A 5-year-old initiative designed to provide older residents in Steuben County a way to safely remain in their homes has received a $35,000 boost from an anonymous donor through the United Way of the Southern Tier.
“The United Way funds will allow us to put 12 new people on our Full Circle America program for a year,” said Steuben Senior Service Fund, Inc (SSSF) Executive Director Linda Tetor, adding the agency has a waiting list with ongoing referrals from other agencies in the county.
The Maine-based Full Circle America offers an essential online service providing an immediate connection with family members and medical attention for aging Steuben residents, Tetor said.
Participants now can choose to connect with loved ones and medical care through their personal computers, Amazon Dots and Amazon Shows from the comfort and security of their homes.
Since the program began, 66 men and women have been served for an average of 388 days, she said. The average age of members is 90, according to Tetor.
The savings to members – and the community — for care is significant.
Care in a nursing home for the average enrollment of 388 days would be around $188,000 while Full Circle costs roughly $3,100 for the same period for eligible residents, according to the non-profit SSSF reports.
According to the United Way, the need for services for aging residents in Steuben and Chemung counties is likely to grow, with the recent census indicating the senior population in the region increased by 4 percent during the past 10 years. That jump is compared to a growth rate in seniors of 0.5 percent from 2010-2020.
As the older population grows, Full Circle will be there to meet their needs, Tetor said.
“We say ‘Full Circle won’t take away your independence, it will support it,’” she said.
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