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Diabetes Education Grant Helps Secure Independence

Consumer Charlene poses for the camera in her wheelchair with a pinwheel in her wheelchair

Charlene

Charlene

Charlene was eager to start cooking in her apartment after living in a nursing home for two years. She wanted tasty food and she wanted to cook it for herself. She found it especially trying for someone attempting to eat gluten free in a nursing home.

“At the time… I had very limited choices for nutritious gluten free meals. Quite often, it was a plate of gluten free pasta, or Rice Krispies.”
She transitioned out of nursing home care to her own apartment through the Community Transition Services offered at The Independence Center in July of 2014. During her two years in a nursing home, her husband had passed away unexpectedly. This left Charlene with no place to go home to. Having never lived alone, she was being discharged from a nursing home to live independently all by herself.

Once settled in her new apartment, she began to cook for herself. Her concerns were to make nutritious food that also tasted good. Charlene admits she put on weight after leaving the nursing home and says, “Knowing about food and nutrition is very helpful for weight loss and a lot of things, seeing as how I am doing everything on my own now.”

About a year after transition, when her transition services were about to be finished, she was offered a spot in the Diabetes Education Class at The Independence Center. The class is part of a program to help people with disabilities learn how to prevent or control diabetes through diet and exercise. This is important because people with disabilities experience diabetes at a much higher rate than the general population.

Charlene takes a great deal of notes throughout the Diabetes Education Class. “They teach us how the pancreas works, what glucose is and how it goes into the cells, what are simple carbs, complex carbs, a lot of information…. Every two months we come here and talk to Martha the nutritionist and she’ll catch up on what we’ve been doing and give us a new set of information to practice the next two months and then come back.

“I think one of the biggest things [I’ve learned] is peas are not a vegetable. Peas are 100% carbs. If you have peas on your plate, then you [shouldn’t] have the potatoes. We were really upset about the peas,” she chuckles good-naturedly.

When asked if there is one word that describes the difference in her as a person between now and eighteen months ago, Charlene answers enthusiastically: “Independence! I’m way independent now! I had always been married so I didn’t know anything about living alone. The Independence Center with the community transition program was amazing. If it wasn’t for them, I don’t know what I would have done because I didn’t know anything about where to begin.”

The Diabetic Education program was made possible by a $7,500 grant from the Myron Stratton Grants Program. Support from the program aims to promote healthy living as a person with diabetes or prediabetes. It serves to make her independence that much more secure, so she can live as she wants to live – independently. ~ JT

21st century pie chart

The IC’s 2015 Grants and Sponsorships as of Oct. 1, 2015

 

  • Sam’s Club granted $1,000 to buy equipment for consumers to improve health.
  • The Myron Stratton Home granted $7,500 for diabetes education for staff and consumers.
  • Corporate Sponsors collectively funded $11,330 and paid for our ADA Celebration.
  • National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) is paying $20,000 for a Spinal Cord Injury Program which includes a peer support group, outreach, equipment, and field trips.
  • Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG) awarded $25,000 for equipment to enhance independence and the quality of life for seniors with reduced vision.
  • Daniels Fund awarded $45,000 for equipment to be given to Red Cross Shelters that will enhance the accessibility of emergency disaster shelters.
  • Regional Care Collaborative Organization Region 7 (RCCO 7) awarded two grants. One will test a reporting system by caregivers to see if collected information can prevent hospitalizations; the other grant provides ADA coordination for the RCCO7.

2015 ADA Celebration Sponsors

Central Bancorp Insurance
Network Insurance Services
Cascade Investment Group
Denver Management Advisors
Health South
Mellat, Pressman, Higbie
Captioncall
Kelley Vivian
Magnisight
US Bank
BKD
NAMI
United Healthcare
Meeting the Challenge
The Arc
Yellow Cab
AT&T Relay
RMHC Services

 

Assistive Technology Grant Provides Tangible Benefit

Consumer Sandy Bailey smiles for the camera

A retired professor at Pikes Peak Community College (PPCC), Sandy Bailey had full sight until about two years ago. She was diagnosed with a tumor on her pituitary gland and was operated on. Sandy BaileyHer surgeon predicted she would lose all of her sight but she considers herself blessed to have 25% remaining.

