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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.

About

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.

Happy Oncology Nurses Month!

By | Featured News

May is Oncology Nurses Month!

Let’s hear it for the nurses whose dedication and endless empathy help cancer patients through the toughest of times. Oncology nurses are on the frontlines of guiding each patient through the nuances of their needs and care. They often develop deep relationships with people as they navigate their cancer journey. Oncology nurses help patients and families make the most out of their situation, and give us all a perspective of what is important in life.

LifeCare Alliance is thrilled to honor our oncology nurses at and connected to the Columbus Cancer Clinic. They help break down barriers to care for at-risk populations in our community. Not only are they excellent at what they do, but they bring a level of compassion that resonates throughout the Agency.

Thank you for all that you to support cancer patients in need. Happy Oncology Nurses Month!

Get help now

Are you or someone you love in need of LifeCare Alliance’s services? You can get the process started right now with our online referral system. Click here to begin.

Make Your Mark during Older Americans Month

#MakeYourMark during Older Americans Month

By | Featured News

For many years, May has been the month to honor the older Americans in our community and give voice to the issues they face. But unlike past Older Americans Months, this is one where everyone is experiencing a taste of what many older Americans face every single day.

Home isolation, lack of access to common food and supplies, and not being able to visit loved ones are just a few of the setbacks that we all have had to face due to COVID-19. Fortunately for most of us, living with these precautions is a temporary phase of life, no matter how long it seems.

Nevertheless, imagine if you could never go back to life before the coronavirus. Imagine you weren’t able to get around as well as you once could, and felt forgotten. That is what many of LifeCare Alliance’s older-adult clients experienced before the pandemic, and it is how they are going to live after it is over. In many ways, their lives have gotten harder since precautions have taken place.

Older Americans are among the most vulnerable populations that can have devastating effects if they contract the coronavirus. The social distancing requirements have been challenging for clients, volunteers, and LifeCare Alliance staff because the normal interactions that happen from meal deliveries to wellness checks and homemaking visits can’t happen like they did before. For some of our clients, the interaction they have with a Meals-on-Wheels driver or home health aide might be the only interaction with another person that day.

Despite these realities, LifeCare Alliance has received many notes of gratitude from our older adult clients thanking the staff, supporters, and volunteers for continuing to serve them during the pandemic. With all of the fear and uncertainty running rampant, these notes and other exchanges have inspired LifeCare Alliance to join the call in encouraging older adults to #MakeYourMark during the month of May.

If you are the relative or neighbor of an older adult, LifeCare Alliance asks you to reach out to them to help them make their mark. Older Americans, how can you make your mark? It can be as simple as writing a letter to a friend or relative and tell them what you love about them, or be as involved as sharing a favorite book, poem, or passage to a loved one by video chat or phone. You could try posting stories on social media, or collecting your thoughts and memories in a journal that you can share at a later time. Maybe set up a time with a neighbor to have a chat over the fence or at least from six feet apart.

No matter how you choose to #MakeYourMark this Older Americans Month, please know that LifeCare Alliance is here to honor, serve, and help you through this time and beyond. Here’s to making this May one of the most memorable Older Americans Months ever! #OAM2020

A heartfelt thank-you note from a LifeCare Alliance Meals-on-Wheels client.

Get help now

Are you or someone you love in need of LifeCare Alliance’s services? You can get the process started right now with our online referral system. Click here to begin.

