The United Church Home Mission to Serve
Quoting from United Church Home’s (UCH) “Founded in 1916, UCH began its mission at a time of ethnic discrimination, poverty, and pandemic. There were no safety nets for the poor or older adults like there are today. Over the years, people and situations have changed, but our mission has remained the same to provide quality and affordable housing and healthcare options to older adults. In fact, United Church Homes is a leading provider of healthcare and senior living services with a mission to transform aging by building a culture of community, wholeness, and peace for those we are privileged to serve.”
UCH began in northwestern Ohio over a century ago with a residential care campus in Sandusky, Ohio. Today, they provide affordable housing, assisted living homes, memory care, and independent living units in fifteen states and eighty communities. In fact, the serve two Native American nations as well.
The Art of Aging Podcast
Reverend Beth Long-Higgins and Michael Hughes share the responsibilities researching, interviewing, and hosting guest. This podcast series started by a fellow from the Dayton Foundation Encore Fellows Initiative where guests offer their experience and advice on improving the aging journey. I had the pleasure of being interview by Michael Hughes, Senior Executive Vice-President and Chief Transformation and Innovation Officer. Mike’s extensive background in healthcare and aging shine through the conversation he leads in this weekly podcast. The target audience for the podcast series are consumers and care professionals highlighting the richness, blessings, and struggles of growing older.
Thinking Smart About Functional Support
Thinking Smart about Function Support is the topic of our The Art of Aging podcast. I hope you enjoy listening to our conversation as discuss the importance of personalized care management and creating a safe home environment. The end product of our conversation is this thirty-minute video or audio podcast. Click the link below to connect with the Abundant Aging site and choose the format you like best.
Here’s an excerpt from our conversation on the three F’s of medical equipment.
The best safety check for a walking, cane or rollator fit is to stand back (or look in a full-length mirror). Are you standing upright with eyes forward? When holding on to the equipment do the arms bend like 8:00 (or a 120-degree angle)? Is the top of the equipment at waist height? Lastly on fit are the hand grips. Make certain they are secure. For a person with poor grip strength, we recommend gel or faux skin covered hand grips.
Function speaks for itself. This is the fun part. What is the intended use of the equipment? Most often the first answer is to compensate for unsteady gait. Right? But it goes way beyond that. Will the equipment be used indoors or outdoors or both? Do you need equipment to compensate for reduce endurance? If fatigue is the issue, then a decision about wheeled or feet with skis is the next consideration.
Remember that a person must have the ability to walk a stride that means lift and advance each leg independently, in order to use a wheel device. It there is a deficit in either leg then a stationary walker is the best option for more stability and control. Will the equipment need to fold up for easy transportation? Like folding canes, walkers, wheelchairs and so on. In addition to folding, how portable is the device? It may fold up, but can the user or caregiver lift it folded and store it in a car, for example.
Options to Consider
Some walkers with wheels have hand brakes.
Trays can help you carry food, drinks, and other items.
A pouch attached to the side of a walker can carry books, a phone, or other items you like to have with you.
A walker with a seat can be helpful if you need to take breaks while walking.
Baskets are useful if you use your walker when you go shopping.
I want to thank Mike Hughes and UCH for this opportunity to share my knowledge and passion.