With our continuum of care, we try to ensure that no matter a residents ability to pay means we never turn them away. Medicare only covers a portion of the monthly cost to care and provide for our residents, so we cover the deficit from charitable contributions.
The Opportunity Center for the homeless (OC) consists of two resource centers and 7 residential centers for the elderly, single women, single men, mentally ill, veterans, and men and women in school/work programs. The need and creation of facilities devoted to the care of elderly and frail is illustrated through multiple studies across the United States that have shown a clear upward trend in the proportion of "older" persons among the homeless population. Our community (El Paso, Texas) is experiencing the same trends. The older homeless frequently fall between the cracks of governmental safety nets.
Our desire is to provide an environment that integrates shelter and service needs of the functionally impaired and/or socially isolated elders who don't need institutional supervision and/or intensive health care. As a supported, congregate shelter our programs support an environment designed to integrate shelter and service needs for the elderly and frail. The goal is to increase self-sufficiency through the provision of supported services from this funding. Services are made available through service coordinators, to aid residents in managing available, through service coordinators, to aid residents in managing activities of daily living in a supported, but not custodial environment.
In an effort to expand program and services to meet the needs of the upcoming Baby Boomer generations Senior Services of Wichita is poised to raise funds that will do the following:
Expand capacity to prepare and deliver Meals on Wheels from 900 people a day (current capacity) to approximately 3,000 people.
Increase a computer lab for senior center members and job seekers in the Senior Employment Program from 6 stations to 12 stations.
Build a formal event center so seniors and their families can hold reunions, parties, weddings and other larger events. Current space only allows for one large group at a time. Often the agency must turn away other large groups because space is so limited.
For frail seniors and disabled adults who are not able to leave their homes each day due to limited mobility, they rely solely on our Meals on Wheels program. For many of our homebound neighbors, the meal delivered may be the only nourishment and human contact they receive, therefore making this critical service much more than just a meal. Without our Meals on Wheels program, many of our homebound neighbors would find themselves removed from their homes and placed in assisted living facilities, hospitals or nursing homes long before it is necessary. These are our neighbors, many living alone behind doors we pass each day, never realizing that they are perhaps unable to leave without assistance or are hungry and unable to prepare a meal for themselves. With our Meals on Wheels program we are able to enhance the lives of our aging community through nourishment and a daily visit. Therefore, allowing them the ability to remain living independently at home, but not alone.