All Sides with Ann Fisher

LifeCare Alliance President & CEO Chuck Gehring discusses COVID-19 response with “All Sides with Ann Fisher”

By | Featured News, LifeCare Alliance in the News

LifeCare Alliance President & CEO Chuck Gehring was a guest on WOSU Public Media’s All Sides with Ann Fisher this week to discuss the Agency’s activities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are highlights from his interview (begins at 14:00 time stamp):

  • LifeCare Alliance’s Meals-on-Wheels program has seen a 53% increase in clients – or about 2,300 new clients – as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. We are still accepting all who qualify, and we continue to offer our services without a waiting list. (If you or someone you know is in need of our services, click here to complete a referral application.)
  • LifeCare Alliance’s new home-delivery clients may be people affected by temporarily closed Senior Dining Centers, or those who may have temporarily lost access to family support because of quarantine and stay-at-home orders. Some new clients receive a weekly drop of frozen meals.
  • Daily check-ins are a critical part of the Meals-on-Wheels program. Five people were found in distress during the first week of the stay-at-home order. They were able to get help because of the volunteer or staff member who visited to deliver a meal.
  • The Agency has seen more than 1,200 new volunteer sign-ups in response to the increased need. Some new volunteers are people working from home or college students who are home from campus – people who temporarily have more flexibility in their schedules to volunteer.
  • LifeCare Alliance asks new volunteers to stay involved if they can, as many prepare to return to their workplaces. (Volunteers who have attended an orientation class can sign up for routes using our Meal Scheduler tool. First-time volunteers can get started by filling out an application online.) Volunteers may want to check with their employers if they would support their volunteer efforts or Adopt-a-Route.
  • A variety of volunteer opportunities are available, such as pantry drop-offs for our Groceries-to-Go clients and pet food deliveries with our Senior PetCare program.
  • LifeCare Alliance’s Meals-on-Wheels menu includes new items such as omelets, waffle sticks with blueberry compote, and popcorn chicken. Menus can be customized and options such as kosher, vegetarian, and pureed are offered. Our dietitians can work with your doctor to choose a meal plan if you wish.
  • The central Ohio community has always been generous, and that has been apparent during the coronavirus pandemic. Emergency funds and other corporate donations have been appreciated as LifeCare Alliance serves a growing number of people in our community.
  • We encourage all volunteers to be safe, with prevention practices such as wearing masks and observing social distancing.

Click here to listen to the interview!

This segment is part of a Wellness Wednesday episode on All Sides with Ann Fisher. To go directly to Chuck’s interview, skip to 14:00.

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:

Before Ramp Installation - Porch with steps

After:

Logan poses with a baseball bat

Don’t Let Panic Guide Your Response When Things “Escalate Quickly”

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

Wow…has life changed in a month! I just keep flashing back to a meme I saw on social media that read, “well that escalated quickly.” NO KIDDING!

But when I stepped back to think about this crazy worldwide pandemic that we are experiencing, I also think I’ve been through things that “escalated quickly” before.

These things have been scary and life altering, and yet, here I am, still living life to the fullest daily.

When Logan was diagnosed with T1D it felt like one of those things that went in slow motion, but at warp speed all at the same time. My husband, Andrew, is diabetic, and this was his biggest fear in having children. I remember him saying to me “I just don’t want our kids to be diabetic.”

So when he started seeing signs in Logan, I thought for sure it was him overreacting. Logan drank a lot of chocolate milk at night, so of course he would have to go to the bathroom at night. That doesn’t mean he’s diabetic. When I agreed to have Andrew check Logan’s sugar, I thought I was going to be proving my point.

I was wrong.

That’s when I felt like things were in slow motion, but in warp speed. It all of the sudden escalated quickly.

But I say all of that to say this: We’ve been through life-altering, scary things before. True, it was not on a worldwide pandemic level. But tell me someone who DIDN’T have the feeling of your life crumbling around you, just for a minute, when your child was diagnosed with diabetes?

How did you handle that life altering, scary moment in your life? Did you cry a lot? Did you yell? Did you let your “type A” personality kick in and just keep organized and systematic to keep it all together? And after you remember how you handled it, answer this question: Did it work well for you?

If it did—GREAT! Then you know what way works best for you in this situation to get through this.

If it didn’t, you get to make a choice. What will you change TODAY to help you feel more confident in how you respond to our current reality?

