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Vital repair assistance keeps Army widow from going homeless

By | Featured News, Home Repairs

A mysterious leak in the bathroom nearly left an Army widow penniless when repair costs and water bills began to add up. But thanks to LifeCare Alliance, through a grant from Meals on Wheels America and Team Depot, the leak and damage were fixed — allowing her to stay safe, independent, and living in her own home.

Darlene is the widow of an Army veteran who served from 1945-1947. Since her husband passed away years ago, money became tight. Her retirement and pension income also had run out. So when the unexpected leak caused major damage to her bathroom floor, she had no way to pay for repairs.

Since the leak appeared to be coming from the bathtub, Darlene tried limiting showers to avoid further damage to the floor. When that wasn’t working, Darlene thought she may be forced to leave the home she shared with her late husband. Around tax time this year, she shared her concerns with her tax preparer, who gave her some leads on assistance with the home repairs, including LifeCare Alliance.

“The Lord was watching over me when I found LifeCare,” Darlene said. “The first day the contractor came in, he showed me a picture of the new floor he was going to install.”

The contractor also pinpointed the source of the leak as the toilet, not the tub. “That’s something we wouldn’t have even known if it wasn’t for the contractor and LifeCare.”

Darlene’s sister lives with her and is on oxygen 24 hours a day. In addition to the floor repair, the contractor said the two would need grab bars installed in the bathroom for safety. Darlene had maxed out her credit card purchasing grab bars, but assistance from the Helping Homebound Heroes grant allowed her to return them, giving her an additional financial break.

“When the contractor got finished with the job, we were so overwhelmed at the look and safety of our bathroom. It was beautiful,” Darlene said. “We can take a bath now! We went without taking baths or showering for months in fear of the tub going through the floor.”

Darlene is grateful for the help she received from LifeCare Alliance, with the support of Meals on Wheels America and Team Depot.

“You know the Lord takes care of the widows and the fallen vets, and today LifeCare was our angel to allow me to stay in my home.”

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Home repair Client

LifeCare Alliance, partners help secure Army widow’s home

By | Featured News, Home Repairs

LifeCare Alliance, in partnership with Meals on Wheels America and The Home Depot Foundation, helped provide basic but vital safety improvements at an Army widow’s home.

When 75-year-old Isabelle contacted LifeCare Alliance for home repairs, she was grateful to learn of the help she could receive through the Helping Hometown Heroes program. Most of the repairs to Isabelle’s home were to keep her safe and secure in her own home.  The improvements included the installation of motion-activated outdoor lighting, a small wheelchair ramp, a new security door, a window with locking device, and drywall in her bedroom.

“I really appreciate the motion lamp. When I come home at night, the light turns on,” Isabelle said, adding that she feels safer with the new wheelchair ramp and a window that locks. “You guys have helped me tremendously, and I appreciate it,” she said.

Isabelle said the improvements have allowed her to stay safe and independent in her home, where she wants to be. The repairs, unfortunately, had been more than she could afford.

Her husband, served in the Army during the 1960s and ’70s.

The Helping Hometown Heroes program helps veterans and spouses improve their homes to address mobility challenges and avoid unnecessary injuries, hospitalization and homelessness. The Home Depot Foundation has invested more than $200 million in veteran-related projects since 2011.

“I would like to thank the Home Depot Foundation and LifeCare Alliance for all they do for our veterans,” Isabelle said.

Man cooling down in the water

What You Should Know About Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

By | Featured News, Wellness

LifeCare Alliance has a team of registered nurses and registered dietitians on staff, providing wellness services to the central Ohio community. 

During the summer, seniors are among the most vulnerable populations when it comes to heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Our Columbus Foundation fellow, Radhika Pandit, explains the two conditions and how LifeCare Alliance can be of service.

