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Featured News

Sponsor-a-Pet this Holiday Season!

By | Featured News, Senior PetCare

LifeCare Alliance is offering a new 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!

GIVE NOW

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).

SHOP NOW

For more information or volunteer opportunities, contact Danielle Visconti at dvisconti@lifecarealliance.org or at 614-437-2947.

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.

Safelite AutoGlass Foundation Grants $25,000 for Unfunded Meals

By | Featured News, Meals-on-Wheels

New grant funding from the Safelite AutoGlass Foundation will allow LifeCare Alliance to deliver more than 3,500 meals to clients for whom traditional funding does not exist.

Funding for nutrition services to low-income, underserved populations is typically linked to eligibility requirements such as age. Oftentimes, individuals who are most in need of consistent, nutritious meals do not meet these requirements. Additionally, a senior or medically challenged individual may qualify for a hot meal at lunch, but they may require help to prepare their dinner due to mobility, financial, and/or support system limitations.

The $25,000 Impact Grant that LifeCare Alliance received from the Safelite AutoGlass Foundation will provide 3,571 unfunded client meals. This is a critical safety net for clients who need an increased level of service where other community support does not exist. Meals-on-Wheels continues to expand based on growing need in the community, and the Agency is dedicated to accepting all clients in need, regardless of the presence of a funding source for their meals.

In addition to the support from its foundation, Safelite AutoGlass also partners with LifeCare Alliance through volunteer efforts. In fact, this past Wednesday, a number of Safelite employees volunteered in our Groceries-to-Go Food Pantry. Groceries-to-Go provides both fresh and shelf-stable food, personal hygiene products, and household cleaning supplies to clients of the Columbus Cancer Clinic living with active cancer. In 2018, the program provided 46,503 meals to 382 clients and their families. Volunteers help stock shelves and shop for clients who visit the pantry.

This group of dedicated volunteers also donated $2,000 to purchase turkeys for the Groceries-to-Go Food Pantry to distribute to clients for Thanksgiving. We are so thankful for their willingness to Nourish the Human Spirit, especially during the holidays when many may not be able to afford their own turkey.

Safelite AutoGlass also adopts a Meals-on-Wheels route each week and has faithfully delivered since April 1, 2011. Over the course of a year, Safelite employees volunteer 1,040 hours and deliver 3,900 meals. As of their 8-year anniversary on April 1, 2019, Safelite has saved the Agency around $100,000 because each meal route delivered by volunteers instead of a paid driver adds up to $12,000 annually.

Safelite AutoGlass’s support of LifeCare Alliance’s nutrition programs is truly an investment in the community: the health and nutrition services the Agency provides play a key role in keeping clients safe and independent in the comfort of their own homes. AARP calculates that Ohio taxpayers fund nursing home care at an average annual cost of $78,840 per person. By serving these same individuals at a fraction of that cost, LifeCare Alliance saves taxpayers money while serving the community. For example, when the Agency helps to keep 100 clients in their home, Ohio taxpayers save more than $7.8 million. These services equate to a multi-billion dollar effect on the community.

LifeCare Alliance clients also average five fewer days a year in hospitals than those with comparable demographics, saving funds which equate to the cost of more than five years’ worth of client meals. When clients receive consistent, nutritious meals, potentially debilitating and costly health outcomes are prevented, leading to lower rates of hospitalization. Providing clients with their most basic need — food — regardless of their ability to pay for services, allows these individuals to better manage their finances. This ensures that clients no longer face the difficult decision between paying rent/mortgage to remain in their home and buying groceries to feed themselves. LifeCare Alliance’s services are vital in preventing unnecessary homelessness, hospitalization, and institutionalization.

Food 911: How Meals-on-Wheels Redefines Population Health

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

In September 2019, LifeCare Alliance was awarded a 3-year $750,000 grant from the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Community Living (ACL) to expand our innovative model of care. While this model has been piloted and in progress since June of 2018, the grant will allow us to increase internal case management and referral infrastructure, collect health outcome data to measure the effectiveness of LifeCare Alliance interventions, and complete a thorough evaluation of collected data. Once concluded, LifeCare Alliance will publish and disseminate the findings to seek reimbursement for our holistic, one-stop-shop service model. Ultimately, the goal is to produce research that will allow for replication of our model across the nation.

Certainly, agency volunteers, staff, and supporters know firsthand the incredible impact of our services, as they partner in serving clients 365 days a year; however, the ability to quantify the successful outcomes and results will pave the way for future sustainability, relevance, and leverage in the ever-changing healthcare industry. This innovative network of referrals and information sharing is for clients who frequently depend on emergency services for basic needs.  This innovation is critical to ensuring that members of our community can age safely in place through a collaborative approach to care.

Meet Jerry and Marsha:

Jerry and Marsha, who live with the challenges of diabetes, were referred by their physician for an in-home consultation with LifeCare Alliance’s registered dietitian.  The couple, 74 and 68 years old, respectively, deal with many health concerns that began about a year ago. During that time, Marsha suffered a collapsed lung during surgery.  A month later, she tried the surgery again, but this time it was even worse—her organs began to shut down and her surgery was delayed again.  During Marsha’s healing process, they learned that Jerry needed back surgery and a pacemaker.  Because Jerry was Marsha’s only caregiver, this presented a challenge. That’s when Marsha contacted LifeCare Alliance’s Meals-on-Wheels program to sign up for the frozen meal program.

 “Meals-on-Wheels saved us,” said Marsha.  “Jerry and I are both diabetic, and we learned we could have a registered dietitian come to our home to help with meal planning as clients of LifeCare Alliance, we both took advantage of the service.  Now we know how to take control of our carbs and plan our meals with confidence.”

Jerry and Marsha are one story of many positive outcomes of Food 911: How Meals-on-Wheels Redefines Population Health. The impact of remaining together, independent, and in their own home—where they want to be—is significant, especially during this holiday season.

Meet the Faces of Innovation:

Molly Haroz, Director of Nutrition Programs, and Melinda Rowe, Wellness Services Director, are part of the incredible team at LifeCare Alliance that is implementing this innovative project. Understanding the challenges that many of our older adult neighbors face every day to maintain a healthy independent lifestyle, with dignity in the comfort of their own homes, the two directors have worked closely together to lay the groundwork that led to receiving the grant.