There is A LOT of panic in the world right now. And again, you may have had that feeling before in life. I implore you to go back to that moment and think about how it served you in that moment. More times than not, panic just builds the fear and anxiety and makes it more difficult to focus on the facts.

The facts we have, as I see them, are that we get the opportunity to slow down and spend time with our family. We get to catch up with friends in ways that we have never taken the time to do before. We get to show people how to handle fear and anxiety that we have experienced with feeling. Right now, we get to model for people the best way we can to lean into strength and conscious choices, rather than fear and panic.

Finally, let me tell you this: It is still normal, no matter how many scary things you have been through, to still have fear, grief, and a whole multitude of emotions. But you’ve been here before when it comes to the thoughts and emotions of “life is over,” “life will never be the same.”

YOU’VE GOT THIS.

Don’t push that experience away or downplay it…use it as your superpower.

About

Family photo of Dunlap family

This blog post is PART FOUR 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.

Eternally by Matt Munhall

By | Meals-on-Wheels | No Comments
Esteemed musician Matt Munhall wrote and recorded the song “Eternally” for LifeCare Alliance in 2010.
In the song, the agency’s tagline, “Nourishing the Human Spirit,” rings true both for the client being served and the volunteer who gives of herself to care for others.
The message in this song is dear to our Agency. Click the play button above to hear the song, and read along with the lyrics below.

Eternally

(©2010 Matt Munhall, Parker MacDonell)

Billy’s standing in his doorway at noon
When up the driveway comes Mary
Thinks to himself she’s not a moment too soon
He knows the treasure she carries
And he says,
“Ah, Mary, what would I do without you?
I just don’t know what I’d do”
And she says,
“I need you
Like you need me
I bring you bread and though it’s hard to see
When I feed you
You feed me
You nourish the spirit within me, eternally”
Sometimes it’s hard to find good souls that care
God bless the hearts that are giving
If not for them, I wonder who would be there
Who would keep the hungry souls living?
Ah, Lord, what would we do without you?
I just don’t know what we’d do
I need you
Like you need me
I bring you bread and though it’s hard to see
When I feed you
You feed me
You nourish the spirit within me
When you find yourself thinking
About all you’re not
Make your heart like Mary’s and give it all…
Give it all you got…cause someday
I’ll need you
Like you’ll need me
When you bring you bread and company
I’ll feed you
As you feed me
I’ll nourish the spirit within you, eternally

Why Schedule Your Annual Mammogram?

By | Columbus Cancer Clinic, Featured News

Why schedule your annual mammogram?

Mammograms are one of the best ways to detect breast cancer–detecting abnormalities/cancer at its earliest possible point.

Many breast cancers are found by mammograms before any symptoms even appear. Early detection is important for improved outcomes and successful treatments.

Because breast tissue changes with age, annual mammograms are highly recommended for men/women of 45 years of age and older. Depending on pre-existing health conditions and family history, women/men may need to start the annual screening process earlier – for that information, please consult a doctor.

Reduce your risk for cancer by getting regular checkups!

To schedule an appointment with our certified nurse practitioner, call the Columbus Cancer Clinic at 614-263-5006.

To learn more about the Columbus Cancer Clinic: https://www.lifecarealliance.org/programs/cancer-clinic/

 

 

 

Information from https://cancer.osu.edu/for-patients-and-caregivers/learn-about-cancers-and-treatments/cancers-conditions-and-treatment/cancer-types/breast-cancer/mammogram?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIz4zWkJze6AIVWPfjBx2PuwYjEAAYAiAAEgJy2PD_BwE

LifeCare Alliance Working to Keep Seniors Fed During Coronavirus Shutdown

By | LifeCare Alliance in the News

Photo and story published April 6, 2020, by nbc4i:

Seniors and those with compromised immune systems are among some of the most vulnerable at this time. LifeCare Alliance is now serving up to 7,000 meals a day to meet the growing need.

As the need for Meals-on-Wheels increases, LifeCare Alliance asks that more volunteers step up.

Click here to read the full story.