focused on finding dementia interventions related to sleep, exercise, diet and more. Those interested in participating in an NIA funded study can find more information here.

Photo credit: Pixabay.com

A caregiver comforts her patient.

Pandemic Deals Additional Challenges to Caregivers

By | Featured News, Help-at-Home, Meals-on-Wheels

Taking care of aging loved ones can be challenging enough on its own, but taking care of them during a global pandemic? The past few months have left many volunteer caregivers looking for answers.

Here are a few tips to help you safely take care of your loved ones in the age of COVID-19:

Stay Informed

Follow the most recently updated guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local public health organizations like Columbus Public Health.

Minimize Risk of Exposure

People over the age of 65 make up eight out of 10 COVID-19 deaths, so when caring for elderly loved ones it’s imperative that you take every precaution to keep yourself free from exposure. This can include limiting trips into the community, frequent handwashing, wearing masks, face coverings and gloves when necessary, and cleaning and disinfecting your home.

Manage Supplies

Acquire extra necessary medications and be sure to stock up on over-the-counter medications as well as common supplies like tissues and cough syrup. Keep your household well stocked with food to limit unnecessary trips to the grocery store. Monitor needed medical supplies related to your loved one’s condition or treatments.

Make Telehealth Appointments

If a wellness appointment for you or a loved one can be completed over the phone, telehealth appointments are your safest option. You can make telehealth appointments with LifeCare Alliance Wellness Center staff by calling 614-437-2878.

Report All COVID Symptoms

If you or your loved one are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms, call your primary healthcare provider. If you don’t have a primary healthcare provider, call the Ohio Department of Health COVID-19 Hotline at 1-833-427-5634. In addition to other physical symptoms, people with dementia who contract COVID-19 can see increased confusion, increased agitation and sudden bouts of sadness.

Fight Boredom and Care for Yourself

Self-isolation can be a very difficult time for both you and the person you’re caring for. To fight boredom, try and schedule regular phone and video calls with other family members. Take breaks from reading, watching and listening to the news and make sure you each find time to do things you enjoy. You can also seek out a local caregiver support group like the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging to help you work through any feelings of stress or frustration.

Get Help if You Need It

If taking care of an aging or disabled loved one is too much at this time, LifeCare Alliance’s Help-at-Home program provides affordable, quality in-home care for people in Franklin and Madison counties. For more information call (614) 278-3130.

10TV: Community Donates Fans to Help People Without AC Keep Cool

By | LifeCare Alliance in the News

Thanks to community donationsLifeCare Alliance has given away nearly 1500 fans this summerThese fans go to central Ohioans who don’t have access to adequate air conditioning. Fan recipients are often at extreme risk during heat waves because of advanced age, chronic medical conditions, or poverty 

LifeCare Alliance delivers fans directly through Meals-on-Wheels as well as weekly public drive-through fan distributions.  

Click here to read the full story. 

Box fans

NBC 4: LifeCare Alliance Fan Campaign Cools off Columbus

By | LifeCare Alliance in the News

LifeCare Alliance’s summer fan campaign supplies fans to central Ohioans in desperate need of in-home coolingMeals-on-Wheels drivers deliver fans to home bound people in addition to public drive-through fan distributions.  

During an early July heat wave, fans can be a valuable tool for keeping senior citizens and other venerable people safe and comfortable.  

Read more here.

Teenagers Provide Comfort To Seniors In Isolation With Joy4All Project

By | Featured News

When COVID-19 sent the world into isolation, a group of high school students from Calgary, Canada, developed a service to help brighten the lives of lonely seniors.

The Joy4All Project is a youth-led project that allows people to call a hotline (1-877-JOY-4ALL) to hear pre-recorded messages of positivity. Callers have the choice of listening to stories, jokes, poetry, and other kind messages from the voices of children and young people. Project coordinator Katie Mahon told CNN in April that the hotline received more than 1,800 calls before it had finished its first week.

“Our goal is to keep everyone engaged and happy during these tough times, especially the people who are helping the cause by self-isolating,” reads the organization’s website. “We thank them for making this sacrifice for us, and want to help them get through this time by giving them happiness and a sense of belonging.”

The Joy4All Project crowd-sources its messages and encourages creativity and supportive language in its submissions.  The project also manages Twitter and Instagram accounts that post positive messages, jokes and content from other Calgary social programs.

LifeCare Alliance understands how isolated some members of our community can be. Even before the pandemic, senior isolation has been a public health issue. For many LifeCare Alliance clients, the Meals-on-Wheels driver may be the only face-to-face interaction they have with a person on a typical day. Volunteers are essential for combatting senior isolation because the smile and kind words they provide are valued and appreciated.

July 11, 2020, is National Cheer Up the Lonely Day. For anyone in need, the Joy4All Project may offer a spark of happiness.

AARP Advises Seniors on COVID-19 Safety

By | Featured News

A recent panel discussion by the AARP covered a topic on the minds of many in response to the coronavirus pandemic: How Americans can stay safe while also being socially engaged and connected to loved ones.