We know that the need is great!  There are still many in our community—including older adults, medical professionals, first responders, and insurance and health systems—who are not yet aware of this innovative approach. We are eager to continue spreading the word to help intercept those who are managing chronic, or even crisis, health situations. During the pilot process, we have seen that the majority of these citizens call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room to receive help with food, home repairs, etc.—services which hospital or paramedics are unable to fulfill. LifeCare Alliance’s goal is to make sure that our neighbors in need do not slip through the cracks, as they navigate complex health situations. By partnering with local fire departments and healthcare providers to refer “frequent flyers” or repeat visitors for ongoing in-home services, we are able to welcome new clients through our comprehensive array of health and nutrition programming.

Randy Little, Fire Chief of the Jackson Township Fire Department in Grove City, Ohio said of the initiative, “we have seen anecdotally how valuable LifeCare Alliance’s services are to our township residents and we look forward to continuing to grow and enhance our partnership, especially since we’ve seen such improvements in the lives of those we have referred to LifeCare Alliance.”

Tim Hill, Regional Manager-Ohio East of American Health Network of Ohio, LLC, said, “our patients come to our providers repeatedly for the same types of injuries that could have been prevented with proper nutrition, homemaking help, or even simple home repairs such as grab bar installations.  We have found that when needs are met, elderly patients often can function safely in their own homes without making multiple visits to our healthcare facilities on a weekly or monthly basis.”

Our heartfelt thanks to you, our supporters, who help make it possible for LifeCare Alliance to be innovative in meeting the needs of more than 30,000 clients each year. We look forward to sharing continued updates about the progress of this exciting project!

Senior Petcare

How to Select a Charity for Year-End Gifts

By | Featured News, Legacy

The end of the year is a common time for charitable giving. For many, the question isn’t whether to give, but how to designate a gift to have a significant impact on the community.

In central Ohio, there are hundreds of non-profit organizations helping to make Columbus the city it is today.  The first step in making sure your donation makes an impact is to research organizations. This may sound like a daunting task, but is not as difficult or as time-consuming as you might imagine.  Take advantage of information from organizations like Guidestar, Charity Navigator, and the Better Business Bureau. These are widely trusted sources for information about non-profit organizations across the United States. You can search by cause and location to find local non-profits that align with your giving objectives.

Now that you have the names of organizations that interest you, it’s time to learn more about the charity you plan to support. Determine whether the services provided will make the community a better place.  Is the charity sincerely making a difference in our society? Once you have researched the organization, consider the following points before you sign the check:

  • Determine whether the organization is mission-driven.
  • Make sure it fiscally sound.
  • Review the Agency website.
  • Look into speaking with the organization’s CEO or staff.
  • Tour the organization or participate in a volunteer activity to learn first-hand about the organization.
  • Consider what is important to you, such as what your passion is and what motivates you as a donor.
  • Find out whether the organization has a good standing in the community.
  • Determine what percentage of your gift will pay for overhead.

Once you have made your decision, remember to trust your instincts.  Take a moment to examine whether the charity you have selected has secured future funding for the clients they represent.  Investigate whether the charity offers a gift-matching program or has an ongoing endowment campaign.  If the organization has implemented a gift-matching program, this can be enticing to the donor and it presents an opportunity to amplify year-end gifts of cash, checks, securities to endowment funds, or provisions in an estate plan.

Remember: Take time to research the charity you have selected. Some work in the beginning could save you time, but more importantly it could allow your gift to impact many lives of in our community.

Camp Hamwi camper Samantha

White Castle Foundation a longtime supporter of CODA youth diabetes camps

By | Central Ohio Diabetes Association, Featured News

Nov. 14 is World Diabetes Day, and what better way to celebrate than to highlight a longtime supporter of the Central Ohio Diabetes Association’s camp programs, the Ingram-White Castle Foundation.

Since 1951, the Ingram-White Castle Foundation has been providing “nourishment to those throughout central Ohio who hunger for knowledge, independence, and self-sufficiency.” The Foundation further believes that young people should be able to realize their full potential. At CODA’s camp program, children with diabetes experience all of the above.

CODA camp programs include:

  • Camp Hamwi, the weeklong, residential program for children ages 7-17
  • Stepping Stones Camp, a transitional day camp with one overnight outing for children ages 8-12 new to the summer camp experience
  • Kids Day Camp for children ages 3-7, and their parents.

At camp, participants learn to manage their disease, avoid its complications, and improve their health with the education and skills they learn. Camp programs teach skills that significantly decrease the risk of heart attacks, strokes, amputations, kidney disease, and vision loss. These risks can be reduced by up to two-thirds if detected early. There are many components to managing diabetes and preventing its progression, but none more important than education provided in a way that individuals grasp and use. Without the education necessary to care for one’s condition, diabetes will progress.

One such child that has benefited from multiple CODA camps is Samantha. Samantha was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was only 9 months old. She grew up without knowing many other kids with diabetes, but that experience changed when she went to Stepping Stones. Samantha shares, “At Stepping Stones, I learned that I’m not the only diabetic, and there are other people that are going through the same thing as me.” Her experience at Stepping Stones laid such an impact on her that she has gone on to attend Camp Hamwi for the last few years.

Because of supporters like the Ingram-White Castle Foundation, campers like Samantha are able to develop a personal diabetes management plan that includes a healthy meal plan, regular physical exercise, regular checks of blood glucose levels, and taking diabetes medications as prescribed. Also, as Samantha mentioned, going to camp helps children with diabetes no longer feel isolated, and gives them an environment where they can cultivate friendships that last a lifetime.

Thank you to the Ingram-White Castle Foundation for helping children with diabetes live their best life!

LifeCare Alliance joins Subaru, Meals on Wheels America to Share the Love

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

LifeCare Alliance is proud to announce that it will be participating in the 2019 Subaru Share the Love Event as a member of Meals on Wheels America – one of four national Share the Love charitable partners supported through the campaign. From November 14, 2019, through January 2, 2020, Subaru of America will donate $250 for every new Subaru vehicle purchased or leased to the customer’s choice of participating charities.

“We are proud to partner with Subaru of America for another year of Share the Love,” said LifeCare Alliance President & CEO Chuck Gehring. “Their enthusiastic support is invaluable as we continue to serve all eligible clients in need.”

