Helping the Homeless with Free CPR, AED & First Aid Training for Families at Wheeler Mission Ministries
Living in crowded spaces and having limited access to personal hygiene products, good nutrition, clean water, vaccinations and health care has resulted in a poor physical state of health for the homeless population nationwide. While infectious disease and illness may seem like a more obvious issue within the homeless population, the risk of cardiovascular disease should not be ignored.
According to the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, one study found that men in the age range 45-65 were 50 percent more likely to die from heart disease than those with homes and more stable living circumstances.
Why is heart disease and cardiac arrest so much more common among those without homes?
- Lack of glycemic control among those with diabetes
- Neglect of hypertension and hyperlipidemia control
- Higher incidence of cigarette smoking and consumption of alcohol
- Lack of B vitamins and folate from smoking and poor nutrition
Cardiac arrest and homelessness go hand and hand. What can we do? This year, the Empowerment Team at Disque Foundation has focused on helping the homeless within their local communities, creating “blessing bags” filled with foods and toiletries, to several ministries and organizations, such as Charis House and Ronald McDonald House. While these acts of giving and service are highly needed within the homeless population, the Empowerment Team has continued to utilize their knowledge of life-saving CPR, AED and First Aid training by demonstrating and empowering those who work with homelessness to save lives and prevent unnecessary deaths due to cardiac emergencies.
Two members of the Empowerment Team, Lauren Diffendarfer and Micah Poirier, were invited back to Wheeler Mission Ministries, a nondenominational Christian social services organization in Indianapolis after creating “blessing bags” for individuals and families living in the house. This time they taught life-saving, free CPR, AED and First Aid to the staff that works so closely with the demographic that needs it most.
William Bumphus III, the Director of Wheeler Mission’s Shelter for Men, knows the costly struggles of working for a non-profit, and expressed gratitude for the free service.
“We normally pay anywhere from $25-$30 per staff member for training which is a lot for us. Offering it for free allows us to keep our staff certified in CPR. Let’s save lives!” – William Bumphus III