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LifeCare Alliance

A Lowe's employee hands off a stack of fans to a Columbus firefighter.

LifeCare Alliance’s 2021 Fan Campaign Helps Central Ohioans Beat the Heat

By | Fan Campaign, Featured News

For many, the summer heat may not be an issue that they think twice about. For others, like children, seniors, and people with disabilities, hot weather can cause major problems.

Central Ohioans who don’t have fans or air conditioning units have difficulty cooling their homes in the summer, sometimes dealing with temperatures of 90 degrees or more. The heat isn’t just uncomfortable; it can also cause heat strokes, which can result in death.

LifeCare Alliance helps central Ohio residents in the summer months with our Beat the Heat Fan Campaign. This annual event provides fans free of cost. Here’s how the process works:

Donating a Fan

Anyone can donate a fan to LifeCare Alliance’s Beat the Heat Fan Campaign. Drop them off at your nearest fire station or at our meal distribution facility at 670 Harmon Ave. Volunteers and staff members pick up the fans from fire stations and bring them back to our Harmon location. Ahead of our distribution events, our team prepares fans by labeling them as donated and loading them onto racks.

You can even donate a fan without leaving your house. Using our Amazon Wish List, donors can order fans and have them delivered directly to LifeCare Alliance.

Fan Campaign Kickoff Event

To kick off our annual campaign, LifeCare Alliance teams up each year with Lowe’s Home Improvement, 2345 Silver Drive, for a donation drive. Lowe’s donates the first 100 box fans, while customers may donate fans right in the store parking lot from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Our media partner, WBNS-10TV, will help get the word out about this important campaign to assist people right here in our community.

Receiving a Fan

Once LifeCare Alliance receives and prepares enough fans, we schedule our first distribution event.

To receive a fan, you need to first find out when our distribution events are. By calling our Beat the Heat Hotline, at 614-437-2870, you can learn when the next distribution event will take place. A recorded message will confirm whether or not a fan distribution event is scheduled for the day of your call. Please keep checking the hotline until we schedule our next distribution event.

Because the Beat the Heat Fan Campaign is powered by fan donations, we cannot provide fan distribution event dates in advance.

Distribution Event Procedures & Eligibility

Each fan distribution event will take place at 670 Harmon Ave. Please bring government-issued picture ID, such a driver’s license or passport, or proof of central Ohio residency. Signs will direct you to the correct entrance. The line for fans forms around the back of the building. Pull up and wait in the drive through line until you reach the front, where volunteers and staff members will put the fan in your car for you. Our team helps you take care of some brief paperwork while you wait in line.

Anyone in central Ohio who needs a fan is eligible to receive one. Because quantities are limited, only a small number of fans are available per household.

If you need a fan but are unable to attend one of our distribution events, we may still be able to help. You may send a proxy (such as a friend or family member) to attend the distribution in your place. That person must present your identification or proof of address in order to receive a fan or fans for you. If you are a LifeCare Alliance client who receives Meals-on-Wheels, you may call the Meals-on-Wheels office to request a fan delivery when your meal is delivered. LifeCare Alliance is unable to provide fan deliveries to the general public.

Why We Do It

Having just one fan in a room can help lower the temperature by ten degrees! It’s not just about comfort; it could also save lives. LifeCare Alliance thanks all of the generous members of our community who donate fans each year, and encourages anyone in need of assistance to attend one of our distribution events. For more information and to contact our team, please visit our Beat the Heat Fan Campaign homepage.

—By Mason McHugh, LifeCare Alliance

Kickoff Event

Come see us at Lowe’s and be one of the first to give this year! Donating at our kickoff event helps ensure more fan distributions early in the season, when more people need the help.

What: Fan Campaign Kickoff

Where: Lowe’s Home Improvement, 2345 Silver Drive (near Crew Stadium)

When: Tuesday, June 15, 2021, 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Home Depot Client Dwight

LifeCare Alliance, #TeamDepot Help Veteran With Needed Home Repair

By | Featured News, Home Repairs

When a local veteran needed assistance with repairs for leaky faucets in his home, he turned to LifeCare Alliance.

A friend referred Dwight — a United States Air Force veteran who retired from Experience Columbus after 21 years — to LifeCare Alliance for home-repair help. Dwight noticed his faucets leaked constantly, and he realized he needed shut-off valves installed to alleviate the problem.

LifeCare Alliance completed the repairs with grant funding from Meals on Wheels America and The Home Depot Foundation. The Helping Hometown Heroes program serves veterans with safety and health-related home maintenance projects.

“Once my faucets were repaired and the valves installed, I felt just like a kid, no more leaks!” Dwight said. “Thank you, LifeCare Alliance, and thank you, Team Depot. I really appreciate it.  I am going to tell as many veterans that I know about this service, I’m sure they too can benefit from this program.”


Home Depot Client Dwight

LifeCare Alliance, #TeamDepot Help Veteran With Needed Home Repair

| Featured News, Home Repairs | No Comments
When a local veteran needed assistance with repairs for leaky faucets in his home, he turned to LifeCare Alliance. A friend referred Dwight — a United States Air Force veteran…
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LifeCare Alliance Administrative Building

10TV: LifeCare Alliance Replaces 30 Furnaces for Seniors in 2020

| Featured News, Home Repairs, LifeCare Alliance in the News | No Comments
Story published Jan. 12, 2021, by 10TV: Nancy Jones lost her husband, Jack, a year ago. On top of an already tough year, she started worrying about her furnace. It…
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Elmer, LifeCare Alliance client, shown at home in his chair.

Grab bars, new step make WWII veteran’s home a safer place

| Featured News, Home Repairs, Meals-on-Wheels | No Comments
LifeCare Alliance, with the help of a grant from Meals on Wheels America and Team Depot, made improvements in the home of a Navy veteran to help him move safely…
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View of water damage on ceiling

Army widow’s roof repair a ‘blessing’ thanks to LifeCare Alliance, MOWA, Team Depot

| Featured News, Home Repairs | No Comments
Ms. Marcum is a 95-year-old widow of a U.S. 2nd Battalion Army Ranger veteran who served from 1944-1946. When she needed help with a leaky roof that posed a safety…
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LifeCare Alliance is excited to announce a new funding partner with our Chores program, the HomeServe Cares Foundation.

| Featured News, Home Repairs | No Comments
The Chores program oversees repairs to help improve clients’ living environment by providing safety and health-related such as electrical and plumbing maintenance, grab bar and railing installations, and floor and…
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LifeCare Alliance helps veteran fix costly code violations with help of Team Depot, Meals on Wheels America

| Featured News, Home Repairs, Meals-on-Wheels | No Comments
LifeCare Alliance, with the help of a grant from Meals on Wheels America and Team Depot, helped a local veteran with home repairs that improved safety hazards and helped avoid…
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Willie the dog looking across the camera

United Way of Logan County Helps LifeCare Alliance Pilot Senior PetCare Program to Meals-on-Wheels Clients!

By | Featured News, Senior PetCare

Thanks to the generous support of our pet-loving friends at the United Way of Logan County, we are currently piloting a rollout of the Senior PetCare program in Logan County, offering food, treats, and toys along with much-needed veterinary care! Clients are eligible once they have been enrolled in the Meals-on-Wheels program for 60 days. In fact, the program has already helped cover veterinary care for two pets for Meals-on-Wheels clients in Logan County with the funding received from the United Way.

More than 70% of LifeCare Alliance’s clients own at least one cat or dog, and the bond with their animal is very strong. Candice LaFramboise, Senior Coordinator for Corporate and Community Engagement at LifeCare Alliance runs the Senior PetCare program says, “Many Meals-on-Wheels clients live on a fixed income, and offering veterinary care to qualified clients can ensure that their pets are happy and healthy. When the pets are well cared for, the clients will be too.” For some, their pet may be the only companion they have contact with throughout the day.

The Agency first learned of the need for a pet-specific program in the mid-2000s after discovering that some Meals-on-Wheels clients were feeding all or a portion of their meal to their pet. These individuals face barriers to obtaining pet supplies on their own, such as not having enough money to buy pet food or being physically incapable of getting to the store. As a result, LifeCare Alliance began accepting donations of pet food, treats, and even toys for clients living with companion pets pet welfare donations in 2007 and expanded the program to offer veterinary assistance in 2008. One Senior PetCare client explained the program the best when she said, “The most important part of the program is the help that I get for my pets; these are things I wouldn’t be able to do otherwise. I’ve had my dog for 14 years.”

Although LifeCare Alliance’s Meals-on-Wheels Program operates in five counties in central Ohio—Franklin, Madison, Champaign, Logan, and Marion—Senior PetCare has primarily served clients in Franklin County. In 2020, Senior PetCare provided over 74,000 pounds of pet food to clients’ pets and covered vet care for 42 animals. In the first quarter of 2021, the program made 352 client visits and delivered 3,430 bags of pet food.

To establish the program in Logan County, we are providing pet food and veterinary assistance to our clients in need. This involves expanding pet food deliveries through our Meals-on-Wheels and AniMeals (pet food) delivery routes. We have also introduced veterinary care assistance to eligible clients in the county, which covers wellness exams, vaccinations, medications, and/or flea & tick preventatives. We want our clients to continue visiting their local vets in Logan County, so we will work with the clients and vets to pay for veterinary visits thus injecting funds into the county economy. The Agency continues outreach efforts in Logan County to gain additional volunteer, in-kind, and monetary support for the program.

-By Crystal Kurzen, Grants Manager, LifeCare Alliance

Learn more

Click here to visit LifeCare Alliance’s Senior PetCare page and learn more about the Agency’s program that helps older adults and their companion pets stay together.

Claire Eastman delivers a meal to a central Ohio resident.

Columbus Dispatch: Meals on Wheels needs volunteers to handle demand tied to COVID-19 pandemic

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

Picture and story published May 17, 2021, by the The Columbus Dispatch:

LifeCare Alliance’s daily Meals-on-Wheels delivery is a huge help to central Ohio residents like Deloris Harrington, who is undergoing chemotherapy and needs to stay home to recover from treatments.