Participating Meals on Wheels America members, like LifeCare Alliance, will receive a share of the donation raised by Subaru in their state. LifeCare Alliance has partnered with Central Ohio Subaru Dealers to raise awareness for the popular year-end sales and giving event, and drive support for Meals on Wheels.

“Meals on Wheels America is proud to partner with Subaru of America for the 12th consecutive year to enable more seniors to live with independence and dignity,” said Ellie Hollander, President and CEO, Meals on Wheels America. “Since 2008, the Subaru Share the Love Event has helped deliver more than 2.2 million meals and friendly visits to vulnerable seniors nationwide. We’re enormously grateful to Subaru and its retailers for their long-standing commitment to Meals on Wheels and the millions of seniors who depend on it for nourishment and companionship.”

Over the last 11 years, Subaru of America and its participating retailers have donated more than $145 million to its charity partners. This year’s Subaru Share the Love Event is on track to bring that total to over $170 million, proving there’s no limit to the amount of love we can all share.

LifeCare Alliance will receive a share of funds raised through Subaru of America’s Share the Love campaign.

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS

This November 14, 2019, through January 2, 2020, 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:

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.

For more information, visit www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org/sharethelove.

*Disclaimer: Subaru will donate $250 for every new Subaru vehicle sold or leased from November 14, 2019, through January 2, 2020, 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, 2020. 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.

UPS Foundation awards $5,000 grant for Meals-on-Wheels program

By | Featured News, Meals-on-Wheels

LifeCare Alliance is the proud recipient of a $5,000 grant from the UPS Foundation to upgrade technology for the Meals-on-Wheels program.

UPS employees graciously volunteered their time for LifeCare Alliance in 2018, helping to feed hungry seniors. UPS employees participate in the corporate “Adopt-a-Route” program by covering a Meals-on-Wheels route one day per week. Each meal route delivered by a volunteer instead of a paid driver saves the Agency $12,000 annually. LifeCare Alliance qualified to apply for this funding because of the considerable contributions of local UPS employees to the Agency.

Earlier this week, LifeCare Alliance welcomed UPS employees to our Harmon Avenue location. They volunteered their time to deliver three frozen meal routes and prepare meal bags in our distribution kitchen.

Over the course of 2018, 67 volunteers delivered 1,302 meals and accumulated 208 hours of service. In addition to the Meals-on-Wheels route coverage, another local UPS employee group visits Carrie’s Café quarterly for a meeting and lunch in the morning and volunteering in the afternoon. Some from that group work in the Meals-on-Wheels distribution kitchen to assist packing the meal bags with meals, beverages, fruit, and sides. Others in the group assisted with the Senior PetCare program, breaking down food into manageable five pound bags for delivery and distribution to clients with pets. This group of volunteers gave an additional 36 hours in 2018. Overall, the UPS associates volunteered over 240 hours of their time to LifeCare Alliance, and the Agency greatly appreciates their service to our clients. As a result of UPS employees’ donating their time in this way, LifeCare Alliance became eligible to apply for funding from the corporation’s charitable arm, the UPS Foundation. We are thrilled to partner with the foundation to make capital improvements in our Meals-on-Wheels program, which will allow for increased efficiency and effectiveness.

Meals-on-Wheels provides nourishing food and a daily visit to older adults and individuals living with a medical challenge and/or disability in central Ohio. The program delivers approximately 5,000 meals a day and provides meals for children in day care and after-school programs. Individuals in these vulnerable populations often face financial, physical, and support system barriers, which put them at risk for hunger, chronic health issues, and/or social isolation. The provision of home-delivered meals addresses these barriers by providing nutritious, delicious food and socialization to clients, regardless of an individual’s ability to pay for such services. In addition to healthy food access, these clients receive health and nutrition education and linkage to community resources and other LifeCare Alliance programs to ensure that their needs are met holistically. Examples of these include the Senior PetCare program, which delivers pet food to the homes of clients and provides veterinary care to pets in need, and the Beat the Heat Fan Campaign, which supplies box fans during the hot summer months.

The overarching goal of LifeCare Alliance’s health and nutrition programs is to keep clients safe and independent in the comfort of their own homes, where they ultimately want to remain as long as possible. AARP estimates that Ohio taxpayers fund nursing home care at an average annual cost of $78,840 per person (Genworth Cost of Care Survey 2017). By serving these same individuals at home for a fraction of that cost, the Agency saves taxpayers money while serving the community. When individuals receive the appropriate nutrition levels and health assessments, potentially debilitating and costly health outcomes are prevented and circumvented.

An increasing number of employees state that being able to give back to the community is a leading factor in choosing the company for which they will work; LifeCare Alliance offers this unique volunteer program for central Ohio employers to provide this opportunity to their employees. Volunteer engagement is one of the strategies LifeCare Alliance uses to increase its organizational and programmatic effectiveness. Volunteerism promotes relationship building, community engagement, and a healthy work-life balance for employees, while giving them the opportunity to give back. The Agency has emerged as a national leader in volunteer engagement, merger collaborations, and social entrepreneurship. Because of these efforts, LifeCare Alliance is one of few nonprofits in major metropolitan areas in the country still accepting qualified clients in need without a waiting list.

We salute UPS and the UPS Foundation for the generosity of their time in helping us Nourish the Human Spirit.

UPS employees volunteer with LifeCare Alliance’s Meals-on-Wheels program.

UPS employees load frozen meals for delivery to LifeCare Alliance Meals-on-Wheels clients.

UPS employees prepare delivery bags for LifeCare Alliance’s Meals-on-Wheels program.

Thanksgiving Pie Sale is back at Carrie’s Cafe!

By | Carrie's Cafe, Events, Featured News, LA Catering

Carrie’s Cafe is offering delicious 10-inch pies for sale this holiday season. The following three pie flavors are available to purchase:

  • Apple $9
  • Pumpkin $9
  • Sweet Potato $9

All proceeds from holiday pie sales are invested back into LifeCare Alliance to support older adults, medically challenged and disabled individuals in central Ohio.

HOW TO ORDER

Pie orders are due by Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019.

Use the online form to order or call 614-437-2982 Monday through Friday between the hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. You may also stop by Carrie’s Cafe during normal business hours.

