All posts by Mary Ellen

Residents and staff members walk combined 1,400 miles during week-long walk-a-thon

Independent living resident Norma Schafer and CNA Gilda Abraham walked a combined 244,515 steps — more than 115 miles — in just one week to win Concordia’s first ever walk-a-thon. The partner team was one of 30 independent living resident and staff member teams to participate in the week-long Concordia Cup competition lasting April 25 – May 2.

Even though participants were not required to walk with their partners, many opted to hold each other accountable by sticking to a schedule. Gilda, the staff member on the first place team, would meet up with Norma  every evening after bingo to talk and walk together through the building.

While strengthening connections between residents and staff members was a great benefit of the walk-a-thon, the main goal was encouraging an active lifestyle among residents and staff members. To that end, Norma and Gilda each received a Fitbit to encourage their new habit of counting steps and making excuses to walk more, both indoors and outdoors.

Each morning, the step count totals were updated and teams were able to track their progress and compare with their fellow residents and staff members to measure their progress against the competition. Together, the 60 participants covered quite a bit of ground — more than 3 million steps or 1,400 miles!

Second-place team, Lifestyles Coordinator Megan Carter and resident Bill Groh were not far behind with a combined 212,930 steps or a little more than 100 miles in one week.

“Bill pushed me!” Carter said. “Every time he saw me sitting down or working at my desk he told me to get back on my feet and keep walking.”

She said Bill would start the day strong by getting three miles in every morning before breakfast by walking to his son’s house, reading the newspaper, and heading back to campus. Luckily, the team will have an opportunity to come back next year and clench the victory.

“This will definitely not be our last Concordia Cup!” Carter said. “It’s a fun, easy way for all of us to get active. We’ll be back next year!”


Concordia celebrates Wellness on Wheels program’s third anniversary

Wellness on Wheels grew from seven to 54 clinics annually since 2013

This month, Concordia Life Care Community celebrates the anniversary of its Wellness on Wheels program, created in April 2013 to provide vital health screening and education free of charge to older adults and seniors in and near Oklahoma County. In three years, the program has grown from seven free senior wellness clinics in its first year to more than 54 clinics. Held at area churches, nonprofits, civic organizations, and low-income senior housing communities, the clinics offer blood sugar and blood pressure checks, medication consultations and general health education.

“Some of the nurses at our continuing care retirement community were excited to launch the Wellness on Wheels clinics in response to a growing unmet need among low-income seniors in Oklahoma City,” Concordia’s Director of Fund Development, Paige Mills-Haag said. “In three years, thanks to our servant-minded employees and community partners, the outreach program has grown more than we could have imagined.”

In total, Concordia has provided 97 senior wellness clinics to date and served an estimated 2,450 wellness participants ranging in age from 55-95, including many who would otherwise not have had access to affordable health care services or vital screenings.

“In 2015, Oklahoma’s overall senior health ranked 46th in the nation,” Concordia Executive Director Danny Eischen said. “Through the Wellness on Wheels program which aligns perfectly with Concordia’s commitment to meeting the current and continuing needs of seniors, Concordia and our partners have found a meaningful and effective way to help our state address its challenges with senior health.”

Clinics are staffed by Concordia nurses along with retired and semi-retired health care professionals. The growth and continued success of Wellness on Wheels would not be possible without the grant funds and partner support from Wheat Ridge Ministries, the Lutheran Church Extension Fund, The Kerr Foundation, The Meinders Foundation, Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, and the Oklahoma City Housing Authority. “The program was 100 percent grant funded in its first 3 years,” said Paige Mills-Haag. “We continue to be blessed by the generosity of local and national foundations who want to reverse the statistics and make a positive impact on the health of Oklahoma’s senior population.”

For more information click here or to schedule a wellness clinic, please contact Megan Warn-Carter, Lifestyles Director at 405.621.8709.

Concordia recognizes Deanna Marler as Employee of the Year

OKLAHOMA CITY – Concordia Life Care Community honored its employees with an awards banquet in March at Messiah Lutheran Church in Oklahoma City, and selected five employees out of more than 130 to recognize individually.

Deanna Marler was awarded Employee of the Year, a title recognizing its recipient for excellence in hospitality, professionalism, enthusiasm and respect. Marler is a certified nursing assistant at Concordia.

“I’m incredibly honored to be awarded Employee of the Year,” Marler said. “I feel blessed to work with and for an incredible group of people, and I am grateful every day for the residents at Concordia!”

Marler was recognized alongside fellow employees Sam Muturi, receiving the Extra Mile Award, Casia Gonzales, Enthusiasm Award, Chris Parks, Professionalism Award and Max Melot, Dr. Campbell Spirit of Concordia Award. Concordia introduced the awards banquet this year to show its appreciation for the strong work ethic and compassion employees demonstrate on a daily basis.

Volunteers of the Year: Residents Receive Statewide Recognition

Couple at Oklahoma City Retirement Community Recognized as LeadingAge Oklahoma’s 2016 Volunteer Residents of the Year 

OKLAHOMA CITY Independent living retirement community residents Clyde and Phyllis Buchanan were recognized earlier this month as LeadingAge Oklahoma’s 2016 Volunteer Residents of the Year. The two were nominated by their friends and staff at Concordia Life Care Community, a continuing care retirement community in Oklahoma City. Together, the Buchanans spent more than 500 hours last year volunteering, and their efforts include working with residents in Concordia’s memory support program, hosting in the dining room and teaching an exercise class. The Buchanans received their award in person at the 21st Annual LeadingAge Oklahoma Awards Program on March 8.

“In their five years since moving to Concordia, Clyde and Phyllis have devoted hundreds of hours toward serving their community,” Concordia Executive Director Danny Eischen said. “The Buchanans are a perfect example of the value residents who are passionate about volunteering bring to us all. It is this selflessness consistently demonstrated by the Buchanans, and many of our other residents as well, that continually energizes me and makes me proud of the community at Concordia.”

LeadingAge Oklahoma’s resident Volunteers of the Year make contributions that result in positive changes for their retirement community and help to preserve the dignity, well-being and independence of fellow residents. A music program for memory support residents is one example of where the Buchanans time and leadership has made a positive impact upon the entire community.

“Clyde and Phyllis were instrumental in helping to organize a group of independent living residents to play music every other week with our memory support residents,” Eischen said. “Clyde plays guitar and Phyllis sings. It’s a beautiful sight to see individuals with cognitive impairment smile and participate in a meaningful activity.”

Because their sing-along was so impactful for the memory support residents, the Buchanans helped organize and promote a performance for the group to sing for their family members, other residents and Concordia staff. They made props for the performers, printed programs and sent videos to out-of-town family members who were unable to attend.

“The memory support residents who participate in our sing-a-longs have brought Phyllis and me so much joy,” Clyde Buchanan said. “Volunteering for them, and for others, is an opportunity to brighten lives. We love to do it, and we are grateful to live in a community that supports us and fosters an environment of service.”


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Concordia Life Care Community | 7707 W Britton Rd | Oklahoma City, OK 73132

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