Wednesday, March 23, 2016

State funds give Full Circle America the go ahead in Steuben

BATH – A state Office for the Aging grant for $24,900 ensures the early May launch in Steuben County of Full Circle America (FCA), a groundbreaking service allowing elderly residents to safely remain in their homes. "We’re excited," said Steuben Senior Services Funds, Inc. Executive Director Linda Tetor. "Studies show our elders thrive longer when they stay at home, and enjoy their independence. And the cost savings for them, their families and the entire community are significant." Tetor said she expects to have a part-time FCA coordinator in place within the next couple of weeks. Steuben is among the first in the nation to launch FCA, a service developed by Dr. Alan "Chip" Teel, of Maine, to meet the needs of his patients. FCA relies on volunteers, a professional staff and high technology to help seniors stay at home securely. It also gives them more options about their care, and responses to unforeseen emergencies, such as power outages. According to the state Partnership for Long-Term Care, the average cost of nursing home care in the Steuben region is $350 per day, and paid for by Medicaid, Medicare, third-party insurers and private individuals. FCA, a program developed by family physician Dr. Alan "Chip" Teel, of Maine, provides different levels of care depending on each senior citizen’s circumstances.
Program costs begin at $29.99 per month for basic care, with increased costs based on the level of care required. FCA at-home care at the level of full-time institutional care costs $699 per month -- significantly less than the $1,200 per month average cost of nursing home care. Tetor expects to unveil the program at the county Office for the Aging’s free training day, "Aging In Place," slated for 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. April 13. Tetor’s presentation will include a demonstration of FCA technology, including the Bliss Platform ©, which provides low cost Internet access for the program’s volunteer network. The time is right to start something like this in Steuben County," Tetor said. "We must meet the needs of the elderly and at the same time contain really escalating long-term costs." For more information, to volunteer or to sign up, contact Linda Tetor at; 3 East Pulteney Square, Bath, N.Y. 14810; or call the county Office for the Aging, (607) 664-2298.