All orders must be prepaid in full. Cash, checks and credit card are accepted forms of payment. Please make checks payable to LifeCare Alliance.

Order Online Now!

To order multiple pie flavors, click “Continue Shopping” on the next screen.

10-inch Pie Options

PICKING UP YOUR ORDER

Shipping is not available for this promotion. Pie orders can be picked up at Carrie’s Cafe, 670 Harmon Ave., on Nov. 25 and Nov. 26 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

LifeCare Alliance, DAV partnership provides veterans with in-home support

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

LifeCare Alliance is proud to be in partnership with Disabled American Veterans as they provide grants to help fund our Help-at-Home program.

Help-at-Home provides personal care assistants and direct support care workers who assist with daily living activities such as bathing, fall prevention, and basic household chores. Living independently and safely in the comfort of one’s own home is a great source of joy in an older adult’s life. Help-at-Home ensures ill, elderly, and disabled individuals have adequate, clean, and safe housing. Last year alone, the program served 102 veterans in the central Ohio area.

The Disabled Americans Veterans Charitable Service Trust (DAV) has been serving veterans in America since 1920, and even has its origins in Ohio! The nonprofit was first organized by Judge Robert Marx of Cincinnati as the Disabled American Veteran of the World War (DAVWW). After the devastation that took place during World War I, Judge Marx and other organizers noticed veterans were not getting adequate care. They started the DAVWW locally, and then formed the national organization in 1921 with the purpose of “building better lives for all of our Nation’s disabled veterans and their families.”

Almost one hundred years later, the DAV continues its mission of serving veterans in need of assistance.

As a result of support from the DAV Charitable Service Trust, Help-at-Home has been able to provide continuous, ongoing services to veterans needing assistance with personal care and daily living activities. If veterans are injured or have disabilities, it is crucial to provide this safety net service which allows them to remain in their homes. Homemakers also provide a critical daily visit to these individuals, which serves as a health and well-being check-in to ensure that all of the client’s needs are met. Typically, these homebound individuals would be socially isolated if not for these visits.

Many Help-at-Home clients also receive a daily nutritional meal and visit through Meals-on-Wheels, but need additional services like the ones provided by Help-at-Home in order to continue to live a vibrant life. For example, an individual who requires a walker for mobility can get around enough to live on their own, but lack the ability to clean their bathroom efficiently without the possibility of falling. A clean living environment is vital to keeping clients healthy and safe in their own home.

Without funding partners like the DAV, LifeCare Alliance would not be able to serve our veteran neighbors with responsive, compassionate, and quality care. Thank you to the DAV for your steadfast commitment to build and strengthen the lives of our nation’s veterans!

Judge Robert Marx

Garden Product from ScottsMiracle-Gro Helps LifeCare Alliance Nourish the Human Spirit

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

For over 150 years, The ScottsMiracle-Gro Company has been contributing to the success of central Ohio’s gardens.

Recently, LifeCare Alliance was awarded garden product from this stalwart of the community in the form of:

  • 75 bags of Garden Soil
  • 25 bags of Topsoil
  • 15 bags of Mulch
  • 35 bags of Plant Food
  • 20 bags of Hummus & Manure.

Using these products in gardens located at 1699 W. Mound St. and 670 Harmon Ave. has allowed LifeCare Alliance to cultivate a number of herbs and fresh vegetables for use in our flagship dining center, Carrie’s Café, and for the Agency’s social enterprise, L.A. Catering.

For the 2019 growing season, a volunteer tends the Mound Street and Harmon Avenue gardens. Mr. Lynch has volunteered with LifeCare Alliance’s Meals-on-Wheels program since November of 2013. Through this work, he visits elderly and homebound clients to deliver hot, nutritious meals, as well as to provide a basic wellness check. His contribution has truly helped Nourish the Human Spirit as he has devoted countless hours to the success of our gardens this growing season.

LifeCare Alliance Chef Rob Harrison and Catering Director David Imwalle estimate that the gardens have produced about 80 pounds of tomatoes thus far this season, and they are still yielding additional fruit. The Mound Street garden has also produced Brussels sprouts, carrots, scallions, and tarragon, while the Harmon Avenue garden has produced at least one pound each of parsley, cilantro, sage, basil, oregano, jalapenos, and banana peppers.

At Carrie’s Café, the herbs are used to season soups and daily entrees since fresh herbs are often more flavorful than dried. The tomatoes are added to the daily selection of salads. Clients enjoy knowing they are eating produce that was just harvested from the gardens on LifeCare Alliance property. It adds a lot to their experience of dining at Carrie’s. L.A. Catering features the tomatoes on platters of fresh vegetables, in salads, and for stir frys. All proceeds of both entities are funneled back into the Agency to continue serving clients with our core values of compassion, accountability, respect, excellence, and sustainability at the forefront.

The overall benefit of the garden project to the community has been the ability of LifeCare Alliance to continue providing healthy, delicious meals to its clients. The health and nutrition services that LifeCare Alliance provides directly contribute to an individual’s ability to remain safe and independent in the comfort of their own home. AARP estimates that Ohio taxpayers fund nursing home care at an average annual cost of $78,840 per person. By serving these same individuals at home for a fraction of that cost, LifeCare Alliance saves taxpayers money while serving the community. When individuals receive the appropriate nutrition levels and regular health assessments, potentially debilitating and costly health outcomes are prevented.

Garden product support from The ScottsMiracle-Gro Company allowed the Agency to continue to serve all clients in need, regardless of an individual’s ability to pay, while operating without a waiting list for services. By providing its own stream of revenue through social enterprise, LifeCare Alliance is securing sustainable funding for all of its programs for years to come. Thank you, ScottsMiracle-Gro!

LifeCare Alliance helps veteran fix costly code violations with help of Team Depot, Meals on Wheels America

By | Featured News, Home Repairs, Meals-on-Wheels

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 costly city code enforcement violations.

Richard is an Army veteran who spent two years in Korea in 1970-71. His home was in need of repairs to the front concrete steps, as well as missing gutters and fascia boards.

“The repair that was completed by LifeCare Alliance and Home Depot changed my life tremendously because I did not have the finances to fix the home nor did I have the finances to pay the code violation fine,” Richard said.  “I just wanted to add that the contractors did fantastic job and I really appreciate all that you were able to do for me to get me out of the hole.”