As Sandy grieved her sight loss, she sought assistance. With the diminishment of her vision, one of the biggest losses was her ability to read. “My thing has always been if I have personal issues, look for support groups. So when this happened to me, the first thing I thought was ‘I cannot just sit at home. I have got to find something [to help].’” Sandy found The Independence Center and began attending groups. One day at her low vision group she was told that a grant was coming for seniors over sixty years old to buy assistive equipment. She was invited to participate and requested an iPad. Her face lights up when she describes how her iPad has helped make books accessible again. She’s installed NFB Reader, Kindle, BARD Library, and utilizes the voice over function. “I love that iPad. I love it for the reading,” she states.

Sandy still remembers having a blind student in one of the classes she taught at PPCC (before her own sight loss). She recalls being impressed by the young woman’s positivity and artistic expression. “I like positivity,” she declares, “I just have this thing that positive people can do anything that they put their mind to. But if you’re negative, then you’re not going to do it, because you don’t want to. You have to want to do it.” Sandy’s philosophy motivates her to help others. Now she helps teach others what she has learned on the iPad. “I am still teaching,” she says with a smile. The iPad was provided through the Area Agency on Aging grant to The Independence Center’s Older Individuals with Blindness program. ~JT

21st century pie chart

The IC’s 2015 Grants and Soonsorships as of Oct. 1, 2015

 

  • Sam’s Club granted $1,000 to buy equipment for consumers to improve health.
  • The Myron Stratton Home granted $7,500 for diabetes education for staff and consumers.
  • Corporate Sponsors collectively funded $11,330 and paid for our ADA Celebration.
  • National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) is paying $20,000 for a Spinal Cord Injury Program which includes a peer support group, outreach, equipment, and field trips.
  • Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG) awarded $25,000 for equipment to enhance independence and the quality of life for seniors with reduced vision.
  • Daniels Fund awarded $45,000 for equipment to be given to Red Cross Shelters that will enhance the accessibility of emergency disaster shelters.
  • Regional Care Collaborative Organization Region 7 (RCCO 7) awarded two grants. One will test a reporting system by caregivers to see if collected information can prevent hospitalizations; the other grant provides ADA coordination for the RCCO7.

2015 ADA Celebration Sponsors

Central Bancorp Insurance
Network Insurance Services
Cascade Investment Group
Denver Management Advisors
Health South
Mellat, Pressman, Higbie
Captioncall
Kelley Vivian
Magnisight
US Bank
BKD
NAMI
United Healthcare
Meeting the Challenge
The Arc
Yellow Cab
AT&T Relay
RMHC Services

Grant for Diabetes Education Will Help People with Disabilities

Healthy living is a topic frequently discussed in this country. People everywhere are trying to find ways to prevent and treat diseases like Diabetes. The Independence Center, a local non-profit organization, has received a grant of $7,500 from The Myron Stratton Grants Program to provide Diabetes education to staff and consumers at the agency.

The new program will help people with disabilities, who have a higher incidence of Diabetes than the general population, to learn how to prevent or control the disease through diet and exercise. The Independence Center hopes that this kind of education will help people with disabilities live more independently. A new class will be offered at The Independence Center that will focus on healthy eating. This class is just another opportunity for people with disabilities to better themselves.

Along with the new class, a peer support group is also being held for seniors who have low-vision and also are living with Diabetes. Janet Brugger, Assistant Program Manager, says, “The group will provide an opportunity for these people to speak with each other about their Diabetes and share their experiences.” Contact The Independence Center for more information about these new programs.

Gaining Independence

The Independence Center and Friends of Man were able to collaborate to purchase an accessible van for Frank, a consumer of The IC. Frank had an automobile accident a little over a year ago and now is a wheelchair user.  With the Friends of Man, in addition to The Home Modification / Assistive Technology grant, The Independence Center Frank with his new van from The IC and Friends of Manwas able assist in the process of purchasing the van.

“It’s hard to get around the city without an automobile and it doesn’t help when the transit is so limited about where it can go,” Frank said. “Just getting in and out of an automobile is hard enough doing it all day it really wears you out.”

With this van Frank has gained a little of his independence back and improved his quality of life as well.

 

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