RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Helen D. Jones relaxes her arm as she gets her blood pressure checked. She credits screenings like this one with enhancing and even saving her life.
“I had taken some medications that didn’t agree with me,” she remembers. “I was swelled up, and I came down here to the wellness clinic and they put me in a cab and sent me to the emergency room.”
The clinic is part of the Richmond Health and Wellness Program.
Since 2012 students and staff from the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Social Work along with the Department of Psychology have taken their unique areas of care to seniors.
“Educating about medications, taking blood pressure, blood sugar, helping with care coordination to help people to manage their healthcare in a better way,” Project Coordinator Kathie Falls explains the services provided.
FeedMore came on board last November to offer meals at three of the program’s five sites at senior housing facilities. Participants also get monthly food boxes from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The regular check-ups can help seniors take charge of their overall health.
“Sometimes that can help save them from a really poor health outcome or maybe even having to go to the hospital or the emergency room,” says Pam Parsons, the Program Director.
There is a focus on friendship that Jones enjoys too.
“Whenever I feel down, I’ll come down and talk to them,” she says. “They’re great.”
The Richmond Health and Wellness Program hopes to expand in the region.