Addressing an Urgent and Growing Need in the Community
Full Circle Adult Day Center fills a much-needed role in our community, offering the elderly and adults with disabilities a range of mental, physical and social health services while providing assistance to their families, which allows them in turn to take care of themselves and remain full members of society. I spoke with Patricia Ingram, executive director of Full Circle, about their program, the needs they face, and their excitement over the opportunities their new facility offers.
When were you founded?
In 1994, The Cleveland County Council on Aging formed a task force to study the need for adult day services in our community. In response, the task force determined there was a gap in services and an urgent and growing need for adult day services. Full Circle was founded in 1995.
What is your mission?
To be the premier provider of adult day health care services, including nutrition and exercise programs, social stimulation and recreational activities, encouraging independence and autonomy for aging and disabled members (including those with early onset dementia) of our communities. Providing these services also ensures respite to caregivers, allowing them to remain in the workforce or rest from the challenges of caregiving.
How has your organization grown?
In our philosophy of person-centered-care, we adapt to fit the needs of our participants and their caregivers. Our nurse, Denise, interviews participants to determine their likes, former careers, hobbies, food choices, etc., to determine how we can serve them best and introduce them to individuals with similarities to facilitate friendships and discussion.
What areas do you serve?
We serve Norman and all of the surrounding communities. There are only 25 adult day centers in the state of Oklahoma, and we are the only one south of OKC, all the way to Ardmore.
What programs and services you offer?
We provide a holistic approach to person-centered care. We provide breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack based on USDA nutrition guidelines; we exercise daily for strength and balance; and we provide activities and field trips designed to promote memory, mental, physical and social health.
Do you partner with any organizations in the community?
Yes! Norman Rotary Clubs have funded several grant requests, including two recent ones: funding for field trips and support for our newest program, Music and Memory. We will be the recipient for Le Tour De Vin for the next two years, which we are absolutely thrilled about! The University of Oklahoma Office of Financial Aid, School of Social Work, College of Business and other departments provide us with students and volunteers throughout the year.
We are a United Way partner agency. The United Way and other grants help fund attendance scholarships, making attendance affordable for those who may not qualify for DHS, Advantage or VA benefits. Aging Services caters our lunches and provides quarterly Respite Vouchers for caregivers, which they can use to help pay for attendance.
What unique needs does your organization face?
Not so unique, but funding. It would be phenomenal if we had more funding sources. Current funding sources are DHS, the Advantage Waiver, VA benefits and private pay. We supplement those sources with grants. We need help getting legislators to recognize the need for adult day services and the need to fund the services. Providing adult day services allows caregivers to continue working and contributing to the economy and lets their loved ones know they are still a vital part of the community.
What can people in the community do to help your organization?
As in many aspects of life, it takes a village. We are always looking for volunteers who can answer phones, play board games, do crafts, play musical instruments, lead karaoke, share a talent, help set up and serve lunch … whatever. We also need assistance stocking our pantry.
Tell us about your new center.
The new center is strategically located near I35 and Flood. The 6,100-square-foot building was created to meet the special needs of our population, and will allow Full Circle to be licensed to serve 84 participants at a time, provide a greater variety of activities, and offer workshops and support groups for caregivers. We also look forward to owning our center for the first time. We project the center will increase our capacity to serve 40 percent more participants and save our organization at least $48,000 in annual rent costs.