So why does ESC offer affordable housing coupled with supportive onsite services? Transportation can be a great challenge for many of our residents. For that reason ESC strives to bring as many services onsite as possible. Tai Chi, acupuncture, massage, blood pressure clinics, and health services such as audiology, dermatology, optometry and laboratory services are examples of ESC’s onsite wellness services. Resident Mary Roll, 98, states, “I love the massage and the acupuncture is great. It really helps me achieve immediate relief when I need it most, better than taking any pill.” ESC’s Wellness Director, Sarah Schoeder, has even arranged for a local veterinarian clinic to visit once a month to ensure pet wellness at ESC. Spiritual enrichment is also an important component and continues the founders’ vision. The church and pastor along with the “Caring Connection” volunteers promote being present with residents, no matter where they are. These community and resident volunteers provide spiritual support to current and former residents at ESC, in hospitals, rehab centers or in long-term care facilities.
Another challenge is offering services that residents can afford. Finding service providers who understand ESC’s mission and want to participate is key. Service provider partners understand they are serving a population in need but also have the benefit of a strong customer base where they can serve several clients in one place or at the same time. Schoeder has worked with the onsite health providers to ensure insurance coverage or discounted rates for services, improving resident participation. For example, the massage therapist offers discounted pricing and massage in increments of 15 minutes so residents can receive the physical benefits at an affordable rate. According to Schoeder, “The wellness partners have become part of the community and residents are willing to take a chance on something new. The residents are proud of what is offered here so they have bought into the culture of wellness, which makes it successful. It’s great to see people you never expected to see attending these activities.”