From March 2019 to February 2020, the central Ohio Meals on Wheels program served 4,751 different customers. A year later, from March 2020 through February 2021, that number grew to 7,873, a 66% increase.

That increase in business, in turn, has led to an urgent need for more volunteers.

Click here to read the full story.

Click here to volunteer and help LifeCare Alliance reach all those in need of services.


IMPACT Safety logo banner

IMPACT Safety Teaches People with Disabilities to Protect Themselves

By | Featured News, IMPACT Safety
IMPACT Ability Students

IMPACT Safety looks to return to in-person events when deemed safe.

People with developmental disabilities face a higher-than-average risk of assault, abuse and bullying. But there’s plenty they can do – no matter the level of disability – to boost their emotional and physical safety.

“Self-defense is way bigger than hitting people,” Matt O’Brien, an instructor and trainer with IMPACT Safety, said during a recent class. “Karate is really good for one thing. But what we’re teaching is really good for all this other stuff.”

O’Brien and his colleague Olivia Caldeira are working with about a dozen ARC Industries participants who signed up for a multi-week course on personal-safety skills for people with developmental disabilities. IMPACT Safety, a program of LifeCare Alliance, has decades of experience helping to empower vulnerable populations.

“It all starts with, ‘How does this person make their wants or needs known?’” Caldeira said. “It’s important to give people choice and a sense of control.”

Everyone, for example, can learn to convey a “stop” message, whether with hands out and a firm voice, or through gestures and expressions. Program participants get plenty of practice on that front when O’Brien plays the role of a shady guy making unwanted approaches. And everyone, whether they are able to speak or not, whether they walk or use a wheelchair, finds ways to tell him to get lost.

“Do you have to let a stranger get close to you? No!,” O’Brien told the class. “If you can remember stop signs, you’ve got 90% of what we’re telling you.”

Because people with developmental disabilities often rely on others for assistance with daily tasks and decisions, it can be difficult for some to realize that they have the right to set and enforce personal boundaries. “Perpetrators are drawn to people who are vulnerable,” Caldeira said. “We have to make sure people with disabilities are empowered. It’s about body autonomy for people who might not have had that.”

Letting go of a passive mindset also is important when interacting with caregivers, seeking help or reporting abuse. “People are taught stranger danger, but if you look at the statistics, it’s usually someone they know,” Caldeira said.

Sessions focus on safety in various situations and settings, and also include self-calming strategies to reduce anxiety and stress.

For now, classes are virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic. But it hasn’t taken long for participants to get the hang of interacting with O’Brien and Caldeira on screen, and to embrace the empowerment message: During a one recent class, three people showed up in Superman shirts.

For more information or to schedule a workshop, email info@impactsafety.org or call 614-437-2967.

Published May 2021 in the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities “Dateline” newsletter.

Help-at-Home logo

NBC4: LifeCare Alliance program offers household help to central Ohio’s seniors

By | Featured News, Help-at-Home Careers, LifeCare Alliance in the News

Story published May 4, 2021, by NBC4:

In honor of Older Americans Month, LifeCare Alliance wants others to know they are here to serve those older Ohioans through one of their programs.

LifeCare Alliance’s Help-at-Home provides homemaking and personal care services to older adults living in Franklin and Madison counties. The goal is to help seniors live in the comfort of their homes and to maintain an independent lifestyle.

One woman named Kathleen Henry is 101-years-old and said she’s been using the service for a few years now and is thankful for the program.

Click here to read the full story.

Click here to join the LifeCare Alliance team.


Mel Leiper receives Spirit Award

Madison Messenger: Meals on Wheels award goes to Mt. Sterling’s Mel Leiper

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

Story published May 3, 2021, by the Madison Messenger:

LifeCare Alliance recently presented the Madison County Congregate Dining Spirit Award to longtime Meals-on-Wheels volunteer and Mount Sterling resident Marilyn “Mel” Leiper.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March last year, LifeCare Alliance had to shut down the local dining center. Leiper helped the organization transition the residents to home-delivered meals.

“Even through some health issues, she continued to make sure everyone got meals who needed them. She is a top notch volunteer, and we are forever grateful for her,” said Tony Madison, LifeCare Alliance Meals-on-Wheels driver.

Click here to read the full story.

Click here to see the rest of the 2021 Spirit Award winners.


Lisa Manns with LifeCare Alliance's Claire Eastman and individuals from RTC Industries

BELLEFONTAINE EXAMINER: RTC Industries honored for Meals-on-Wheels dedication

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

Story published April 27, 2021, by the Bellefontaine Examiner:

LifeCare Alliance awarded Lisa Manns (pictured middle with the award) from RTC Industries with the 2020 Logan County Meals-on-Wheels Corporate Partner Spirit Award for her commitment to a meal route adoption.

Lisa looks forward to continuing her commitment to volunteer and to keep spreading the word to others about how they too can enjoy giving back through LifeCare Alliance’s programs.

You must be subscribed to the Bellefontaine Examiner to access the full story.

Click here to read the full story.

Click here to see the rest of the 2021 Spirit Award winners.

Car receiving drive-through meal at Carrie's Cafe

NBC4: LifeCare Alliance anticipates giving more free meals as weather warms

By | Carrie's Cafe, Featured News, LifeCare Alliance in the News, Meals-on-Wheels

Story published April 14, 2021, by NBC4:

LifeCare Alliance is helping more people put food on the table during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michelle Jones, LifeCare Alliance’s Communication Director, says the Agency distributes about 5,000 meals at both their drive-through sites and in person.

Anyone who needs assistance can check out LifeCare Alliance’s programs page.

Click here to read the full story.

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 lindsay@lindsaydunlapcoaching.com.

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 eburak@lifecarealliance.org.

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.

Nominate a Volunteer for the LifeCare Alliance Spirit Awards!

By | Carrie's Cafe, Central Ohio Diabetes Association, Columbus Cancer Clinic, Events, Featured News, Help-at-Home, Meals-on-Wheels, POHC, Volunteers, Wellness
Thank you for nominating an outstanding volunteer for the Spirit Awards! Volunteers are essential to the success of LifeCare Alliance in our community, so it is important to recognize the wonderful work they do.
Please use the form below to submit your nomination. We want to know the LifeCare Alliance program that benefits from your nominee’s work, as well as the reasons your nominee stands out from all the rest.
Please visit LifeCare Alliance’s website and social media for information about this year’s Spirit Awards as details are finalized.

Columbus CEO: Volunteer of the Year Sandy Freer lives to serve

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

Photo by Rob Hardin. Story published Feb. 26, 2021, by Columbus CEO:

Sandy Freer, Vice President of Business Partner Relations at Quantum Health, has been chosen as the Volunteer of the Year by Columbus CEO for their 2021 Healthcare Achievement Awards.

At the heart of Quantum Health’s many efforts is LifeCare Alliance. Freer and her team began taking delivery routes in 2009 and over time increased participation to five times per week.

Freer says, “It brings me joy, and I believe part of the reason I’m here on this Earth is to be in service to other people.”

Click here to read the full story.

Campers smiling and waving

CODA Welcomes the Tom E. Dailey Foundation Inc. as a New Camp Supporter

By | Central Ohio Diabetes Association, Featured News

Above picture of Camp Hamwi campers taken prior to 2020. 

Supporters like the Tom E. Dailey Foundation Inc. help LifeCare Alliance’s Central Ohio Diabetes Association (CODA) provide Camp Hamwi for children with diabetes.

The Tom E. Dailey Foundation Inc. was established through an endowment by Tom Dailey, a senior executive in the payments industry for over 30 years. The foundation reflects the founder’s commitment to uplift Ohioans by supporting diversity, railroad heritage, parks and rec, youth, and the arts.

Since 1968, CODA’s camp programs have helped children with diabetes learn life-saving disease management skills in a safe, recreational environment. Campers have demonstrated for over 50 years that camp programming leads to an entire transformation on how they view their disease and how they approach life. Given the tools of better acceptance, self-management and knowledge of their diabetic condition, campers go on to excel in other areas of their life and strive for dreams they did not think they could accomplish before they experienced camp.

Thank you to the Tom E. Dailey Foundation Inc. for helping CODA to continue the 53-year-old tradition of Camp Hamwi!

-By Stephanie Rowe Bencic, LifeCare Alliance

Learn more

Visit LifeCare Alliance’s Central Ohio Diabetes Association camp page to learn more about CODA’s camps that empower children living with diabetes!

Project OpenHand-Columbus Logo

LifeCare Alliance, Kent Richard Hofmann Foundation Partnership Helps the Fight Against HIV/AIDS

By | Featured News, POHC

Support from funders such as the Kent Richard Hofmann Foundation enables LifeCare Alliance to provide vital nutritional assistance to clients in our Project OpenHand-Columbus program.

The Kent Richard Hofmann Foundation is a private foundation dedicated to the fight against HIV and AIDS. Kent Richard Hofmann was an architect, philanthropist and early AIDS activist in Atlanta. Since his passing in 1988, the Foundation has kept his wishes to dedicate support to organizations providing advocacy and direct care to people living with HIV/AIDS.

LifeCare Alliance’s Project OpenHand-Columbus provides nutrition services to individuals in Central Ohio living with active HIV/AIDS. The program focuses on preventing nutrient deficiencies, weight loss, wasting and malnourishment, while maximizing the effectiveness of drug therapies and medical treatment. By providing nutritious meals to people living with HIV/AIDS, LifeCare Alliance can help to protect their immune systems, keep them in their homes and prevent ill health.

With supporters like the Kent Richard Hofmann Foundation, LifeCare Alliance is able to serve our neighbors with responsive, compassionate, and quality care. Thank you for helping us Nourish the Human Spirit!

-By Stephanie Rowe Bencic, LifeCare Alliance

Learn more

Visit LifeCare Alliance’s Project OpenHand-Columbus page to learn more about the Agency’s program that fight HIV/AIDS with nutrition!

10TV: ‘It’s life or death without my insulin’: Central Ohio Man Explains the Drastic Cost of Insulin

By | Central Ohio Diabetes Association, Featured News, LifeCare Alliance in the News

Story published Feb. 2, 2021, by 10TV:

Dylan Knecht was diagnosed with Type-1 Diabetes when he was just 2 years old.