LifeCare Alliance has worked with the City of Columbus Code Enforcement Department to help veterans with repairs to avoid going to court over code violations. Code enforcement often will grant some leniency when LifeCare Alliance is involved in veterans’ repairs, knowing that the Agency will be providing assistance.

“I am very proud to see that we live in a city that takes great pride and helping our residents instead of penalizing the underserved,” said Maurice Elder, who administers the Chores program for LifeCare Alliance. “This partnership has been great, to ensure the safety of our residents in the community who proudly served our country.”

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Big Lots planning fiesta with Meals-on-Wheels clients

By | Featured News, Meals-on-Wheels

Have you ever wondered about the different ways you or your organization can support the Meals-on-Wheels program at LifeCare Alliance? Sure, there are the common ways of volunteering or sending in a donation, but could there be more?

Big Lots recently found an answer to that question. The well-known retailer already gives generously to LifeCare Alliance’s Meals-on-Wheels program through its charitable arm, the Big Lots Foundation, and has an active volunteer base with its employees. However, Big Lots recently came up with a new way to celebrate the clients on its corporate Meals-on-Wheels route: a Fall Fiesta!!

This October, Big Lots plans to serve tacos, margaritas, and cookies from L.A. Catering to their route clients and friends at a local senior living center. The fiesta will be filled with music, games, and possibly salsa lessons!

Why are we excited about this? It is because acts of kindness like the Fall Fiesta truly mean the world to our clients. Many of LifeCare Alliance’s Meals-on-Wheels recipients are homebound, isolated, have a medical condition, and/or live on an annual income of less than $20,000. In addition, older adults and medically challenged individuals are at a high risk of health and nutritional problems due to physical, mobility, medical, and support system limitations.

Fortunately, there are supporters like Big Lots who go above and beyond to show clients of Meals-on-Wheels and other LifeCare Alliance programs that they care. Through these efforts, LifeCare Alliance is able to help older adult clients stay safe, independent, and engage more with life.

Learn More

Find out more about the Big Lots Foundation here: https://www.biglots.com/corporate/community.

Want to know more about how you can support LifeCare Alliance’s Meals-on-Wheels programs? Click here or call 614-278-3130.

Need to book catering for your wedding or next corporate or social event? Click here or call 614-358-LALA.

“According to the 2015 Meals on Wheels America survey 'More Than A Meal,' 87% of seniors needing home-delivered meals are physically unable to shop for their groceries. It is often the case that, besides a caregiver, the Meals-on-Wheels deliverer is the only person that a client might interact with every day of the week.”

Camper holds a drawing labeled Camp Hamwi

Camp supporters help create lasting lessons, memories for children with diabetes

By | Central Ohio Diabetes Association, Featured News

Have you ever been to sleepaway camp? What was it like learning to canoe for the first time or being part of a team?

Kids with diabetes don’t always get to have these types of experiences as a result of the challenges of their illness. Rising or falling blood sugars as well as other diabetes-related complications can keep kids from exploring all that an overnight camp may have to offer. Their disease might even make them stand out among their peers, ultimately resulting in isolation or embarrassment.

The Central Ohio Diabetes Association (CODA) has been operating camps designed specifically for children with diabetes since 1968. More than 7,500 youths have attended CODA’s summer camp, Camp Hamwi (named for Dr. George Hamwi, one of the co-founders of CODA). In fact, 2019 marks the 52nd year of consecutive camp offerings for children with diabetes.

At Camp Hamwi, campers ages 7-17 learn the importance of good diabetes control in their childhood and for a lifetime. In addition to Camp Hamwi, CODA offers Stepping Stones, a transitional day camp with an overnight outing for children ages 8-12, and Kids Camp, a day camp for children ages 3-7. A special program is offered for Counselors-In-Training, ages 17 & 18, with enrollment limited to individuals entering their senior year of high school who are looking for an opportunity to develop their leadership potential.

The 2019 camp season welcomed 10 campers to Kids Camp, 15 to Stepping Stones, and 176 to Camp Hamwi. These campers represented 36 Ohio counties with an additional camper coming from Illinois and two from West Virginia. CODA was founded in 1964, and merged with LifeCare Alliance in 2017. All three camps offer education opportunities for parents and families. Kids Camp and Stepping Stones offer group counseling and support services to parents who are anxious about leaving their children on their own – perhaps for the first time since their child’s diabetes was diagnosed.

These camp experiences would not be possible without the generous support of CODA funders. The Franklin County Community Partnership Grant Program has supported CODA camps since 2013. The Community Partnership Program is a competitive grant process whereby the Franklin County Board of Commissioners support local community-based organizations that serve county residents. As a direct result of this funding, campers learn to develop a personal diabetes management plan. The plan includes:

  1. A healthy meal plan.
  2. Regular physical exercise.
  3. Regular checks of blood glucose levels.
  4. Taking diabetes medications as prescribed.

The camp programming also helps children and parents learn about each element of the plan and to start practicing such positive behaviors as goal setting, self-monitoring, positive reinforcement, and shared responsibility for diabetes management. Eighty-six campers came from Franklin County this summer.

Similarly, the Ingram-White Castle Foundation has been supporting LifeCare Alliance and CODA camps for many years. The Foundation especially supports programs that address a critical human service need. Without this key support, CODA would not be able to provide scholarships for the nearly 200 campers that attend each summer. While the camp programs are designed primarily to promote the health of children with diabetes throughout their lifetime and to prevent the development of diabetes complications, they also teach self-care skills and help the participants develop confidence through appropriate medically supervised recreational activities. Most participants cite making new acquaintances with peers with whom they can share experiences and overcome feelings of isolation, fear, and anger as a valuable tool in helping them better manage their disease. Learning to manage diabetes helps ultimately prepare the campers for success in all aspects of life like school and work, which links to another area of emphasis for the Ingram-White Castle Foundation’s funding program.

Another funder without which CODA camps would not be possible is the New Venture Fund, which assists with CODA’s long-standing goal that no child with diabetes be turned away from having a camp experience because of their family’s economic situation.

