By Sandi Latimer
Octogenarian Jack Knisley of Grove City has trouble reaching down to his feet.
He can work on his left foot, “but I can’t bend down to my right foot” said the 82-year-old retired truck driver.
That’s why every couple of months he goes to the LifeCare Alliance Wellness Center at the Church of the Nazarene on Hoover Road. There Registered Nurse Thelma Fosselman gives him a helping hand.
Not only did she help Knisley with his feet, but Fosselman took his blood pressure, recorded the results on his chart, and scheduled him for his next appointment.
Foot care is one of the services the nurses provide there and the seven other wellness centers throughout Franklin County. It is one the big health concerns of older adults, especially people with diabetes.
Other services provided include regular checkups that can help identify and manage high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, depression, memory loss, malnutrition, and vision and hearing loss.
Dietitians are on hand to help clients understand nutrition and often demonstrate how to prepare certain foods and dishes. Their work can help clients manage their weight, diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol through personal coaching as well as fitness and nutrition group classes.
Nurses and dietitians can also assist in finding the right program or service information for clients that ranges from transportation to legal issues to medical care and even meal programs.
Clients are not charged for their visit, “but donations are welcome,” said Fosselman. A normal visit would cost around $45, but donations to LifeCare Alliance helps the agency to extend its health and independent living programs to those who are unable to pay.
The Wellness Center at The Nazarene started out at the E.L. Evans Senior Center, but had to find new space. In December, it relocated to the second floor on the south end of the church.
The room is usually used as a kitchen to prepare food for funerals, said Fosselman. But on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, she wheels her equipment in to see clients.
“I’m portable,” she said, pointing to her case she packs and pulls behind her.
These Wellness Centers are just one of the many services that LifeCare Alliance provides to the community. Perhaps the most popular is the Meals on Wheels program.
An open house is planned for May 24 at the Wellness Center at the Nazarene Church. Fosselman and a second registered nurse, Barbara Parker, and registered dietitian Jared Klaus will greet visitors and show and explain their services. Klaus will be doing food demonstrations and visitors can sample the results of those demonstrations. The Open House begins at 10 a.m. To RSVP, call LifeCare Alliance at 614-437-2878.
Other such centers are located at the Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center, the Gillie Senior Center, the Hilliard Presbyterian Church, Maplewood Heights Apartments in Whitehall, Marion Franklin Community Center, Gye Nyame Place in northeast Columbus, and Carrie’s Cafe at the LifeCare Alliance Event Center.