According to GoodRx, a vial of insulin, which is about 1,000 units, cost $210 in 2014, that price rose to $360 by 2018.

LifeCare Alliance, which manages the Central Ohio Diabetes Association and Diabetes Dayton, sees a lot of individuals or families who suddenly get this disease and then have to start spending 400 or more dollars a month on insulin for one person.

Click here to read the full story.

Columbus Dispatch: Soaring Insulin Prices Show How the US is Losing the Battle Against High Drug Costs

By | Central Ohio Diabetes Association, Featured News, LifeCare Alliance in the News

Photo and story published Jan. 29, 2021, by Columbus Dispatch:

According to a new bipartisan investigation, the cost of insulin has been kept artifically high.

The investigation found that drug manufacturers “aggressively” raised the list price of their leading insulin brands an average of 300% over the past decade.

Lifecare Alliance hands out supplies for diabetics but cannot provide insulin.

Click here to read the full story.

SixtyPLUS Update – January 2021

By | SixtyPLUS

Welcome, New Partners!

The London Fire Department, London Police Department, and Marion Police Department are the latest agencies to partner with LifeCare Alliance.

We are excited to expand this grant into the other counties that we serve. As we continue to Foster our new and current partnerships, we are still looking to add more SixtyPLUS partners.

SixtyPLUS is designed to arm the first responders with the necessary resources to alleviate non-emergency runs while developing a long-term care solution to meet the increasing demand for seniors.  LifeCare Alliance, one of the oldest and largest providers of services for older adults, will intervene to assist in the home, reducing seniors’ reliance on excessive emergency resources.

In many cases, the needs include basic help in the home — such as meals, home repairs, or diabetes management, which can help seniors remain safe, independent, and in their own homes, where they want to be! Partners will securely share relevant data with LifeCare Alliance to identify senior needs and, over time, measure improvements in both service delivery and client outcomes.

Meet Dr. Lisa

Headshot of Dr. Lisa Juckett

Dr. Lisa Juckett, PhD, OTR/L, CHT
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

If you have not scheduled a meeting with Dr. Lisa  Juckett to discuss your data, please contact her to schedule your meeting!

Dr. Lisa Juckett, PhD, OTR/L, CHT, is an occupational therapist with doctoral training in the field of social work. She has worked for The Ohio State University since 2010 and is currently an Instructor in the Division of Occupational Therapy. Her research focuses on bridging the gap between research discoveries and the use of these discoveries in real-world healthcare settings. Heavily informed by the field of implementation science, Dr. Juckett’s research examines the factors and strategies that influence evidence-based practice adoption, primarily in organizations that serve the older adult population. In partnership with Lifecare Alliance, Dr. Juckett serves as the outcomes evaluator and is monitoring trends in frailty levels, referral sources, and the types of services received by Lifecare Alliance clients.

Who should you refer?

When partners go to a call, there may be some question as to whether the person you are responding to is a good fit for a LifeCare Alliance referral.

Here are some helpful factors to remember: Any person over 60 who is a lift assist, hoarder, is diabetic, indicates malnutrition, suffers from mental health or memory issues, has a physical disability, or calls frequently for emergent or non-emergent needs should be referred.

Remember, our services are not based on income but on physical and mental need. For more information, please refer to our Referral Cheat Sheet or our online referral form!

Getting to know your Contact

Headshot of Fannisha Page

Fannisha Page, CHW
LifeCare Alliance

Fannisha Page, CHW, is a certified Community Health Worker. She was born in Columbus, Ohio, is a proud graduate of Columbus Alternative High School, and attended The University of Memphis. She has been with LifeCare Alliance for one year. Fannisha previously worked as a Community Health Worker for Primary One’s women’s health center. Fannisha is certified in Centering Pregnancy, as a State Tested Nurse’s Assistant, and a CPR instructor. She has experience as a patient care technician in the emergency department and administrative support in mental health facilities in Lima, Ohio. Fannisha is a wife, mother of 3 beautiful girls, and an entrepreneur.

Fannisha is passionate about outreach and working with first responders and other community agencies to ensure that seniors are receiving fair access to resources so that they can remain safe, independent, and living in their homes — where they want to be.

SixtyPLUS is provided by a grant from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, and administered by LifeCare Alliance.

About SixtyPLUS

LifeCare Alliance is one of seven nonprofits chosen from a nationwide pool of applicants to study the effectiveness of services offered to seniors in American communities.

Through this study, called SixtyPLUS and funded by the Administration for Community Living, LifeCare Alliance will help create a national model to address the needs of the nation’s growing senior population. We will implement unique and innovative partnerships with fire departments, hospital systems, and healthcare providers while collecting accurate data that represent the true impact of our services.

Together, we can “bridge the gap” between the healthcare system and the community-based service system for the betterment of our seniors.

Meals-on-Wheels logo

NBC4: Volunteers Spend MLK Day of Service Delivering Meals

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

Story published Jan. 18, 2021, by NBC4:

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day has become a national day of service.

Volunteers like Dawn Smith have made volunteering on MLK Day a yearly tradition, and want to pass it on to the next generation.

LifeCare Alliance set up its own drive-thru operation for volunteers to check in and pick up meals with limited contact. Volunteers limited their direct contact with clients when they dropped off meals, but hoped the service itself was a gesture of goodwill.

Click here to read the full story.

LifeCare Alliance Administrative Building

10TV: LifeCare Alliance Replaces 30 Furnaces for Seniors in 2020

By | Featured News, Home Repairs, LifeCare Alliance in the News

Story published Jan. 12, 2021, by 10TV:

Nancy Jones lost her husband, Jack, a year ago. On top of an already tough year, she started worrying about her furnace.

It started going out, and she said she wouldn’t have been able to afford fixing it. She started calling places and got in touch with LifeCare Alliance.

LifeCare Alliance replaced furnaces for about 30 people [in 2020].

Click here to read the full story.

New Year, Same Diabetes

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

Welcome to 2021! We first get to celebrate that we have been able to turn the page from 2020 and see what life can bring for us now — even though some may say it hasn’t started off much better.

While there is always joy and excitement and a sense of a fresh start, diabetes doesn’t start over. It’s there every day, whether we are willing to work with it or not.

I think that is one of the many things I wrestle with as a T1D parent: showing up on the days where even I don’t want to hassle with it. But putting on the strong face is the choice I get to make. I mean, let’s be honest — there have been a lot of things that we faced in 2020.

Personally, we started 2020 with Logan getting the flu, at the same time we were starting with the Dexcom CGM. I was so excited to get him started! But then battling the high sugars with being sick and seeing them constantly with the Dexcom, I learned very quickly what everyone warns you about…the CGM can also be too much information!

Then COVID struck, and we got to try to explain to our kids why we weren’t going to Great Wolf Lodge. There is this virus that we don’t know about and we don’t want to take any extra risks.

And who really enjoyed having to shut down your child’s requests over and over again to have friends over to play?! Logan is a social kid; he thrives on talking to people. And when I have that conversation of not feeling comfortable having his friends over because I don’t know how careful they have been…that immediately in his head says, “what, you don’t think my friends are smart?! You just don’t want me to have any fun!” One of those days I really didn’t want to show up for the diabetes. I didn’t like having that conversation. It was heart-crushing, actually.

There were a lot of heart-crushing conversations with kids this past year, diabetes or not. But to have a child in a “high risk” category just feels … extra hard.

And here’s the thing. We still did it. We are still doing it. We are still teaching our kids to face the hard days, or hard months. Because no matter how many calendar pages we get to flip into a new year, the reality is still that there are hard days with diabetes.

So how do you face the hard days? For me, I celebrate the little stuff. I am a gratitude fanatic! So much so that it really drives my family crazy. But I don’t think there is a wrong way to be grateful. So I celebrate the overnight stretches of near-perfect blood sugars. I celebrate when I calculate the carbs and extend the insulin just right for pizza night. Those things feel like hitting the lottery!

So celebrate yourself and your kids! Celebrate when things go well, so we don’t have to spend so much time worrying when they get hard.


Dunlap Family Picture

This blog post is PART TEN 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 lindsay@lindsaydunlapcoaching.com.

Learn More

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

Help-at-Home Sees Successful 2020 Adopt-a-Senior Season

By | Featured News, Help-at-Home

Gifts are prepared for delivery. LifeCare Alliance’s Help-at-Home program had a wonderfully successful Adopt-a-Senior program in 2020!

With COVID-19 injecting uncertainty into this year’s Adopt-a-Senior holiday campaign, the Agency wasn’t sure how it would go in terms of donations and volunteers. But everyone pulled together, and generosity prevailed.

Everyone in the Help-at-Home department worked hard to make this year’s campaign happen. That included creating volunteer gift delivery routes, calling clients, and even hitting the road to deliver gifts themselves. This was all done in between the normal services provided by the Help-at-Home team, and multiple members of our field staff went out of their way to deliver extra routes of gifts in addition to providing wonderful service to clients. It truly was a team effort!

At a Dec. 20 gift donation and distribution event, 24 volunteers delivered 350 gifts to over 120 seniors! Workers also wrapped more than 100 gifts. Gift donations came in from members of the community as well as Home Instead and UPS.

All in all, Help-at-Home had enough gifts for 400 clients, comprising over $9,000 in donations!

Many clients shared that these were the only gifts they were going to receive this holiday season. Many were not able to see their families due to COVID-19 concerns. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of this year’s campaign!

-Alli Chrzanowski, Help-at-Home director

Dispatch - Adopt a Family

Columbus Dispatch: LifeCare Alliance’s Adopt-a-Family Helps Those with Cancer Have a Merry Christmas

By | Columbus Cancer Clinic, Featured News, LifeCare Alliance in the News

Photo and story published Dec. 22, 2020, by The Columbus Dispatch:

Gracie Davis starts crying every time she sees her Christmas presents sitting by the fireplace.

The 69-year-old Far East Side resident received the gifts through the Adopt-a-Family program by LifeCare Alliance and the Columbus Cancer Clinic.

