Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Home On The Range With A FULL House

Judith Rauch is a lady of the land. Appreciating the simple things in life, Judith calls a 2 ½ acre stretch of Illinois land her home, and has for an entire lifetime. Judith is a strong, sophisticated woman. Even after a series of unfortunate events which landed her the inability to walk, Judith still persevered. This spunky 70 year old wasn’t going to just lie down and accept a life of imprisonment. Judith decided to do something about it. She got up the courage and strength to put herself through months and months of strenuous and at times painful rehabilitation. After 6 months of dedication and focus, Judith improved her ability to walk with a walker, and after a few more months, she could walk with a cane. Inside, Judith was solid and strong but found she was falling frequently. On occasion, she ended up in the hospital for emergency procedures. With the added burden of hauling oxygen tanks across her huge stretch of land, sometimes it was impossible to get around, anywhere. At times all she could do was stand outside waving her arms, in hope of catching her husbands attention, and getting some help. It wasn’t easy, Judith says, with her active lifestyle which includes attending Seniors Groups and women’s groups at her church. Not to mention her active participation in the Red Hat Ladies Society meetings & outings. Judith managed to juggle regaining her mobility, while at the same time her and her husband had a full house of family, and foster kids. Judith wanted to take care of EVERYONE.

Finally, a doctor recommended a power chair. Judith marveled at the idea of regaining her mobility, and efficiency. Before she knew it someone was at her home delivering her new power chair. . .Judith was revving to go! Judith was also ready to move on from her oxygen tanks, there was no holding her back now. This was a whole new life, and a whole new world! Once she got her Open-Aire unit she could finally be rid of all those tanks and machines cluttering her house! New way to get air, and new way to get anywhere, Judith is all smiles. If you ask Judith what’s the best part of having her power chair, she’ll tell you it is being able to chase after her great-grandson without the fear of hurting herself in the process. She can now get around her entire property, and even go find her husband way out in the field and see if he needs help. She has no problems or fear going over tough & grassy terrains anymore, and it’s actually a fun adventure. This 70 year old has got a lot of living to do, and plans on making the most of it with Open-Aire by her side.

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Family Affair

Cindy is the oldest sibling in the Meyer family. She juggles a full time career, household, husband and now a new baby granddaughter. Her father Mr. Meyer, was a good man. He stayed by his wife Tressa ‘s side for the 10 years she was on tanks, taking care of her and giving her what she needed. He changed the tanks, gave her the proper medication, and was always at her beck and call. The tanks seemed to put a stress on the relationship and made an uninviting situation for visitors, as people would trip over cords, or Tressa would be cooped up in her bedroom connected to the larger o2 unit, unable to visit. One evening Mr. Meyer sat in his chair to take a nap, nothing out of the ordinary. Except this time, Mr. Meyer never woke up. Tressa could not handle the tanks by herself. With Tressa unable to care for herself, Cindy had no choice but to step up as big sister and daughter, and take care of her mother. Cindy not only absorbed the responsibilities of permanent caregiver, she also absorbed her fathers funeral arrangements, burial, and all their unpaid bills. Letters, banking issues, legal matters, changing tanks twice a day, dealing with insurance, and working her full time job became a day to day reality for Cindy. Her shell was about to crack. Something had to give.

She caught the end of a commercial for Open-Aire, and wondered if her mother could benefit from the portable unit. She did some research, called insurance, and it was official. She rang Open-Aire and couldn’t believe how easy the process went. Cindy had been used to dealing with difficult companies and agencies, who seemed to demand a lot and only wanted to take from her. Cindy appreciated how ‘effortless’ the process with Open-Aire went, and by her second call, the case manager had all her information and was ready to listen. Upon delivery, the set up was just as simple. Cindy couldn’t wait to call the oxygen provider and let them know their machine and tanks needed to be picked up, this time for good. The unit is so light and manageable that Tressa can now change the battery and turn on the unit without help. She is gaining bits and pieces of her independence, while Cindy gained security, piece of mind, and time, for not shuttling back and forth to change tanks out. In retrospect, one thing Cindy would have done differently is found Open-Aire sooner. The portable oxygen unit would have made Mr. & Mrs. Meyers’s life a lot easier, with less headaches and definitely less arguments. Cindy is most grateful that caring for her mother is now safer and reliable, with the Open-Aire portable unit.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Workout With Wii Fit May Help Improve COPD

Over the years video games have outgrown their reputation of being just for kids, and they’re now generally considered entertainment for people of all ages. But a new study shows that thanks to the game Wii Fit, they may also be considered as exercise and physical therapy equipment. An article from explains:

People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may benefit from exercising at home with Nintendo’s Wii Fit video game, a new study finds.

