FAIRBURY – The annual Christmas project at Jefferson Community Health Center was very successful this year, exceeding its goal by raising more than $26,000. A total of 208 gifts were received. This year’s project is purchasing a new pool lift for the Bob and Wauneta Burkley Wellness Center and lift chairs for hospital patient rooms.
“We are so pleased with the support of our community for projects that are so much appreciated by our patients and wellness center users,” said Lana Likens, director of public relations, marketing and development at JCHC.
The swimming pool at the Bob and Wauneta Burkley Wellness Center is a great asset to our community. The pool lift—which allows accessibility for those who have difficulty with steps or are wheelchair bound — makes entering and leaving the water easier for some. The brand new lift – which runs on water power – has been installed.
Craig Bontrager, wellness center director, said the new pool lift is easy to put in place and use when it is needed, and can be removed and stored when it is not needed. The previous lift had been installed in early 2002 with donations from a Christmas project and was in need of replacement.
Water exercise is a great benefit to many because water provides a buoyancy which makes exercise easier on the joints. The lift may be used by therapists for patients who benefit from water therapy, as well as wellness center members who have the need for a lift to enter or exit the pool.
“Anyone who needs the lift should ask a wellness center staff member to assist them,” Bontrager said.
The other portion of the project this year was for lift chairs for hospital patient rooms. Lift chairs were created to help people who have difficulty sitting down and rising up from chairs. Lift chairs have electric motors that raise the chair to an elevated position to assist the user in standing or sitting. Many of our patients have lift chairs at home, and staff thought it would be helpful if we had some lift chairs available for hospitalized patients. The goal was to purchase three lift chairs for use by hospital patients who have physician and therapist approval to use them. A lift chair built for hospital use, designed with heavy duty construction and motors, has been ordered to try in patient rooms.