“There’s people out there that do want to help you,” Davis said. “I’ve never had anybody do anything like that for me.”

The Adopt-a-Family program started in 2006.

The program adopted 54 families this year, which equates to 254 household members, said Christin Brown, director of the Columbus Cancer Clinic.

Click here to read the full story.

Charles Wilson holds meal bag

United Way Honors LifeCare Alliance Employee with Frontline Staff Appreciation Award

By | Featured News, Meals-on-Wheels, Press Releases

LifeCare Alliance is proud to announce that longtime Meals-on-Wheels driver Charles Wilson has won a Frontline Staff Appreciation Award from the United Way of Central Ohio.

Charles has been a compassionate, accountable, and excellent employee of LifeCare Alliance for more than 30 years. In that time, he has delivered over 150,000 meals!

As a Meals-on-Wheels driver, Charles ensures that some of the most vulnerable of central Ohio’s seniors continue to receive the nutritional support and daily wellness checks they need to maintain their independence. Most of the people he serves share that their meal driver is the only person they see in a day, so Charles is a true lifeline for many.

Over the past 10 months, that lifeline has become even more critical to ensuring the safety and health of central Ohio neighbors. Charles has not only maintained his commitment to deliver daily on the front lines, but has also adapted quickly and successfully to the new realities presented by COVID-19.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Charles has been an exemplary front-line worker who genuinely cares about the people he serves.Congratulations to Charles for being honored with the Front-line Staff Appreciation Award from the United Way!

Visit the United Way of Central Ohio’s Facebook page to see all of the Frontline Staff Appreciation honorees.

Image of Patient In Doctor's Office Awaiting Vaccination

Health Officials Express Confidence on COVID-19 Vaccine

By | Central Ohio Diabetes Association
Manufacturers have begun shipping a vaccine to treat COVID-19. Here is some important information from #InThisTogetherOhio:
  • Ohio is prepared to distribute safe and effective COVID- 19 vaccines statewide. The goals of the vaccine are to save lives and slow the spread of the virus.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as independent medical experts, have ensured that every detail of these vaccines are thoroughly and rigorously evaluated.
  • The vaccines that will be distributed have been “shown to decrease the severity of illness in people who catch the virus” and will help “prevent serious hospitalizations and death, and will allow a return to normal,” health officials said.
  • Even when the vaccines begin to be distributed it will be important that all Ohioans continue “using all the tools available to help prevent the spread of the virus.” This includes “continuing to wear masks and social distance.”
  • The vaccines may cause side effects, but those will be minimal. Most commonly they will be “fatigue, headache, soreness or redness at the injection site, and muscle or joint pain”. These side effects should not prevent people from getting this critical vaccine when the option becomes available to them.

— This information comes from resources provided through the Ohio Department of Health, compiled by the Central Ohio Diabetes Association


By | Featured News, Press Releases

LifeCare Alliance will be among 100 honorees to receive a Healthy Worksite Award from the Healthy Business Council of Ohio in February. LifeCare Alliance earned the organization’s Platinum Award for 2020.

The Healthy Worksite Award recognizes Ohio employers who demonstrate a commitment to employee wellness through comprehensive worksite health promotion and wellness programs. Applicants are scored on the extent their wellness programs facilitate and encourage employee health, enhance productivity and ensure a healthy work environment.

All applications were reviewed and evaluated using objective criteria. Four levels of high achievement were awarded in 2020 —Bronze, Silver, Gold and, new in 2020, Platinum. The HBCO chose to add the Platinum level of achievement in 2020 in an effort to continue to encourage program growth in employer sites throughout the state who have, in recent years, consistently received the previous maximum achievement level of Gold.

“We can all agree that 2020 was a beast of a year for employer sites so this year’s application was modified to recognize the extraordinary efforts employers were making to offer employee wellbeing in spite of it all,” explained the Healthy Worksite Award Co-Chair Annie Laurie Cadmus. “Applicants had the option to complete a ‘Pandemic Response’ section of the application to share how they adjusted their program offerings and continued to offer support to employees during a difficult year.”

Also new in the 2020 application was the addition of questions about the cancer screenings available to employees at worksites. These questions were asked as a direct response to the Ohio Department of Health’s desire to address cancer support resources available throughout the state of Ohio. Every worksite that provided positive responses to these questions will be given a special designation from the Ohio Department of Health in addition to their overall Healthy Worksite Award score. Data regarding worksite offerings in relationship to cancer screenings will be provided to the Ohio Department of Health so they can better assess statewide availability of programming.

The online award application is available to all Ohio-based worksites from mid-August through late October each year. While the 2020 application deadline has passed, Cadmus stressed that the HBCO would like to encourage all worksites, large and small, public and private, for profit and nonprofit, to consider applying for the Healthy Worksite Award in 2021.

“The Healthy Worksite Awards Committee will meet in early 2021 to compile a document with aggregate results of the 2020 award applications and to generate a PDF of the 2021 questions. Those documents will be made available in early 2021 so worksites can identify programmatic areas of improvement and prepare their 2021 application,” Cadmus stated.

The awards ceremony will be offered virtually as part of the Health Action Council’s 2021 Virtual Conference Series & Expo on February 4, 2021. The symposium features national experts on wellbeing, resilience and health reform. The public is invited to register for this event at the Health Action Council website.

The Dunlap children sitting together and smiling.

Sharing the Story of Your Family’s Diabetes Journey

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

I recently got a Facebook message from an acquaintance, a parent of a student in Logan’s grade.

“Hey, is Logan diabetic? I believe I remember you sharing that he was.”

They were staring the diagnosis in the face. Their son, Logan’s age, was in the hospital and they had just received the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. She found some comfort in remembering that they were not facing this alone. There was someone else they knew, even if just an acquaintance, that had been through this incredibly scary moment and had been able to find their way through.

You remember this moment. You remember when your child was so sick, and you didn’t know why. Then you remember when you told your child they would have to take medicine for the rest of their life. You remember the first time they told you they didn’t want to be diabetic anymore. You remember the first time you told them that taking their pump supplies with them was not anything to be embarrassed about. And if some asked or laughed about it, educate them — don’t brush it off.

Many people may feel like it’s no one’s business to know our medical journey; or that no one wants to know what is happening with the trials and tribulations of teaching your eight year old how to count carbs; or how heart-breaking it can feel to have to pull your child away from the fun of a birthday party to check his sugar and give him insulin.

But those stories will matter to someone.

According to JDRF, 64,000 people are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes each year. Someone will need to know your story. I promise you.

So how can you share your story more? Social media is probably the easiest way. Share more about the daily routines. Share about the challenges. Let people in your social media world know about your life! Social media can be used as a powerful tool for connection if we allow it to be.

Talk about it in public. Logan is a talker, so I don’t have much to worry about asking him to explain it to people who asked questions, or even people who didn’t. He was going to tell them anyway. But when Logan was first diagnosed, I was able to be a reader for his kindergarten class and I read a book about diabetes. I was able to tell the kids, at a level that made sense to them, why Logan was leaving the classroom so much, or why he didn’t eat all the snacks that they did, or even why he had extra snacks.

And finally, genuinely connect with people. In our world today, we have almost swung to the side of being afraid to talk to new people. But if you take the time to connect with people and be interested in their story, there is a good chance they will talk to you about your story. When that happens, know that you could be serving an incredible need in their life by sharing openly and honestly about your life as a T1D family.

This journey of T1D can feel incredibly lonely if we let it be. We have a tremendous community with CODA and we want others to experience this if they need it! So, continue to be open about your life as a T1D family. Continue to be of service to others who need support and encouragement. You never know when a message will pop up that reminds you that you can never share too much.

In the end, no day is perfect. But that doesn’t mean it is all a loss. How will you find gratitude and joy in your day each day and share that with your child?


Family photo of Dunlap family

This blog post is PART NINE 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 lindsay@lindsaydunlapcoaching.com.

Learn More

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

Frequent Handwashing Helps Prevent Spread of Germs in Kitchen

By | Wellness

Handwashing is one of the most important things you can do to prevent food poisoning when you are preparing food for yourself or loved ones. Washing your hands frequently with soap and water is an easy way to prevent germs from spreading around your kitchen and to other foods.

Follow these handwashing tips to make sure you have clean hands when preparing food:

Wash your hands often when you cook to prevent the spread of germs. Your hands can spread germs in the kitchen, so wash your hands often to prevent cross-contamination. Handwashing is especially important during key times when germs can spread. Here are some key times to wash in the kitchen:

  • Before, during, and after preparing any food.
  • After handling raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs.
  • Before eating.
  • After touching garbage.
  • After wiping counters or cleaning other surfaces with chemicals.
  • After touching pets, pet food, or pet treats.
  • After coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.

Follow Five Steps to Wash Your Hands the Right Way

Handwashing is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs, but it’s important to follow these five steps every time.

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Wash Hands Before and After Using Gloves

Washing hands is important even if you’re wearing gloves. Be sure to wash your hands before and after using gloves to prevent the spread of germs. You can contaminate gloves with germs from your hands when you put on gloves. Contaminated gloves can spread germs to your hands when you remove the gloves.

Don’t let germs ruin your food plans. Make handwashing a healthy habit while preparing food for yourself and your loved ones!

– Information from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Subaru Share the Love Event Returns for 2020

By | Featured News, Meals-on-Wheels

Meals on Wheels America and LifeCare Alliance are participating in the 2020 Subaru Share the Love Event, which has helped deliver more than 2.3 million meals to seniors across the country over the past twelve years.

This partnership with Subaru of America, Inc. is vital because too many seniors are struggling to stay independent and healthy. One in four seniors lives alone in isolation and one in seven seniors might not know from where their next meal is coming. This is simply unacceptable, which is why LifeCare Alliance provides the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks to the seniors of Franklin, Madison, Marion, Champaign, and Logan counties. This support keeps seniors safe, independent, and living in their own homes, where they want to be.

We’re incredibly grateful to Subaru and its retailers for supporting our organization and the seniors we serve. With that in mind, we thought you might want to learn a little bit more about the Subaru Share the Love Event.


