Staying Put in Lower Bucks program permits the elderly to remain in their homes when they no longer can drive or can’t take care of the issues associated with home maintenance. A membership into this program for a year that costs $350 per person or $500 for a couple can save them $5,000 to $8,000 per month in avoided costs of living in an assisted-living facility and improves their quality of life.
According to a recent study, which AARP endorses, nearly all older adults would like to stay in their own homes as they age, i.e., aging in place.
Income from membership dues is needed to pay for the administration of the program, phone and mailing expenses, background checks of all volunteers, expenses associated with social events, and facility expenses. These membership dues are among the lowest in the nation of over 100 such similar programs.
The services offered through the Staying Put program will help area residents avoid a crisis point where they are forced to give up living in their homes and MUST MOVE to an assisted-living facility, which can be emotionally traumatic, more costly than staying in their home and decrease their quality of life.
The primary service offered is transportation to medical and other necessary local appointments, local shopping, pharmacy pickup and to and from local train stations and the Trenton-Mercer Airport.
Other services offered are the following:
- Resource & Referral If the member needs a type of service not provided as part of the Staying Put program, then a suitable service agency or another service provider will be contacted and informed of the member’s need.
- Social Events Ivins staff will coordinate periodic luncheons and teas, as a means to socialize with other members. If there is sufficient interest from members, other social events will be planned so members can socialize and stay connected to the community.
- Medical Appointment Notes Ivins staff will schedule a volunteer to accompany a member to a medical office appointment to take notes on behalf of the member if pre-approved in writing by the member.
- Shopping and Errands Ivins staff will coordinate the local transportation need to members for shopping assistance and hairdressers, as needed, either picking up groceries and prescriptions and running errands for them or accompanying them as they do so themselves.
- Elder Education This is a periodic seminar program coordinated by the Ivins staff geared toward seniors and those caring for seniors. Professionally developed seminars on topics related to aging will be offered.
- Periodic Check-in Upon request, Ivins staff, other members, and volunteers will make periodic, at least weekly, phone calls or quick stop-ins to those members who are shut-ins and live alone to check on their well-being.
- Home Repair and Handyman Services Ivins staff will provide members with the names of at least two qualified, pre-screened home repair and handyman service providers who satisfy Ivins qualifications. Some providers may offer services at reduced rates. Ivins staff will follow up to ensure satisfaction with the work performed. Ivins staff will develop a list of names of home repair and handyman service providers who have good ratings on Angie’s List, and have no serious complaints with the Better Business Bureau. In addition, any contractor who provides home improvements must be registered in Pennsylvania with the Attorney General’s Office.
- Minor Home Assistance Ivins staff will coordinate volunteers for changing light bulbs and batteries for smoke/fire detectors in member’s home.
- Help with Technology The Ivins staff will coordinate volunteer assistance at home for those members who need help using computers and cell phones.
- Home Safety Assessments The Ivins staff will coordinate volunteer home safety assessments.