For children who develop diabetes at a young age, it is crucial that they learn self-care skills such as blood sugar testing, insulin injections and the importance of adhering to diet and exercise regimens. Camp Hamwi offers diverse recreational programs for any skill level. The camp provides opportunities to develop team spirit and good sportsmanship in individual and group activities. Each camper is encouraged to try new activities and explore their individual interests.  It is important that campers explore “new territory” by focusing more upon their potential than on imagined limitations imposed by diabetes. There are supervised opportunities for horseback riding, archery, volleyball, soccer, basketball, canoeing, swimming, rappelling, campfires, and arts and crafts. This funding is crucial in allowing diabetic kids to achieve their full potential as they learn how to manage their illness.

All of CODA’s camps are accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA). This accreditation means that the camp maintains the highest professional standards in instruction, safety, and welfare for all campers. To maintain accreditation, the camp must meet or exceed standards in more than 300 areas. In recent years, the camping program has adapted to meet the needs of both campers and staff members who use insulin pumps. As the devices have increased in popularity and usage, approximately half of the campers and staff benefit from case-specific educational programs.

The Harry C. Moores Foundation, a longtime CODA camp funder, is located in Columbus, Ohio, and supports camps in order to make an impact in child welfare throughout the state. Many campers come from rural counties in Ohio where they might be the only student at their school with diabetes. Meeting other kids that also need to use an insulin pump or give themselves injections can be life-changing for those who are isolated by their condition. One camper, Katie, remarked about this topic, “You don’t have to think about having diabetes; it’s just the norm. You don’t have to apologize for being diabetic because they know what it’s like.” Helping kids ages 3-17 attend camp at little-to-no cost to their families is invaluable.

After camp ends, like it did this year on Aug. 3, staff complete a thorough outcome evaluation with campers and families to determine program and education components for the next year. Continuous quality improvement allows the program to better meet expressed education needs and adapt to requests among the participants. The camp education program has three focus areas: hypoglycemia awareness and treatment, bullying, and carb counting.

The CVS Health Foundation, another camp funder, is a great example of a corporate philanthropy program that helps campers take advantage of the camp curriculum to help better manage their disease. The Diabetes Camp Education Curriculum addresses every aspect of diabetes care including medical and psychosocial concerns.  There are three levels of curriculum: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. Daily education sessions are led by the medical staff of physicians, nurses, and dietitians who focus on teaching about the nature of diabetes and methods of managing it. The complexity of issues related to diabetes dictate a relatively high ratio of medical staff to campers (no less than one health professional to eight campers). This ratio is significantly higher than many diabetes camps. The medical coverage at Camp Hamwi ensures that any medical issues that arise will be addressed by qualified medical staff rather than by counselors or non-medical personnel.

A licensed social worker conducts psychosocial programs designed to increase self-esteem and feelings of empowerment. These learning opportunities promote attitudes of independence and self-reliance crucial to the tight control of diabetes that leads to the reduction of death and disability due to diabetes or its complications.  These programs reinforce the work of the medical staff by enhancing commitment to systematic self-care and the level of glycemic control that leads to a full and healthy (near normal) lifestyle.

Thank you so much to all of our funders for making CODA camps so successful in 2019!

Camp Hamwi campers thanking longtime CODA funder, the Harry C. Moores Foundation.

CODA Director Cathy Paessun, left, and Dayna McCrary, community partnerships coordinator for the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, pose during the 2019 Red Carpet Day at Camp Hamwi after a tour of the grounds specifically designed for grantors and funders.

ADAMH Mini-Grant Program Supports Carrie’s Cafe

By | Carrie's Cafe, Featured News
LifeCare Alliance is excited to announce a $1,500 mini-grant from the Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County. This grant supports “Live Well with Carrie’s,” an initiative that provides Carrie’s Cafe, our signature dining center, with special events and enriching programming.

Special events are a key component of LifeCare Alliance’s congregate dining center program, which serves older adults and individuals living with a medical challenge and/or disability at 43 locations across central Ohio. Meal sites address clients’ nutritional, health-related, mental, and psychological needs holistically. They provide a nutritious meal, socialization, enriching programming, health services, and educational opportunities under one roof. Culturally diverse offerings are available at 11 Asian and Somali restaurants.

LifeCare Alliance is the largest provider of senior meals through community dining centers in both central Ohio and the state, according to the Ohio Department of Aging. Dining centers promote successful aging among central Ohioans, which is defined as the avoidance of disease and disability, maintenance of high cognitive and physical functioning, and engagement with life. In 2018, the congregate dining program served 140,436 meals to 4,496 clients. Seventy-eight percent (78%) of senior dining center clients are age 65 or older, 90% have an annual income of less than $20,000, 64% are female, and 55% are minority. Read More

Meals on Wheels America grant supports Senior PetCare

By | Featured News, Press Releases

LifeCare Alliance is proud to announce that it has received a $2,500 grant from Meals on Wheels America to support Senior PetCare. Funding will be used to provide food, supplies and care for the pets of central Ohio clients, which can often be a financial and physical challenge for clients to do on their own.

“More than 70 percent of our Meals-on-Wheels clients have a dog or cat,” said Chuck Gehring, LifeCare Alliance President & CEO. “This funding helps keep seniors and their pets together and safe.”

In total, Meals on Wheels America has granted over $100,000 to more than 40 local Meals on Wheels programs through the Meals on Wheels Loves Pets initiative this year. Funding is made possible in part through a donation from the former Banfield Charitable Trust. To date, the grant program has distributed more than $2.5 million in funding and pet food donations.

“We know a pet’s companionship can significantly impact the physical health and mental well-being of homebound seniors for the better, but we also know that all too often, income restrictions or mobility limitations make it challenging for seniors to care for their pets without a helping hand,” said Meals on Wheels America President and CEO Ellie Hollander. “We’re thrilled that support from the Meals on Wheels Loves Pets program will enable [program name] to provide pet food and other necessary services to local seniors to reduce some of that stress and make it easier for them to remain healthy and comforted at home with their beloved companions.”

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT LIFECARE ALLIANCE’S SENIOR PETCARE PROGRAM

LifeCare Alliance, Team Depot help veteran repair broken garage door

By | Featured News, Home Repairs

LifeCare Alliance, with the help of a grant from Meals on Wheels America and Team Depot, helped a veteran repair a broken door that limited access to his garage.