This November 19, 2020, through January 4, 2021, for every new Subaru vehicle purchased or leased, Subaru will donate $250 to the customer’s choice of participating charities.* Meals on Wheels is one of four national participating charities and has been since the inception of the event. Through this event, as a member of Meals on Wheels America, LifeCare Alliance will receive a share of the donation from Subaru vehicles sold at participating Subaru retailers.

You might not be in the market to purchase a new car, but if you are, please look into the Subaru Share the Love Event to learn more. If you’re not shopping for a new vehicle, you can still help by spreading the word to your family and friends. A few quick and easy ways to do that:

– Share this article to your social media networks!
– Share our posts about the Share the Love Event on Facebook: (www.facebook.com/lifecarealliance). You can also do this on Twitter (@lifecareallianc) or Instagram (@lifecarealliance).

And remember: this holiday season you can ensure our senior neighbors are not forgotten, when you purchase or lease a new Subaru and select Meals on Wheels as your charity of choice.

*Disclaimer: Subaru will donate $250 for every new Subaru vehicle sold or leased from November 19, 2020, through January 4, 2021, to four national charities designated by the purchaser or lessee. Pre-approved Hometown Charities may be selected for donation depending on retailer participation. For every new Subaru vehicle sold or leased during the campaign period, participating retailers will donate a minimum of $50 in total to their registered Hometown Charities. Purchasers/lessees must make their charity designations by January 15, 2021. The four national charities will receive a guaranteed minimum donation of $250,000 each. See your local Subaru retailer for details or visit subaru.com/share. All donations made by Subaru of America, Inc.

Sponsor-a-Pet this Holiday Season!

By | Senior PetCare

LifeCare Alliance is offering an opportunity to help clients and their four-legged friends this holiday season. Supporters can now Sponsor-a-Pet through our Senior PetCare program. Here are a couple ways you can contribute:

Option 1

If you would like to make a monetary donation to sponsor a pet, $100 will provide food, treats and updated vaccines for a year, but all donation amounts are greatly appreciated!


Option 2

Sponsor-a-Pet this holiday season by purchasing items from our Amazon Wish List. Have the items sent directly to our offices or put together a gift box of goodies from our Amazon Wish List, and our Senior PetCare volunteers will deliver them to your pet pal! If you are interested in delivering gift boxes, you may also consider volunteering to do an Animeal Route (Senior PetCare Route).


For more information or volunteer opportunities, contact Candice LaFramboise at claframboise@lifecarealliance.org or at 614-437-2916.

Senior PetCare helps LifeCare Alliance clients by helping them meet their pets’ basic needs. The program is powered by donations and volunteers, who package and deliver pet food and supplies throughout Franklin County. Click here to learn more about this program.

Wishing you a wonderful Holiday Season

Holiday Volunteer Opportunities 2020-2021

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

The holiday season is here, and LifeCare Alliance has multiple opportunities for you to pay it forward through donating gifts and volunteering. Our clients have felt the sting of isolation more this year than ever, and can’t wait to receive some holiday cheer! Read below to see what way of giving works best for you. Happy Holidays!


Date(s) and Time(s): Nov. 1 – Dec. 13, 2020; 9am-4pm
Host Agency: LifeCare Alliance; 670 Harmon Avenue, 43223
Contact: Molly Haroz
Phone: 614-437-2861
Website: www.lifecarealliance.org
Email: mharoz@lifecarealliance.org
Families: Yes (min. age: preschool with adult)

Opportunity:  Donate gifts that will be delivered during the holidays to older adults whom receive Meals-on-Wheels or participate in our cookouts and drive-through food pickup.  You will be helping your neighbors whom may be an older adult, medically challenged, and/or home bound and receive Meals-on-Wheels. Gifts should be delivered unwrapped.  Donation ideas include calendars, puzzle books, note cards and stamps, as well as personal care items like toothpaste, deodorant, shaving cream, soap, socks, lotions, cologne and mugs. Donations of tissue paper and small gift bags are welcomed.


Date(s) and Time(s): Nov. 1 – Dec. 13, 2020; 9am-4pm
Host Agency: LifeCare Alliance—Help-at-Home; 1699 W. Mound St., 43223
Contact: Alli Chrzanowski
Phone: 614-437-2814
Website: www.lifecarealliance.org
Email: achrzanowski@lifecarealliance.org
Families: Yes (min. age: preschool with adult)

Opportunity: Help older adults whom receive home care services from our Help-at-Home department celebrate the season!  Provide a local senior items off their wish list!  Wish list items may include blankets, puzzle books, mugs, as well as personal care items like toothpaste, deodorant, shaving cream, soap, socks, and lotions, or household cleaning items. All gifts can be wrapped or unwrapped and delivered to LifeCare Alliance, or you may deliver directly to the senior’s home! Donations of tissue paper and small gift bags are welcomed.


Date(s) and Time(s): Oct. 17 – Dec. 13, 2020;
Deliver to client homes between 12/13-12/23 or deliver to the Cancer Clinic between 12/13 – 12/21.
Host Agency: LifeCare Alliance – Columbus Cancer Clinic; 1699 W. Mound St., 43223
Contact:  Christin Brown
Phone: (614) 437-2840
Website: www.lifecarealliance.org
Email: cbrown@lifecarealliance.org
Families: Yes (min. age: preschool with adult)

Opportunity: Help Columbus Cancer Clinic clients and their families celebrate the season! Wish list items may include toys, food, clothing, household items or gift cards.  Deliver gifts for holiday gift bags to our Mound Street offices you can purchase off the Amazon Wish List:  (https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/3R5R5QYAFS9OF/ref=hz_ls_biz_ex).

Meals-on-Wheels Delivery

Host Agency: LifeCare Alliance; 670 Harmon Avenue, 43223
Website: www.lifecarealliance.org
Questions? Email: volunteer@lifecarealliance.org
Call: 614-444-MEAL (6325)
Families: Yes (min. age: preschool with adult)

Opportunity: Multiple opportunities to assist with Meals-On-Wheels food delivery during the holiday season.  Deliver holiday cheer and hot, nutritious meals to your neighbors who may be elderly, medically challenged or home bound and receive Meals-on-Wheels.  Routes take 1-1½ hours to deliver.  Maps and training are provided before departing on a route. New volunteers should start by submitting a volunteer application at https://www.lifecarealliance.org/volunteer/apply/.  Existing volunteers can sign up for opportunities using the below links.  If the links do not work for you, simply copy and paste them into your preferred browser.

Week Before Christmas
Date(s) and Time(s): Dec. 16 – Dec 23, 2020; Delivery takes 1-1.5 hours between 10am-1pm
To Schedule: https://lifecare.mowscheduler.com/helpwanted/2020-12-13.

Christmas Eve Meals-on-Wheels Delivery
Date(s) and Time(s): Dec. 24, 2020; Delivery takes 1-1.5 hours between 10am-1pm
To Schedule: https://lifecare.mowscheduler.com/helpwanted/2020-12-24.

Christmas Day Meals-on-Wheels Delivery
Date(s) and Time(s): Dec. 25, 2020; Delivery takes 1-1.5 hours between 10am-1pm
To Schedule: https://lifecare.mowscheduler.com/helpwanted/2020-12-25.

Week after Christmas Meals-on-Wheels Delivery
Date(s) and Time(s): Dec. 26 – Dec 30, 2020; Delivery takes 1-1.5 hours between 10am-1pm
To Schedule: https://lifecare.mowscheduler.com/helpwanted/2020-12-26.

New Year’s Eve Meals-on-Wheels Delivery
Date(s) and Time(s): Dec. 31, 2020; Delivery takes 1-1.5 hours between 10am-1pm
To Schedule: https://lifecare.mowscheduler.com/helpwanted/2020-12-31.

New Year’s Day Meals-on-Wheels Delivery
Date(s) and Time(s): Jan. 1, 2021; Delivery takes 1-1.5 hours between 10am-1pm
To Schedule:https://lifecare.mowscheduler.com/helpwanted/2021-01-0.

DC Coordinators at Grab and Go

Funding from the League of Women Voters Nourishes the Human Spirit

By | Carrie's Cafe, Featured News

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, over 2 billion people do not have regular access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food.

One of the ways LifeCare Alliance helps to alleviate the challenges of access to food is through our congregate dining centers. Due to COVID-19, this program is currently offered with Grab-and-Go meals at senior residences in Franklin County and a drive-thru service at our signature dining center, Carrie’s Café. In addition to these models of meal distributions, Grab-and-Go events were established throughout the warmer weather months to enrich programming and provide education about voting procedures for the upcoming election.

Thanks to funding from the League of Women Voters, these events have been enhanced through advertising, music, desserts, games, prizes, signs, stickers, voter absentee applications, voter education flyers, and more. This helps to reach more individuals with voter education that is still safe for clients, some of who are the most vulnerable to the coronavirus.

What better way to celebrate a supporter of our nutrition programs than on World Food Day! Every year on October 16, World Food Day brings to light the concerns of food security, with this year’s theme being Grow, Nourish, Sustain, Together.  We are sincerely appreciative to funders like the League of Women Voters who help us Nourish the Human Spirit!

-By Stephanie Rowe Bencic, LifeCare Alliance

Learn more

Visit LifeCare Alliance’s Carrie’s Cafe page to learn more about the Agency’s no-cost drive-through meals for seniors!

Remember to Vote on or before November 3,2020.
Logan in a football pose

Navigating the Pendulum Between Confidence and Cockiness

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

How are you building confidence in your children?

I think this is an ever-evolving question, at least for me. As parents we want our children to believe in themselves, but there is a fine line between confidence and cockiness. I am working intentionally to keep that teeter totter balanced with my kids.

Logan has always been a pretty confident kid. He will enter any group situation and can confidently join right in. He will immediately call you a friend and not even know your name But, then there is the “know-it-all” side to Logan. The pendulum has swung far on the cocky side when it comes to how he shares about video games, sports, and pretty much anything you are talking about, he will feel sure that he knows more than you if he’s seen one YouTube video on the subject. And I genuinely don’t believe he intentionally is trying to be better than anyone. He is a teacher at heart. Right now, his teaching comes across more as telling. Again, a fine line.

