As part of our ongoing commitment to community health, the United Way began the ground-breaking TIPS initiative to help older adults self-manage chronic health conditions while avoiding unplanned or emergency medical visits, improving overall health, reducing healthcare expenses and minimizing stress on caregivers while helping seniors remain active and independent in their own homes.
Funded by a grant from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, TIPS uses non-invasive, FDA-approved medical devices to assess the health of more than 200 seniors at the Jewish Community Center of Scranton and United Neighborhood Centers’ Active Adult Community Centers in Carbondale, Jessup, South Scranton and West Scranton. We received a grant from the AARP to temporarily expand the program to St. Catherine’s Manor in Dunmore and include FitBits and Conductorcise—an exercise program set to music. Trained student technicians from the University of Scranton measure the seniors’ blood oxygen levels, blood pressure, pulse and weight at least twice weekly. The readings are transmitted to a nurse who reviews them remotely and will contact the senior directly at the first sign of concern.
In a study completed last summer, 37 TIPS participants reported having been frequent visitors to area emergency rooms due to chronic cardiovascular or pulmonary conditions prior to entering TIPS. Since joining TIPS, these same 37 participants have reported zero visits to the ER or readmissions to local hospitals.