Heat Exhaustion vs. Heat Stroke

Radhika PanditThere are two main types of heat-related illnesses:

  • Heat exhaustion occurs when the body overheats and becomes dehydrated. Symptoms include profuse sweating, dizziness, and nausea.
  • Heat stroke results from untreated heat exhaustion that has reached a critical stage. Symptoms become more severe and one may stop sweating completely due to extreme dehydration.

If you suspect someone is experiencing heat exhaustion or heat stroke, call 911 immediately.

Who is at a Higher Risk for Heat-Related Illnesses?

Older adults are at higher risk because they commonly take medications or have medical conditions that affect their body’s ability to regulate heat.

“Seniors need to be more mindful of their environment and take more preventative measures,” said LifeCare Alliance nurse Peggy Parisot, MSN, RN.

How Can I Prevent Heat-Related Illnesses?

In order to prevent heat-related illnesses, follow these tips from Nurse Peggy!

  • Avoid exposure to outdoor heat during the hottest periods of the day, generally 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Stay well-hydrated on hot days.
  • Wear light, layered clothing.
  • Avoid consuming alcohol because it causes rapid dehydration.
  • Wear a hat and sunscreen in the sun.
  • Look out for others and notice if they’re expressing symptoms of heat exhaustion.

Beat the Heat Fan Campaign

Living in a house without air conditioning can leave you vulnerable to heat exhaustion or heat stroke during the hot summer months.

If you are in need of a fan to cool down your house, join us during a fan distribution day. Fans are distributed at LifeCare Alliance’s Harmon Avenue facility (670 Harmon Ave). Call the Fan Hotline at 614-437-2870 for information on the next distribution event!

Learn more

Click here to visit the Wellness Department page and get information on available services and wellness center locations.

Diabetes testing tools

Understanding the Basics of Diabetes

By | Central Ohio Diabetes Association, Featured News

LifeCare Alliance offers diabetes management education through its wellness program and the Central Ohio Diabetes Association. We can assist with blood sugar testing, corporate events, meal planning, and much more.

When it comes to understanding diabetes, there are some basics that should be covered. Our Columbus Foundation fellow, Radhika Pandit, explains what diabetes is and some ways patients can live their best life with it.

What is Diabetes?

Radhika PanditDiabetes is a chronic disease that affects the insulin produced by your pancreas. Insulin is a hormone that is extremely important in maintaining proper blood glucose (sugar) levels. Insulin is released into the bloodstream following a meal to stimulate the uptake of the glucose in your meal into the cells to be utilized for energy. If this hormone is not working properly, glucose is trapped in the bloodstream, blood sugar levels spike, and cells are deprived of energy.

What is the Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2?

There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2.

  • Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks and destroys its own insulin-producing pancreatic cells. Patients require insulin therapy.
  • Type 2 diabetes results when the body starts to become resistant to the effects of insulin. Type 2 tends to present later in life, although it is becoming increasingly common for children to present with type 2 diabetes. Type 2 in children can be influenced by family history, genetics, eating habits, physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight.

Diabetes can lead to a range of complications if not properly managed. These include peripheral nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy), eye disease (glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy), and kidney failure.

How Can I Manage Type 2 Diabetes?

In order to manage your type 2 diabetes, make sure to follow these 5 tips!

  • Transition to a more plant-based diet: Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your meals and limit processed foods and sugary drinks
  • Exercise regularly: At least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week
  • Take your diabetes medication as directed by your physician
  • Monitor your blood glucose levels regularly
  • Schedule regular doctor’s visits

Learn more

Click here to visit the Central Ohio Diabetes Association page and get information on diabetes, available services, and upcoming events.

LifeCare Alliance clients Bob and Linda

Roof, porch repairs prop up pair of community advocates

By | Featured News, Home Repairs

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.

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Damaged porch

After:

Repaired porch
Help-at-Home Donation

Help-at-Home Collecting Donations in July

By | Featured News, Help-at-Home

You can help provide a safe, clean environment for older adults receiving in-home personal care!

The Help-at-Home program at LifeCare Alliance will be accepting donations at two events this month. Items may be dropped off at LifeCare Alliance, 1699 West Mound Street.