Then there is the confidence he has in taking command of his diabetes. Where I am so proud of him for being vocal about how he is feeling with his teachers and friends at school, I have also seen him swing towards taking advantage of the freedom to come and go to the clinic as needed and seems to be taking a few too many trips “just to check.” Thankfully, a new Dexcom helps curb that this year.

Don’t get me wrong, I want him to be sure of himself, but I have learned over the years that the best way to gain trust and credibility with people is to first listen to understand. To listen to understand requires you to ask questions. This is the learning moment I am in with Logan right now. How the best teachers are the ones who put learning first. Its not about how much you know, but how big your desire is to learn.

I heard John Maxwell speak recently (virtually of course) and he restated a message in a way that we have heard a million times: “Your talk talks. Your walk walks. But your walk talks louder than your talk talks.” While I can’t say that ten times fast, or even one time fast, it does remind me that the best way I can teach Logan — and his sister and anyone I encounter — is to walk my talk. To not just tell him what he should do, but I want to display the behavior for him. For everyone I encounter in my life, I want them to see my teaching through my actions. The only way to teach love is to be love. The old adage of “do as I say, not as I do” is no longer a viable message for sustainable change.

This is not an overnight switch to flip, and one day he is going to wake up and know exactly how to maintain the perfect balance of confident versus cocky. I’m 37 years old and I am still figuring it out. And that’s the point! The point is to be intentional. To own it when I’ve gone too far towards cocky, and to commit to do it differently the next time. To celebrate him when I see him excel with confidence and to ask questions when it comes across as cocky.

We are all just figuring it out. The world isn’t slowing down for us to teach just this one lesson. It throws in things like pandemics, and virtual school, and distrust, and elections, and wildfires and all these other opportunities to practice. And we are in the situation of having the added pressure and expectation of raising responsible children who can take command of their health and wellness in a way that sometimes seems unfair. But how we engage with our children now is helping build their future. So how are you playing a part in their confident future?


Logan poses on his first day of school

This blog post is PART EIGHT 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 lindsay@lindsaydunlapcoaching.com.

Learn More

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

Members of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce volunteer during the Rally for Recovery

Rally for Recovery Gives Meals-on-Wheels Volunteers a Boost

By | Featured News, Meals-on-Wheels, Volunteers

LifeCare Alliance received a welcome boost to its volunteer efforts during the United Way of Central Ohio’s Rally for Recovery Campaign.

During the week of Sept. 28, 2020, the UWCO awarded funds to local organizations to encourage new volunteers to complete a project that creates positive change within the community. LifeCare Alliance’s programs have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, so the Agency requested and was awarded a microgrant to help recruit volunteers to deliver Meals-on-Wheels.

Many of our neighbor seniors are still not able to go to the grocery store or are afraid to go out in public where they might encounter a crowd. In addition, those who normally have assistance from a family member or friend often cannot be visited during this time because of their particular vulnerability to COVID-19. As a result, since March 1, the demand for Meals-on-Wheels has increased by 65%. The Agency anticipates this need to continue, and will accept all those in need who qualify. By providing our nutritionally balanced meals to our senior and medically challenged neighbors, we will help keep them safe.

With public health concerns forcing the closure of congregate dining, senior centers, and senior daycare facilities, those who relied on these centers for their nutritional needs are turning to home-delivered meals to provide their nutrition. Many seniors and medically challenged individuals are unable to prepare and cook meals, and need a complete, ready to eat, home-delivered meal.

LifeCare Alliance used the award to purchase Speedway fuel gift cards to help defray the cost of gas during a volunteer’s Meals-on-Wheels shift. This was a great help in recruiting new volunteers as the Agency isn’t able to provide this perk to volunteers on a regular basis. The Agency is particularly appreciative of the funding from the United Way because it was able to offer a special thank you to Rally for Recovery volunteers.

As a result of this special funding and targeted recruitment, the Agency was able to attract 20 new volunteers during Rally for Recovery, including many from the Columbus Chamber of Commerce. These volunteers spent a total of 60 hours delivering 15 Meals-on-Wheels routes over the course of the Rally for Recovery week, distributing an estimated 250 meals to our senior clients! With their assistance, we were able to ensure that all routes were delivered and our seniors got the hot, nutritious meals they need.

The Agency plans to continue nurturing the relationships with these volunteers. With hope, many will be interested and available to become regular volunteers or even “adopt” a route. The Agency has the largest Adopt-A-Route program in the country (more than 100 companies participate), giving employees the opportunity to deliver Meals-on-Wheels during their lunch break. Each meal route delivered by a volunteer instead of a paid driver saves the Agency $12,000 annually.

Thanks so much to the United Way of Central Ohio for their commitment to volunteer recruitment!

-By Crystal Kurzen, Grants Manager, LifeCare Alliance

Learn more

Visit LifeCare Alliance’s Volunteer page to learn more about different ways to get involved and Nourish the Human Spirit!


Members of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce volunteering for Meals-on-Wheels during the Rally for Recovery.

LifeCare Alliance, SWACO Partner to Reduce Waste and Improve Recycling and Composting

By | Press Releases

Columbus, OH – LifeCare Alliance, one of the oldest and largest organizations in central Ohio, best known as the leading provider of Meals-on-Wheels, is pleased to announce we have been awarded a Community Waste Reduction Grant through SWACO’s competitive grant program for the purchase of containers that align with current best management practices for recycling. With SWACO’s support, LifeCare Alliance will be able to provide new recycling stations in all three of our buildings to reinforce the importance of waste diversion for the long-term sustainability of our community.

In 2020, SWACO awarded $194,000 in competitive grant funding to fifteen community projects.

“SWACO’s grants support unique and innovative projects throughout Franklin County as a way to improve the local waste stream by increasing diversion,” said Hanna Greer-Brown, SWACO’s communications manager. “We applaud the work of LifeCare Alliance to prioritize sustainability and join our efforts to reach a 75% diversion goal by 2032.”

About LifeCare Alliance

Formed in 1898, LifeCare Alliance provides a comprehensive array of health and nutrition services to older adults and individuals living with a medical challenge or disability in central Ohio—keeping them safe, independent, and in their own homes, where they want to be! LifeCare Alliance operates a national model for its programs, leading in volunteer engagement, effective mergers, and social entrepreneurship. A not-for-profit organization, the Agency’s mission is to lead the community in identifying and delivering health and nutrition services to meet the community’s changing needs.

SWACO logo

LifeCare Alliance Among Grantees Receiving COVID-19 and Social Justice Support From KeyBank

By | Featured News, Press Releases

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 1, 2020 – KeyBank has announced $300,000 in KeyBank Foundation grants in the third quarter to local nonprofits across Central and Southwestern Ohio for COVID-19 relief and social justice efforts.  The funding provides $240,000 in grants for COVID-related support to local organizations serving our community’s most vulnerable populations across Key’s markets in greater Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton. It also includes $60,000 directed toward grassroots racial equity and social justice initiatives. The grants are incremental to Key’s substantial ongoing community support to the region as directed through the bank’s five-year, $16.5 billion National Community Benefits Plan.

“KeyBank’s purpose is to help our clients and our communities thrive. That is true in good times and in challenging times,” said Corporate Responsibility Officer Stacy Thompson. “COVID-19 hasn’t revealed new issues; rather it has shown us the depths of issues we continue to work to address with our community partners, and just how much further we have to go.” Thompson went on to explain that along with committing additional funds at the beginning of the pandemic, Key shifted some of its 2020 planned philanthropic resources to meet more immediate needs.  “We realized early on that many of our community partners needed to pivot in response to the pandemic’s impact on their vulnerable populations, so we worked with them to reallocate our planned support to help them.”

Organizations receiving COVID-19 relief support from KeyBank Foundation are:

“Not only has KeyBank generously contributed financially, but they have also provided critical volunteer support by allowing associates to deliver Meals-on-Wheels as one of our Adopt-a-Route partners. Thanks to support like theirs, we continue to serve all eligible clients in need.”
-Charles W. Gehring,
President & CEO,
LifeCare Alliance

Columbus & Central Ohio

  • Columbus Foundation
  • Central Ohio United Way
  • Richland County United Way
  • YWCA Columbus
  • Columbus Urban League
  • LifeCare Alliance Meals-on-Wheels
  • Per Scholas – Columbus
  • Move to Prosper


  • Dayton Foundation
  • United Way of Dayton
  • Wesley Community Center
  • Miami Valley Foodbank
  • Miami Valley Fair Housing Center


  • Cincinnati United Way
  • YWCA Cincinnati
  • Cincinnati Youth Collaborative
  • Freestore Foodbank
  • YMCA of Greater Cincinnati

“Per Scholas Columbus appreciates the support of KeyBank as we moved to remote training as a result of COVID-19,” said Managing Director, Toni Cunningham.  “Workforce training is critical to getting our community back to work during these challenging times. KeyBank’s investment supports continuation of our high impact technology training through our remote classrooms, as well as to ensure that no learner is turned away due to lack of equipment or access to broadband services.”

LifeCare Alliance President & CEO Chuck Gehring is also grateful for KeyBank’s partnership. “Not only has KeyBank generously contributed financially, but they have also provided critical volunteer support by allowing associates to deliver Meals-on-Wheels as one of our Adopt-a-Route partners,” he said. “Thanks to support like theirs, we continue to serve all eligible clients in need.”

As a company recognized for its commitment to and advancement of diversity, equity, and inclusion practices, KeyBank reaffirms its strong stand for social justice and racial equity with social change grants in all its markets, and has committed to a comprehensive community response plan to accelerate outcomes and create meaningful and lasting advancement toward racial equity and social justice across its footprint.

