Friday, January 17, 2014

The Gift of Health

It’s January—a month when strong commitments to New Year’s resolutions cause us to reevaluate our health habits and recommit to lifestyle changes.  Because overall wellbeing is such a pertinent topic at this time of year, this week’s post is dedicated to the subject of health.

Multiple studies have drawn an unmistakable correlation between the prevalence of medical conditions amongst people who have missed medical care due to transportation problems and those who face no transportation barriers.  People who lack transportation options are less likely to have a primary care physician to obtain regular care, go in for preventative care, or make it to follow-up appointments once they’ve become ill.  Incidence of medical conditions (such as arthritis, asthma, COPD , cancer, depression, dental problems, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, hypertension, irritable bowel , medication allergies, pain or aching joints, poor circulation, recurring pain, severe sprains, skin problems, and vision problems) is significantly higher for adults who have difficulty finding ways to get to medical facilities. 

Furthermore, the pattern of co-morbidities (multiple, simultaneous conditions) is higher when people have transportation challenges.  Wallace, Hughes-Cromwick, Mull & Khasnabis add, “Transportation-disadvantaged status that results in missed trips will potentially exacerbate the diseases and may result in costly subsequent medical care (specialist visits, emergency room visits, and possibly hospitalizations).   Even when the potential to decrease subsequent utilization by more prompt care of an existing condition does not exist, quality-of-life concerns remain evident and important…” (p. 80).

Thus, the facts are clear: Our volunteer drivers help our clients become their happiest, healthiest selves!  As we focus on our own healthy living practices, let us not forget this important aspect of our work.

*Source: Link to article


About Me

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“Behind the Wheel” offers stories, reflections, news and updates about Sound Generations’ (formerly Senior Services') Transportation Program. Throughout King County, our inspiring volunteers provide needed mobility to local seniors, supporting them in their efforts to remain independent, healthy, and happy. Please drop by to read more about the unique experiences of our volunteers, clients and staff!
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