Bob Woodward is one of the longest recurring members of FSL’s Wellness Program through MercyCare Advantage. A 58-minute bus ride and the need for two battery packs to power his mobile scooter will not slow the significant progress he has made over the course of his visits. Of course, his dry sense of humor likely helps him through it all. But now, he is facing a more serious obstacle which has nothing to do with his personal health – COVID-19.
For the past five years, rain or shine, Bob has made regular visits to see FSL’s Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, Dana, to lower and maintain his A1C levels as well as manage his food intake and weight. Over the course of these years, both Bob and Dana have weathered many storms together including life-threatening emergencies related to his diabetic wounds and hyperglycemia. Luckily, Dana has been with him every step of the way. “Bob is an amazing guy. He is active in his church and volunteers in their many programs including the weekly food bank. I have so enjoyed supporting all of Bob’s goals for the management of his diabetes and his cardio metabolic wellness,” says Dana.
On the morning of April 9th, during their weekly coaching appointment Dana found out just how dire Bob’s personal situation was becoming. He broke down and shared his severe need for food and personal toiletry items, as the grocery stores’ shelves were becoming bare due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He was desperately in need of assistance, fast. Being very susceptible to the virus due to his age and having complicated comorbidities, a wasted trip to the store on his scooter was becoming more and more risky.
With a limited food stamp balance and an increase in his monthly rent, he was having to make very difficult decisions on the types of food he could find and afford. This began to affect his blood sugar levels. While many of our neighbors have been affected by this pandemic, all in different ways, most of us do not need to think about stretching our grocery budget to Bob’s extreme. In addition to his Dietitian providing him continued wellness counseling, FSL’s Care by Design is delivering four food and personal supply boxes monthly directly to Bob’s residence. He is now able to receive months’ worth of pantry items, allowing his food stamps to cover the other items he needs. FSL’s services provided hope and faith during this unprecedented pandemic.
During a time of vulnerability and desperation, Bob didn’t have many options when it came to bettering his situation. Unfortunately during this COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals and families around the world have been affected, some worse than others. FSL is proud to offer support to the most vulnerable in our community at a time when they need it the most. If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to FSL’s Care by Design program by calling 602-285-1800.