Local organizations receiving grants from KeyBank Foundation to support racial equity and social justice initiatives are:

Columbus & Central Ohio

  • The Center for Employment Opportunities (C.E.O)
  • Ohio Black Expo
  • Columbus Urban League
  • UNCF Columbus


  • YWCA Dayton
  • West Dayton Caravan (Dayton Scholars Program)
  • Neighborhoods Over Politics
  • Dayton Young Black Professionals
  • McKinley UM Church (John Moore Center)


  • The Center for Employment Opportunities (C.E.O)
  • DAD Initiative
  • Urban League of Greater SW Ohio

“C.E.O. Columbus would like to extend our sincerest appreciation to our newest partner, KeyBank, for awarding us the Social Justice and Equity grant,” said Program Director Teresa Gary.  “This mission-aligned funding will help to support our local economic opportunity work, providing participants with ancillary resources to participate in gainful employment skills training that will elevate both their hiring and salary potential.  We are so grateful for partners like KeyBank who make it possible for communities of color to thrive on their journey to excellence.”

In addition to the above grants, KeyBank teammates donated more than $2 million through KeyBank Foundation’s 2:1 Response Employee Matching Gifts program, supporting COVID-19 relief and social change efforts through more than 1,200 nonprofits across the country, including many in Central and Southwestern Ohio.  KeyBank’s employees also participated in the bank’s Virtual Neighbor’s Make a Difference initiative during the months of June and July, which, due to the pandemic, replaced the bank’s traditional annual day of caring with volunteering projects with non-profits that employees completed remotely.

“I am deeply proud of KeyBank’s community spirit and the way our teammates have come together to support our clients and our community,” said KeyBank Market President Melissa Ingwersen.  “Key’s long and strong history of support has helped our customers and communities prevail through many challenging times, and together we will get through today’s challenges as well.”

About KeyBank Foundation
KeyBank Foundation serves to fulfill KeyBank’s purpose to help clients and communities thrive, and its mission is to support organizations and programs that prepare people for thriving futures.  The Foundation’s mission is advanced through three funding priorities – neighbors, education, and workforce – and through community service. To provide meaningful philanthropy that transforms lives, KeyBank Foundation listens carefully to understand the unique characteristics and needs of its communities and then backs solutions with targeted philanthropic investments. KeyBank Foundation is a nonprofit charitable foundation, funded by KeyCorp.
About KeyCorp
KeyCorp’s roots trace back 190 years to Albany, New York. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Key is one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $171.2 billion at June 30, 2020.  Key provides deposit, lending, cash management, and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association through a network of more than 1,000 branches and approximately 1,400 ATMs. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit https://www.key.com/. KeyBank is Member FDIC.
Census sign encouraging people to complete the 2020 census.

Columbus Counts 2020 Census Grant Enhances Grab-and-Go and Drive-Thru Services at LifeCare Alliance!

By | Carrie's Cafe, Featured News
In early 2020, LifeCare Alliance received a grant from the City of Columbus—Columbus Counts 2020 to help raise awareness among our clients about the importance of filling out the Census. To use this funding, we had to radically pivot when COVID-19 struck. Since our congregate dining centers closed on March 16, 2020, and are still not open, we had to think of a different way to reach the Hard-to-Count (HTC) populations that we normally serve through in-person dining and large events.

As a result of some of the new COVID-19 protocols, it took us some time to relaunch our congregate meal program and assess how to do it safely for all parties involved. Leah Bunck, MSW, Director of Congregate Dining at LifeCare Alliance, discussed the challenges of relaunching the program: “Many of our clients do not drive, which means we had to figure out the best way to bring the meals and programming to them. Partnering with senior apartment buildings throughout Franklin County has worked very well.”

In addition, converting our signature dining center, Carrie’s Cafe, into a drive-thru has worked as a great alternative for clients that can drive. Once we realized that we could do a “Grab-and-Go” model at senior residences as well as a restaurant-style drive-thru to continue to provide meals to our seniors who had previously attended our dining center events, we knew we could still make the Census education campaign a success.

Read More

Project OpenHand-Columbus Logo

National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day

By | Featured News, POHC

Today is National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day (NHAAD), a yearly observance launched by The AIDS Institute that focuses on the challenges the aging population faces in regards to HIV/AIDS and to highlight prevention, testing, care, and treatment.

Older adults in the U.S. are more likely to have late stage HIV infection at the time of diagnosis, which means they start treatment late and possibly suffer more immune-system damage. According to the CDC, an estimated 47% of individuals in the U.S. diagnosed with HIV were aged 50 and older in 2015. Project OpenHand-Columbus (POHC) serves a critical need by providing nutritious food for individuals living with HIV/AIDS. The program began in San Francisco, was founded in Columbus in 1994, and merged with LifeCare Alliance in 2004.

LifeCare Alliance would like to bring our recent supporters of POHC to light on this day. This past year, we received assistance for POHC clients from Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and Janssen Therapeutics, and emergency funding from the MAC Viva Glam Fund and The Legacy Fund of the Columbus Foundation. We would not be able to serve those living with HIV/AIDS without the help of the above mentioned organizations and businesses. Thank you for nourishing the human spirit!

-By Stephanie Rowe Bencic, LifeCare Alliance

Learn more

Visit Project OpenHand-Columbus’s page to learn more about POHC’s efforts to fight HIV/AIDS through nutrition!

Funders Make 2020 CODA Virtual Camp Possible

By | Central Ohio Diabetes Association, Featured News
According to the 2020 National Diabetes Statistics Report from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, nearly 1.6 million Americans have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) — up from 1.25 million people, or nearly 30%, from 2017.

Because of alarming statistics like these, the Central Ohio Diabetes Association (CODA) exists to help people navigate the unfamiliar waters of managing diabetes. This comes in the form of a quintessential childhood experience — summer camp.

“Lilly does not feel alone anymore,” explains mom Rebecca, who knows how important the camp experience is for her daughter with type 1 diabetes. “I cannot thank you enough for not stepping, but dive bombing into the uncomfortable unknown to make this year’s camp possible. It will help us get through this year.” Read More

Attitude of Gratitude

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

I have had this article on my mind for a while, and I just never put myself in front of the computer to write it. Then I got to see virtual Camp Hamwi in action, and I felt like the timing couldn’t be better.

So, let’s talk about how we practice gratitude!

Gratitude plays a huge part in my life. I have a gratitude journal that I have kept for close to two years, and I practice it daily. No matter how big or small, there will always be something to be grateful for every day.

When you have a child who is managing diabetes, it can be difficult sometimes to see those grateful moments. It is challenging to watch them get poked and prodded. It is heartbreaking to hear them say they wish they weren’t diabetic anymore. It is a test as a parent to have to tell them to come sit down and get their sugar up, instead of playing with their friends.

But what you see, expands. So, when you focus on the moments of gratitude, it just invites more moments to be grateful for!

I like to exercise my gratitude journal on our porch, where I can drink my coffee in the morning and start my days in a mindset thinking of good things to come! One weekend, Logan asked if he could join me. Of course, I said yes, because, MELT MY HEART, a quiet time to spend with my son sharing what we are grateful for…I’m all in!

On that Saturday morning, I shared my gratitude journal with him. I asked him to list three things he was grateful for. His list: family, friends, video games. Do you know how excited I was that video games were THIRD on the list?! That is a miracle! Then we sat for a few minutes enjoying the peace and quiet of the morning before he was done, and we moved on with the day. I LOVED THAT MORNING <3

Now I see SO much more to be grateful for with virtual camp! This has been an amazing two weeks for me as a parent to get a glimpse of how these children interact when they have the stigma of being “the kids with diabetes” pushed aside. I have learned so much. And I have such a list of people I am grateful for:

I am grateful for counselors who have the patience of saints! Logan talks a lot, and about randomly weird things. His counselors have been so patient and respectful of what is on his mind and the randomness that are his thoughts.

I am grateful for directors and CODA staffers who have worked COUNTLESS hours putting this camp together in very short time! They have put their hearts and souls into these two weeks, and it shows.

I am grateful for YOU, the other diabetes families who have adjusted your schedules and lives for two weeks for camp to be able to have your camper participate! I see so much engagement and fun being had! I t could not be done without some changes and sacrifices from families.

In the end, no day is perfect. But that doesn’t mean it is all a loss. How will you find gratitude and joy in your day each day and share that with your child?


Son's gratitude list of family, friends, and video games.

This blog post is PART SEVEN 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 lindsay@lindsaydunlapcoaching.com.

Learn More

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

We Couldn’t Have Done It Without You: A Sincere Thank You to Our Emergency Funders

By | Featured News, Meals-on-Wheels
Note from a Meals on WHeels client

A note from a Meals-on-Wheels client illustrates the impact of LifeCare Alliance’s services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the past four months since COVID-19 has taken hold, LifeCare Alliance has had to significantly alter its services to meet the changing needs within the community.

During the week of March 1-7, the Agency’s Meals-on-Wheels program served 15,439 meals through our Meals-on-Wheels program. In contrast, during the week of June 21-27, the Agency served 24,537 meals. LifeCare Alliance has experienced as much as a 65 percent increase in meals served, resulting from heightened client demand in all of the five counties we serve: Franklin, Madison, Champaign, Logan, and Marion. At the height of the pandemic, the Agency added as many as 500 new clients a day!

Most meal service starts within 24 hours of receiving the contact or referral. LifeCare Alliance continues to receive numerous requests for services daily, and the Agency accepts all those who qualify.

LifeCare Alliance didn’t meet this demand on our own, however; we have been incredibly fortunate to receive emergency-response funding from a number of generous corporate and community partners.

We would like to sincerely thank the following funders who have so generously partnered with us to keep our doors open during this unprecedented time of COVID-19:

  • American Electric Power Foundation
  • Battelle
  • Big Lots Foundation
  • City of Columbus
  • City of Columbus Recreation & Parks CARES Fund
  • Columbia Gas/NiSource
  • The Columbus Foundation
  • Columbus Jewish Foundation
  • Crane Group
  • CVS Health Foundation
  • Delta Dental Foundation
  • Fishel Foundation
  • Franklin County Emergency Food and Shelter Program & CARES Funding
  • Logan County Emergency Food and Shelter Program
  • Madison County Emergency Food and Shelter Program & CARES Funding
  • First Merchants Bank
  • Franklin County Commissioners
  • Grange Insurance
  • Honda of America Foundation
  • Huntington Foundation
  • George J. Igel & Co. Inc.
  • IGS Foundation
  • Kokosing
  • The Legacy Fund
  • MAC AIDS Viva Glam Fund
  • Marion Rotary Foundation
  • Meals on Wheels America
  • Nationwide Foundation
  • Osteopathic Heritage Foundation
  • Quantum Health
  • United Way of Central Ohio
  • United Way of Logan County
  • United Way of North Central Ohio

And this is not even to mention the number of clients who contributed under difficult circumstances. LifeCare Alliance thanks all who helped continue the vision of the Agency’s founder, to “take care of those no one else pays any attention to.”