The virtual discussion, titled “Coronavirus: Personal Resilience in the New Normal,” was AARP’s 12th Coronavirus Tele-Town Hall since March 10. The panel covered topics such as the safety of hugging loved ones, actions older Americans can take to support protesters, and ways to practice self-care during this stressful time. Here are a few key takeaways:

  • At-risk people should complete health appointments over the phone if possible. Doctors should only be making in person appointments with those individuals if it’s essential for them to perform a physical exam.
  • Doctors do not recommend physical touch with loved ones from other households at this time.
  • If you do plan to meet with loved ones from other households, do so in an open outdoor space.
  • Advocate for your loved ones in nursing homes. If you suspect that a loved one is being mistreated by nursing home staff you can contact with a long-term care ombudsman. If you live in Ohio, you can reach out to them here.
  • At-risk people should refrain from protesting and instead should seek to support protesters who represent their interests by donating, calling elected officials, and registering to vote. 
  • Caregiers need to make space in their life for humor, rest and relaxation. Taking care of an at-risk loved one is more taxing than ever, and it is essential to consider your own mental health during the process.

Learn More

If you’d like to watch a recording or read the full transcript of the Tele-Town Hall click here.

L.A. Catering Resumes Events, With COVID-19 Precautions

By | Featured News, LA Catering

L.A. Catering — whose proceeds directly benefit LifeCare Alliance’s programs and services — has made its return to catered events with a detailed health and safety plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

L.A. Catering’s protocols have been guided by advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States Department of Agriculture, and state and local health departments.  The Ohio Department of Agriculture inspects L.A Catering’s kitchens daily.

Here are the precautions L.A. Catering is taking:

Staff

  • Daily symptom assessments for all associates.
  • Requiring all staff to adhere to sick leave policies, staying home when they do not feel well.
  • Requiring staff to be fever-free for 24 hours before returning to work.
  • Face masks or coverings must be worn by staff in 100% compliance with all Ohio Department of Health guidelines.
  • Maintaining strict handwashing guidelines.

Drop-Off Orders

  • Delivery staff must complete ServeSafe Delivery: COVID-19 Precaution training.
  • All equipment will be cleaned and disinfected after every use.
  • Contact-free delivery is available.
  • Hand sanitizing products will be available in all delivery vehicles.

L.A. Catering Events Center

  • All tables will have a minimum of six feet between them.
  • A list of COVID-19 symptoms will be displayed at the building’s entrance; guests who are symptomatic will be asked not to enter.
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be provided in high-contact areas.
  • All high-touch areas will be cleaned a minimum of every two hours.
  • Gatherings will be limited to a maximum of 300 guests.

Off-Site Events

  • All tables will have a minimum of six feet between them.
  • L.A Catering will comply with the venue’s COVID-19 protocols and procedures.
  • All equipment will be cleaned and disinfected after every use.
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be provided in high-contact areas.
  • Gatherings will be limited to a maximum of 300 guests.

For more information about COVID-19 in Columbus visit the Columbus Public Health Coronavirus Portal.

Learn More

To learn more about L.A. Catering and begin planning your event, visit www.la-catering.com.

Alternate Entrance to the Columbus Cancer Clinic

New Safety Procedures at LifeCare Alliance Wellness Centers, Columbus Cancer Clinic

By | Columbus Cancer Clinic, Featured News, Wellness

ABOVE: An alternate entrance for the Columbus Cancer Clinic helps patients avoid unnecessary potential exposure at LifeCare Alliance’s West Mound Street building.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, LifeCare Alliance’s Columbus Cancer Clinic and Wellness Department are taking every precaution to ensure that clients receive care in the safest way possible for patients and staff.

Here’s what patients should expect:

Columbus Cancer Clinic

When Columbus Cancer Clinic patients arrive, they’re greeted with a temperature check, verbal health screenings, and Plexiglas between them and the clinic’s front desk. Other precautions the CCC is taking include:

  • Spacing out clinic appointments from every 15 minutes to every 30 minutes.
  • Providing hand sanitizer stations, encouraging social distancing and frequent hand washing.
  • Requiring all patients and staff to wear face masks or face coverings.
  • Limiting visitors to one guest per patient

CCC Home Care Support has also put wig, bra, and prosthetic fittings on hold.

Patients who are experiencing signs of COVID-19 exposure such as coughing, fever, sore throat, and breathing difficulties have been asked to reschedule their appointments and report their symptoms to their primary healthcare provider. Patients experiencing these symptoms who don’t have a primary healthcare provider are asked to call the Ohio Department of Health COVID-19 Hotline at 1-833-427-5634.

Wellness Department

LifeCare Alliance’s Community Wellness Centers, travel clinics, and registered dietitians are conducting health screenings over the phone the day before appointments. LifeCare Alliance staff will ask patients about their health, the health of others in their household, and their recent domestic and international travel.

Patients who have been recently sick or share a household with someone who’s been recently sick will be asked to either make a telehealth appointment or reschedule their in-person appointment for a later date.

All patients and staff will wear face masks and eye coverings such as shields, goggles, and glasses during Wellness Center appointments. Registered dietitian and travel clinic appointments will require face coverings to be worn at all times.

Face-to-face dietitian meetings will be limited to LifeCare Alliance’s West Mound Street location anytime Franklin County sees an uptick in COVID-19 cases.

On June 11, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced that COVID-19 tests are available to anyone who wants one, even if they are asymptomatic. To learn more about COVID-19 testing in Columbus, visit the Columbus Public Health Coronavirus Portal.

Contact Us

If you have questions or concerns about your upcoming appointment, call our Customer Service Department at 614-278-3130 or click on this box to access our contact form.