Earl is a 70-year-old Marine veteran who served two years in Vietnam. He said that for many years it was difficult to access services to assist veterans. But he was relieved that after learning about LifeCare Alliance’s partnership with Team Depot, he was able to get his repair completed quickly.

“I came here Jan. 15, and the wheels started rolling in February,” he said. “That was quick to me. The whole thing was completed in 2-3 months.”

The garage door at Earl’s home needed repair after a spring broke, making it difficult for him to open and close the garage. Earl said back problems had limited his mobility. He said the pain even affected his ability to play with his grandchildren. So this repair would make it much easier to complete everyday tasks. The garage door had been broken for a year.

With assistance from LifeCare Alliance, Meals on Wheels and Team Depot, Earl was able to have a repair done that would cost an estimated $300-$600, significant for a veteran on a fixed income. Earl wants other veterans to know about the services available at LifeCare Alliance, and was grateful for the help he received.

“I’d like to thank Team Depot for me and all of the other veterans that they’ve helped. I’m glad to see somebody stepping up and helping old guys like me because every little bit helps.”

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 volunteer recognition events as details are finalized. If you are interested in attending, please be sure to indicate so on the form below. Thank you!

LifeCare Alliance improves shower access for Navy widow with help of MOWA, Team Depot

By | Featured News, Home Repairs

LifeCare Alliance, with the help of a grant from Meals on Wheels America and Team Depot, made improvements in the home of a Navy widow to help her safely access her shower.

Carol is the widow of a Navy veteran who served four years in active duty as well as 16 years in the Reserves. With limited mobility, simply getting into and out of the shower became a challenge for Carol. After hearing of LifeCare Alliance’s CHORES program, which helps seniors make home improvements to address safety issues, she decided to apply for assistance. Funding from Meals on Wheels America and Team Depot helps provide these improvements for military veterans and their spouses.

I had two grab bars put in, one on the inside of the shower and one on the outside of the shower. I now can use both of them getting in and out of the shower. That is something that really helps.

They put in a flex handheld shower extension that you could pull off the wall. I can use this to rinse my hair without getting everything else wet. I love that, and I can now put a bench inside the shower to sit down and use the flex extension to wash.

This program from Lifecare Alliance, Meals on Wheels America and Home Depot was so simple to apply for it gave me the incentive to get it done.

I just want to thank everyone involved with assisting me with making it easier to shower and get in and out of the shower area.

Before:

Carol Scior (upstairs tub & shower)

After:

LifeCare Alliance receives $5,000 grant from the UPS Foundation

By | Featured News, Press Releases

Columbus, Ohio — Dec. 3, 2018 — LifeCare Alliance, the Midwest’s largest provider of Meals-on-Wheels, received a $5,000 grant from The UPS Foundation, which drives global corporate citizenship and philanthropic programs for UPS (NYSE:UPS).

The grant will be used to support the purchase of a Meals-on-Wheels delivery vehicle. LifeCare Alliance delivers Meals-on-Wheels to seniors and homebound clients in Franklin, Madison, Marion, Champaign, and Logan counties.

“We appreciate the generous support of The UPS Foundation,” said Chuck Gehring, President and CEO of LifeCare Alliance. “This allows LifeCare Alliance to continue providing our vital wellness and nutrition programs to all clients in need — without a waiting list.”

Established in 1951 and based in Atlanta, Ga., The UPS Foundation identifies specific areas where its backing clearly impacts social issues. In support of this strategic approach, The UPS Foundation has identified the following focus areas for giving: volunteerism, diversity, community safety, and the environment.

In 2017, UPS and its employees, active and retired, invested more than $118 million in charitable giving around the world. The UPS Foundation can be found on the web at UPS.com/foundation. To get UPS news direct, visit pressroom.ups.com/RSS.

“The UPS Foundation is honored to support LifeCare Alliance’s efforts to provide Meals-on-Wheels in central Ohio,” said Eduardo Martinez, president of The UPS Foundation and chief diversity and inclusion officer at UPS. “Our goal is to fund powerful program that make a lasting difference to the global community.”

For more information, contact:
Michelle Jones
Communications Director
LifeCare Alliance
614-437-2803
mjones@lifecarealliance.org

ABOVE: UPS has delivered a $5,000 grant to LifeCare Alliance to support the purchase of a new Meals-on-Wheels vehicle. Photo ©2018 United Parcel Service of America, Inc. All rights reserved.

LifeCare Alliance nominee AEP wins Medical Mutual Pillar Award

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

LifeCare Alliance is pleased to announce that our longtime partner American Electric Power has been chosen for The Medical Mutual Pillar Award for Community Service.

AEP has been one of LifeCare Alliance’s foremost supporters for more than a decade. LifeCare Alliance proudly nominated AEP because of the company’s many financial contributions as well as the all-important boots on the ground that help expand our reach to tens of thousands of clients each year.

In 2017, LifeCare Alliance accepted its largest-ever single gift — a $1 million contribution from the American Electric Power Foundation. Charles Gehring, the president and CEO of LifeCare Alliance, called the gift “transformational” for the Agency. He said the money would be used to purchase a new Meals-on-Wheels delivery van each year for four years, as well as to provide support for the health and nutrition programs that keep central Ohio seniors and people with medical challenges safe, independent, and living in their own homes — where they want to be.

Employees of AEP have hosted donation drives to support clients of our Help-at-Home program, the Columbus Cancer Clinic, holiday Adopt-a-Family campaigns, and our Senior PetCare program — which helps seniors care for their beloved pets by providing food, supplies, and veterinary care.

Perhaps most importantly, American Electric Power has been a significant and reliable source of volunteer manpower for LifeCare Alliance. Groups of employees regularly visit our meal distribution center to volunteer in our Groceries-to-Go Pantry for people fighting cancer and HIV/AIDS, to serve meals at our Senior Dining Center, and to pack and sort food items for Meals-on-Wheels and Senior PetCare. Through our Corporate Adopt-a-Route program, nearly 100 AEP employees share the responsibility of delivering daily Meals-on-Wheels routes, donating their lunch hour to visit people in need every day, delivering a meal, a friendly smile, and a basic wellness check for thousands of homebound central Ohioans.

AEP is in its 13th year of participation in the Corporate Adopt-a-Route program and has delivered more than 100,000 meals.