Join us on July 18 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. and July 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Our Help-at-Home has fun activities and treats planned for our donors!

The items below are some of our clients’ biggest needs:

Cooking Supplies
Cutting boards, chef and paring knives, spatulas, serving spoons, ladles, measuring cups/spoons, pots and pans, plates, bowls, flatware, drinkware, can openers, Tupperware containers

Food Items
Cereal, pasta, rice, noodles, peanut butter, bottled water, juice, reduced sodium or no-salt-added canned vegetables, canned chicken & tuna, canned fruits, canned vegetables, beans, soups and sauces, nutritional supplements such as Ensure and Boost

Personal Care
Adult diapers, toilet paper, shampoo, conditioner, soap/body wash, lotion, razors/shaving cream, body powder, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash

Cleaning Supplies
Dish soap, laundry soap, fabric softener/dryer sheets, multipurpose cleaners, disinfectant wipes, sponges/scrub brushes, wash cloths, basic cleaning supplies

Paper Products
Paper plates, freezer and storage bags, foil, plastic wrap, paper towels, napkins, facial tissue

For more information, contact Help-at-Home at 614-278-3149.

Beat the Heat Fan Drive information

Beat the Heat Fan Campaign Kicks into Gear

By | Fan Campaign, Featured News

As central Ohio temperatures swiftly moved from the 50s to the 80s and 90s in May, the need to protect people at risk for heat exhaustion and heat stroke also soared.

So LifeCare Alliance stepped into action, kicking off its Beat the Heat Fan Campaign another year.

Central air conditioning is a luxury that is out of reach for many in central Ohio, so the Beat the Heat Fan Campaign helps thousands cool down their homes. The program is entirely fueled by donations from the public, and volunteers help round up donations so they can be distributed to community members most in need.

If you are in need of a fan to cool your home this summer, call LifeCare Alliance’s fan hotline at 614-437-2870. The hotline is updated whenever a fan distribution is scheduled, providing the most up-to-date information.

If you’d like to help out, you have several options:

  • Volunteers are needed to call fire stations 2-3 times a week, pick up donated fans and deliver them to our Harmon Avenue facility.
  • You can donate fans at your nearest Franklin County fire station, or at at 670 Harmon Avenue, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Donated fans must be new; used fans cannot be accepted as they are considered a fire hazard.
  • You can also donate funds to help LifeCare Alliance purchase new fans. Donations may be made online here. Checks may be mailed to LifeCare Alliance, 1699 West Mound Street, Columbus, OH 43223.

Roxie Roth is a LifeCare Alliance Meals-on-Wheels client who received a fan. She told 10TV News that since her home is not air conditioned, she often resorts to poking her head into the freezer to cool down. She is grateful that the Beat the Heat program will help her reduce the temperature inside her home.

For more information about the LifeCare Alliance Beat the Heat Fan Campaign, visit www.lifecarealliance.org/fans.

Keep an eye out for more details about our Beat the Heat Fan Campaign event with 10TV!

Box fans

Seeking Fan Campaign Volunteers!

By | Carrie's Cafe, Fan Campaign, Featured News, Volunteers

LifeCare Alliance’s “Beat the Heat” program distributes fans to our central Ohio neighbors at risk of heat stroke or heat exhaustion throughout the spring, summer, and fall.

To donate, individuals, groups, and businesses can drop off fans at their nearest fire station.

Volunteers are needed to retrieve donated fans from fire stations and transport them to our distribution site at 670 Harmon Avenue.

Can you help? Please let us know by contacting Maria Damo at mdamo@lifecarealliance.org or (614) 437-2947.

We would like to invite you to our Fan Volunteer Open House to kick off the “Beat the Heat” fan campaign! Please join us to learn more about the program and your responsibility in helping us! Here are the details:

Fan Volunteer Open House
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
670 Harmon Avenue, Columbus, OH 43223
5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Light refreshments served.