Albright Life helps seniors stay at home

Albright Life provides services for the elderly while still allowing them to remain in their homes.

“Some people just want a place to go,” said John McDonough, director of Census Development. “Life is our mission. We are here to provide dedicated all-inclusive care.”

Many people and families of those who can benefit from Albright Life simply don’t know about the program.

A common misconception is that a nursing home is the only other alternative for many seniors.

“We need more people in the LIFE program,” said executive director John Ressler. “We know there are more people who can benefit from our services.”

A nursing home, McDonough noted, is really for people who are beyond the scope of what Albright Life provides.

Ressler noted that at the most basic level, Albright LIFE is a “wellness program.”

“We are looking for people who want to remain healthy and remain at home,” he said.

It’s a place for people to come where they can have addressed various personal, medical, physical and social needs.

Services include an on-site medical clinic; physical, occupational and speech therapy; meals and snacks; and social and recreational activities.

Transportation services to and from home can be provided.

LIFE care teams develop individualized medical care plans for clients.

Clients and their families help come up with the care plans.

“People can come here completely burned out from caring for an aged parent,” McDonough said.

The LIFE team can take charge of client health care issues from picking up medications to assisting in health insurance needs.

“We can take people to appointments and schedule medications,” he said.

The concept of LIFE services, McDonough said, is relatively new in Pennsylvania.

There are just 13 other LIFE providers in the state.

But with millions of baby boomers becoming seniors every year, the need for such services is growing.

“We can identify small issues before they become big problems,” McDonough said.

The staff, he said, does a great job in taking care of and keeping an eye on clients.

And it’s not just the professional staff either.

Drivers play a valuable role as well.

“They are a critical part in making sure people are safe at home,” he said. They will report to us if something is wrong. Our drivers are great at what they do.”

Eligible Albright LIFE clients are those 55 and older who live in Lycoming or Clinton counties.

The program has experienced modest growth, with the number of clients increasing from 53 to 62 last year.

Ressler noted that LIFE programs help save taxpayer dollars.

After all, it costs significantly less to allow elderly people to remain at home than to place them in nursing homes.

LIFE programs are licensed by the state on a countywide basis.