These funders have allowed the Agency to continue to serve the most vulnerable among us in a variety of ways. In addition to access to nourishing food, clients receive health and nutrition education and linkages to community resources and other LifeCare Alliance programs. Examples include the Senior PetCare program, which delivers pet food to the homes of clients, and the Beat the Heat Fan Campaign, which provides box fans during the hot summer months. The Agency advocates for client needs in the community and through relationships with local elected officials, promotes services through marketing and community outreach, and enriches community engagement by increasing and strengthening volunteer engagement.

With the emergency funds received, LifeCare Alliance also has been able to resume essential services that were initially closed as the pandemic ramped up.

  • The annual Beat the Heat Fan Campaign is underway, and the Agency is accepting fans to distribute weekly to clients in need.
  • The Central Ohio Diabetes Association will host summer camps virtually this year, from July 12-26.
  • The Columbus Cancer Clinic restarted regular mammograms as of May 18 and continues to be fully scheduled. The Groceries-to-Go Food Pantry, which serves CCC clients and their families, experienced a 53 percent increase in service numbers.
  • LA Catering has developed several “take out” options and new methods of delivering safe catering. Catering staff is taking reservations and can help with reopening needs.
  • Meals-for-Kids, a social enterprise, is now serving 22 daycare sites, representing more than 500 meals served per day. If all goes well, the Agency hopes to return to 60+ sites and more than 2,100 meals per day in the fall.
  • Project OpenHand-Columbus serves clients who are fighting HIV/AIDS. Many clients are self-isolating during this pandemic — some losing work because of it. COVID-19 has caused the emergency meal service to be needed at an increased rate. The number of clients served has doubled.
  • Senior PetCare continues to distribute food to almost 1,000 clients and provide veterinary care to pets in need.
  • Wellness has restarted several services, including staffing by registered nurses and registered dietitians at  community wellness centers across Franklin County.

In light of the increased client demand, the most remarkable achievement the Agency has accomplished is continuing to accept all clients in need, without a waiting list. This contrasts with a recent survey by Meals on Wheels America, which reports that 55 percent of programs nationally have increased their wait lists, with average increases of 26 percent. About 22 percent of programs’ wait lists have doubled, or more.

LifeCare Alliance is proud to be in this position, in large part because of the support of the partners mentioned above. LifeCare Alliance has received tremendous community support for emergency funding, but the Agency has not seen meal number increases slowing down. Clients will be the last group able to leave their homes as the pandemic subsides, so LifeCare Alliance anticipates this need will continue for the foreseeable future.

The Agency sincerely thanks the emergency funders for Nourishing the Human Spirit by going above and beyond to support LifeCare Alliance during this challenging time!

— By Crystal Kurzen, LifeCare Alliance

Other Siblings and the Fear of the Unknown

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

I want to take a few minutes and talk about siblings. Many of us may have more than one child, and the dynamic of siblings on a normal basis is interesting to say the least. But when you throw in them having a sibling that sometimes gets “special treatment” because of them being diabetic, it adds another layer.

Logan is our oldest, 8, and is Type 1 diabetic. Then we have Addison, who is 5 going on 25! Addison will probably never remember life before Logan was diabetic. She has seen a LOT in her short, almost 6, years! She was only 5-months old when her daddy lost his leg in a farm accident, and now she is seeing her daddy and big brother live with diabetes. She is destined to do SOMETHING in the medical field! If we’re lucky, it’s going to be finding a cure <3.

She has always been my helper when it comes to the medical care. Whether it was helping hold bandages when I was doing wound care for Andrew, being the bossiest little nurse when it comes to Logan getting his sugar checked and taking his insulin, or now keeping track of his Dexcom!

So, what I wasn’t prepared for was when the fear started to creep in for Andrew that she might be diabetic (because he felt like she was drinking too much water, and visiting the bathroom a little too much).

I expected the fear from Andrew. He has almost been waiting for it. But, I wasn’t expecting MY fear. I was finding myself hesitating to agree to check her sugar. I noticed myself trying to convince myself that he was crazy. And when I sat with it and explored why, it was because of fear. And, not necessarily the fear of her being diabetic. It was the fear of Andrew having to sit with it. I didn’t want him to blame himself again.

So I decided one Saturday morning, when he was at the farm, to tell her we were going to check her sugar.

More fear I was not expecting.

She has watched daddy and Logan check their sugar since before she can remember. But when it was her turn, it was a different story.

It turned into about an hour-long conversation/crying/screaming ordeal. Tears on both sides. It only ended because I had engaged the lancet and didn’t tell her. When she finally took it, she pushed the button before I could tell her. Oh, she was NOT a fan. But, we did it! We checked her sugar, and it was normal. All of that fear and anxiety of the UNKNOWN created such a stress in my life for weeks that could have been avoided. Not the hour-long ordeal probably, but everything else…yes.

So, I’m curious. How do you handle siblings? Is there a question mark in your mind? Is there something you do special with them so they don’t get lost in the shuffle? Do they play a part in managing their sibling’s diabetes?

There is NO right or wrong answer on this one. Each and every one of us will have a different way that works for our family. And if you feel like its not working, trying something else! We are all here to learn and these kids of ours are usually the best teachers.


Family photo of Dunlap family

This blog post is PART SIX 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 lindsay@lindsaydunlapcoaching.com.

Learn More

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

Bicycle Training or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Struggle

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

I am going to give an example of my bad parenting. Logan is 8 and still doesn’t know how to ride a bike. I am the worst parent in the world, I know.

I can give you all the reasons/excuses as to why, like when he was three his daddy got in a really bad farm accident and lost his leg. For the next few years my attention was focused on those daily battles of infections, surgeries, an infant (his little sister, Addison) and just balancing life. I could also tell you that our gravel driveway was hard for him to pedal, and the yard was worse.

No matter the reasons, the current reality is that Logan is an 8-year-old who doesn’t know how to ride a bike.

Now that we have more flat space and more time (because we have nothing but time now!), I really want him to learn.

He got a bike for Christmas and we tried a few weeks ago. Some would see it as an epic failure. I just learned that as a big kid, I needed more than just my arms to hold him up on his bike! So, the Easter Bunny brought training wheels.

Off we went again on Easter Sunday to ride bikes.

I have learned so much in this experience! I learned that my husband and I have two very different teaching methods. I recognize that this is going to be a process and we need to start with learning to fall. Andrew says, “he’s 8, he should know how to do it — just go do it.”

But we also now have an 8-year-old who doesn’t want to fall. He doesn’t want to do it scared. He wants it to be just as easy as it is in the video games where you can ride off the jump, break into thousands of pieces and just pop right up again without feeling any pain.

So, this bike riding lesson turned into a lesson about recognizing in life there are going to be things that are hard. There are going to times when you don’t want to do something and it’s going to hurt, and you’re going to want to go home and forget about it. But you still have to do it. Like diabetes. It is going to be hard. It is going to be painful. There is no way that we as parents can take that away from our children. So, we have to stop putting that expectation on ourselves to “make it better” for them.

There is a principle I learned that strikes home in almost every facet of life:

Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

There will be hard times. There will be times where you want to give up. But don’t live in there. Don’t feel sorry for yourself or your child for those moments. Create out of them the strength that failure only exists if you stop trying. So, don’t ever stop trying.


Family photo of Dunlap family

This blog post is PART FIVE 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 lindsay@lindsaydunlapcoaching.com.

Learn More

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

Ramp Installed at Home

UPDATE: Home Repairs, New Ramp Improve Accessibility for Veteran Couple

By | Featured News, Help-at-Home

Bob and Linda are strong community advocates in Columbus’ South Side Parsons Area Commission.

The married couple’s neighborhood pride pushes them to clean up crime and property damage in their community. But as issues with the roof and porch on their own home worsened, Bob and Linda needed some help. Their roof was damaged and part of their porch was sinking.

Bob served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. Over the years, he and his wife have dealt with several medical issues. He is one of many veterans that LifeCare Alliance is assisting through the Helping Hometown Heroes grant provided by Home Depot and Meals on Wheels America.

“We were in dire need of help and they came to our rescue to help us out,” Linda said. “And now our roof is fixed along with our porch. We just thank you from the bottom of our heart!!”

Bob shared his story with us:

I served in the Army from 1968-1971, doing one term in Vietnam.

When I got out of the service we got the house, and after some years we starting having a lot of issues with the house. We got a hold of LifeCare Alliance through a community meeting we were attending when Maurice talked about the program. LifeCare saved my rear end by coming out and fixing my roof and my dangerously sinking front porch that we were cited for from City Code Enforcement.

Without LifeCare Alliance, there would have been no way I could have afforded to do these repairs unless I hit the lottery or something.

UPDATE: Two years later, a code officer contacted LifeCare Alliance to report that Linda’s health issues were affecting her mobility. He said Linda took a very bad fall of the back porch area.

LifeCare Alliance contacted the couple to see what we could do for them. They asked if we could build some type of ramp off the back porch leading down to the garage to help Linda with her mobility issues.

Linda shared her story with us:

I wanted to thank LifeCare Alliance, The Home Depot and the kind and professional gentleman contractors from B & B Property, who have always taken care of our needs.

After meeting Maurice at one of the association meetings where he spoke about this program, our lives haven’t been the same since. He and his team have been such a blessing to us and allowing us to stay in our home safely. There was no way we could afford to do any of the work that LifeCare and Team Depot has provided us the past two years. I also want to mention our code officer and friend Robert for looking out for us.

LifeCare Alliance clients Bob and Linda


Before Ramp Installation - Porch with steps