Grants provide House of Care with transportation, help with residents’ daily needs

This is part of a weekly series that highlights a grant provided by the Foundation.

Many of us are familiar with caring for elderly, sick or disabled family members.

But some people have neither that kind of strong family support nor enough income to pay someone else to help them.

In Centre County, individuals who fit that mold are aided by the House of Care, a personal care home located at 515 W. Beaver Ave., in State College, that provides assisted daily living for low-income residents, many of whom have debilitating conditions and little or no family support.

“We have individuals who come through here who have no one,” said House of Care Administrator Phil Jones. “If they do have some family support, it’s just too overwhelming for the family to be able to provide the kind of care that they need, and they often can’t afford to go to a larger nursing facility.”

Jones talked about one resident for whom House of Care Staff were the only people looking out for him. “At his death we were his family,” Jones said. “We did the memorial service and everything because there was nobody to support him.”

House of Care’s staff works hard to provide residents with whatever resources they need to make their lives easier.

“Most of our residents are somewhat independent but need help with various aspects of life,” Jones said. “We do laundry, schedule doctor appointments, provide transportation and schedule social activities.”

House of Care, now in its 11th year, receives referrals from hospitals as well as healthcare, home nursing and social service agencies, and by word of mouth. The organization can care for five residents at a time. For the last five years, according to Jones, they’ve consistently been at maximum capacity and have had a waiting list.

It costs the organization about $160 a day to care for a resident, but most of the residents’ income is limited to a social security or disability check, and on average, they each pay just $28 to $32 a day.

So House of Care needs outside funds to close this gap, some of which come from the Centre County Community Foundation. A 2010 grant of $1,000 from the Foundation helps to provide residents with nutritious meals and other daily needs. And a 2009 grant provided the organization with $6,000 to purchase a van.

“That was extremely helpful because we have five residents and all five of them need to periodically go out to doctors or social events,” Jones said. “It makes it so much more convenient to have our own van that can take all of our residents at the same time in a safe environment.”

To learn more about the House of Care, visit their website.

-Erin

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