AEP will be honored with The Medical Mutual Pillar Award for Community Service during a ceremony hosted by Smart Business Magazine on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019. For more information about this event, click here or contact Molly Carpenter of Smart Business Magazine at 440-250-7039 or mcarpenter@sbonline.com.

LifeCare Alliance featured at senior hiring event

By | Careers, Events, Featured News

LifeCare Alliance will be the featured employer at an upcoming hiring event geared toward job seekers aged 50 and over.

Employment For Seniors will host the event Thursday, Dec. 6 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at 4300 E. Broad St. in Columbus.

Representatives from LifeCare Alliance will be offering immediate interviews for positions including:

  • Direct Care Support (caregivers)
  • Food Service Workers
  • Meals-on-Wheels Delivery Drivers

To register for this event, call Employment for Seniors at 614-863-1219 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Learn more

Click here to listen to the Successful Encore Career Podcast episode featuring Molly Haroz of LifeCare Alliance

APPLY TODAY

Interested in career opportunities with LifeCare Alliance? You can apply online 24 hours a day! Click here to see our open positions.

Share the Love with Vulnerable Seniors This Year

By | Featured News, Meals-on-Wheels

Exciting news!

For the eleventh year running, the Meals on Wheels network — including LifeCare Alliance — is participating in the Subaru Share the Love® Event. Over the past ten years, Subaru and its retailers have helped Meals on Wheels deliver nearly 2 million meals nationwide to seniors in need.

Why does Subaru support Meals on Wheels? 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 our homebound friends and neighbors in central Ohio. This vital support keeps seniors 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.

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS

This November 15, 2018, through January 2, 2019, 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 in Ohio.

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:

And remember: this holiday season you can ensure our senior neighbors are not forgotten, when you buy 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 15, 2018, through January 2, 2019, to four national charities designated by the purchaser or lessee. Pre-approved Hometown Charities may be selected for donation depending on retailer participation. Certain participating retailers may make an additional donation to the Hometown Charities selected. Purchasers/lessees must make their charity designations by January 31, 2019. 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.

Home Depot representatives with LifeCare Alliance clients and staff

LifeCare Alliance, Team Depot complete veteran’s porch project

By | Featured News, Home Repairs

This summer, LifeCare Alliance featured Bob and Linda, South Side Parsons Area community advocates. A damaged roof and sinking porch on their own home presented a significant challenge to the military family.

LifeCare Alliance assisted the couple through the Helping Hometown Heroes grant provided by Home Depot and Meals on Wheels America. The porch and roof were improved this summer, and Team Depot representatives returned in September to paint the porch after giving materials time to cure.

LifeCare Alliance is proud to offer this assistance in the central Ohio community. For more information, call 614-278-3130.

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.”

Before:

After:

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.

Before:

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 Volunteer Services at volunteer@lifecarealliance.org.

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.

Thank you, LifeCare Alliance nurses!

By | Columbus Cancer Clinic, Featured News, Help-at-Home, Wellness

Happy National Nurses Week! LifeCare Alliance, originally called the Instructive District Nursing Association and founded in 1898, was the first Visiting Nurse agency in Ohio. Today, the Agency still has a mission to lead the community in identifying and delivering health and nutrition services to meet the community’s changing needs.

National Nurses Week is May 6th-12th annually, and is a time to recognize and support the nursing profession. We want to celebrate the nurses on staff who work hard daily to make sure the needs of our clients are met through the Columbus Cancer Clinic, Help-at-Home, and the Wellness department.

Get to know some of the nurses at LifeCare Alliance:

Doris Gyasi, RN

“I have been in the nursing field for 22 years now. I started as nursing aide, medication aide, Licensed Practical Nurse, and then RN.  To me nursing is not career rather it is a calling.  I’m passionate about healthy living, education, caring, and improving lives. I love what I do.”

Thelma Fosselman

“As a child I never wanted to be a nurse.  It just never crossed my mind until I saw a sign on the OSU campus my freshman year reminding students to get their nursing school application submitted. So I did and here I am. I was an attorney for a short time but I think God has a plan for each of us and it appears that I am chosen to be a nurse and I couldn’t be happier or more fulfilled.” Thelma has been a nurse for 35 years.

Barbara A. Parker, B.S.N, R.N., Faith Community Nurse

“I have been a nurse for 49 years.  After testing the waters by volunteering as teens at Mt. Carmel Hospital, my girlfriend and I decided to continue our education at Capital University, pursuing careers in nursing.”

Melinda Rowe, BSN, RN

“Nursing is a second career for me. I have always been passionate about wellness. I started with nutrition, then fitness, and now the nursing profession. I knew I wanted to be a wellness nurse, with a focus on keeping people out of the hospital and remaining as healthy as possible. Being a nurse allows me to work alongside other nurses as well as other allied health professionals to do just this!”

Julie Poirier, B.S.N.,  R.N.

“I’ve been a nurse 29 years at LifeCare.  When I was in high school, I wanted to be a nurse because nurses care and educate people.   At LifeCare, I’ve been a visiting nurse, weekend nurse manager, home health aide supervisor, and wellness nurse.  As a wellness nurse, I help seniors with chronic illnesses and see travel health customers.   Nursing is great because you learn new things, use critical judgment, and make a difference in your patient’s lives.”

Peggy Parisot

“37+ years of nursing.  I thought it would be a practical way to help people in many different roles and no matter where I am.  My mother, grandmother, and aunt were all nurses and great role models.”

Catherine Nelson Black

Legacy Endowment Campaign featured in Columbus Business First

By | Featured News, Legacy, Wellness

LifeCare Alliance’s $5 million endowment match campaign was featured this month in Columbus Business First.

The article, by staff reporter Carrie Ghose, highlighted the magnitude of such a gift to an agency such as LifeCare Alliance.

“This is a transformational thing for the agency,” LifeCare Alliance President & CEO Chuck Gehring is quoted as saying. “Groups like us never get this. If we get a $10,000 gift, we have a party.”

An anonymous donor has committed to matching the first $5 million in gifts to LifeCare Alliance’s endowment. The donation comes as the Agency celebrates its 120th anniversary.

Click here to learn more about the Legacy Endowment Campaign, contact Chuck Gehring at 614-437-2801, or Rebecca Hurd, Director of Advancement, at 614-437-2867.

Click here to donate to the Legacy Endowment Campaign now!