The Allentown Rescue Mission would like to thank its donors for remaining faithful throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. It used a portion of the donations to purchase a blood pressure kiosk to help monitor the health of its clients. During the pandemic, the Allentown Rescue Mission has seen more men with significant medical issues. Some of the men have been previously diagnosed, while others are in need of diagnosis. This prompted the Allentown Rescue Mission to more closely monitor the men’s health.
After testing the men on the new machine, the blood pressure results were eye-opening. Eighty-seven percent of the men living at the shelter recorded elevated blood pressure. “Studies show that heart disease is the third leading cause of death among people experiencing homelessness, and hypertension is more prevalent in those experiencing homelessness compared to those with stable housing”, stated Suzanne Cressman, Director of the DeSales Free Medical Clinic.
With these results, the Allentown Rescue Mission took a hard look at the food it was serving to its clients. Going forward, it is focused on preparing the food donations as part of a heart-healthy, low-sodium diet and is asking donors to include low-sodium foods in their offerings. Additionally, the Allentown Rescue Mission will monitor the men’s blood pressure more frequently with the new machine.
The time given to the Allentown Rescue Mission employees to assess the medical needs of the shelter men has proven to be a silver lining in the pandemic lockdown. The men will receive even better care as a result of the lockdown and the generosity of Allentown Rescue Mission supporters.