New bariatric suites at LutheranCare give resident ‘new lease on life’

The first night Shirley Coe spent in her new room in the bariatric suites at LutheranCare felt like the first rest she had in more than a year.

“Last night was the best night’s sleep I’ve had in a long time,” she told her nurse’s aide.

The change in her personality was dramatic. For the first time in more than year, Shirley was smiling, interacting with others, leaving her room.

That change was nothing more than the result of accommodations created specifically for her.

LutheranCare became one of few healthcare facilities in the region to address a nationwide challenge of adequately accommodating overweight and obese patients through the addition of bariatric suites, designed with the amenities to provide these individuals with quality care.

The Foundation partnered with LutheranCare to assist in the completion of these suites. Health care facilities are challenged by inadequate equipment, furniture and bathrooms to accommodate bariatric patients. Locally, this potentially effects the majority of Herkimer and Oneida counties’ residents as 60 percent of these residents are recognized as overweight or obese, according to hocindicators.org.

Shirley is a changed patient, say her caretakers. She’s excited about decorating her room. She loves going to the hairdresser and having her nails done.

“She’s a completely different person with a new lease on life,” said LuthernCare’s Karen Ostinett.