The video game may make working out more enjoyable and thus encourage the type of physical activities that help people with breathing problems, Connecticut researchers say.

To read the full article click here.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Service to the Rescue

People are busy. . .we all have lives to live. Houses, family, church…it seems everything needs some form of our attention. When you’re diagnosed with COPD, life tends to need a little more planning, and a little more attention to detail. Herman Van Stedum knows all about that. When his four year old unit from Open-Aire needed a little tune up, Herman didn’t have the time or the energy to go without oxygen while his new unit arrived. Lucky for him, as an Open-Aire customer-he didn’t have to. Herman’s wife of 64 years, Marion is the glue of the household. She is the boss lady and the backbone. Marion picked up the phone and called Susan, a customer service representative at Open-Aire, directly. Marion explained what was going on with the unit and Susan didn’t like what she heard.

She immediately ordered a replacement unit for Herman. Susan, being the dedicated customer service agent that she is, noticed the unit was going to take a few weeks to make it to their home. In an effort to go above and beyond (nothing out of the ordinary at Open-Aire) Susan overnighted a loaner unit to the Van Stedum household. Herman never had to worry about going one day, or one minute without being able to breathe. Marion never had to worry about running around to get a replacement unit, or worry about her husband not being able to have oxygen. Life carried on as usual. Marion was able to focus on her crocheting, and their great grand children’s two weddings coming up this summer. Herman was able to focus on his woodwork, which he loves so much. His talents include making wooden leaves for the fall and Christmas trees for the holidays while the kids bring his work to life by painting them in magical colors. Being an Open-Aire customer, means you have an army of individuals just like Susan on your side. You’ll never go without oxygen, not if Susan and the Open-Aire service representatives can help it.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Her Name Says It All

"I have the BEST job on EARTH!" This statement is a common one in the customer service department. Carrie Truesdale is one of the hand selected members of the Open-Aire Mobility Division customer service team, who prides herself in representing the heart and soul of the company, their customers! Each day is more fulfilling than the next for Carrie as her personal slogan is 'Never Doubt, Carrie Cares'. Her daily goals are simple: Reduce drama and trauma while increasing the fun factor in receiving a mobility product. This warm outlook on her work has allowed Carrie to make friends all over the country, both recipients of power chairs and Delivery Techs. Carries’ love for her work is contagious and expressed daily.

A few weeks ago, Carrie was trying to contact a new customer to get specifics on where to ship her new power chair. Carrie had spoken with her just a week prior, so when she learned the phone was no longer in service, Carrie got worried, decided to follow her gut and do some research. She found a way to reach her. Carrie learned that the patient’s house had burnt down that week. She had lost everything; her home, her belongings and was staying in a hotel, with just the clothes on her back. Carrie’s main concern was the mental and physical well being of her customer. Carrie knew she had lost everything and was staying in a hotel without any belongings, and importantly, no power chair. Carrie and her customer spent a worthwhile time on the phone, discussing how she was feeling and what the next steps were for her. Carrie listened while her customer shared her feelings on her recent tragedy, and ensured her that it will get better. Carrie followed up a few days later and heard some good news. She got an apartment and was excited to get out of the hotel and begin building her life back. Carrie happily and excitedly shipped the patients new power chair to the new address.

About a week later, the patient called Carrie with a smile on her face and hope in her voice. She was gushing with excitement and gratitude about the arrival of her new chair! She was so thankful to have her power chair, as it made her life much more pleasurable and easier. She told Carrie she didn’t have anything in her apartment, except her power chair and mentioned at this point, that was all she needed. When you ask Carrie what it takes to be a good Customer Service Representative, her answer comes straight from the heart. "All it takes is a listening ear and a caring heart... a good sense of humor doesn’t hurt, either." Her name says it all, Carrie really does care.