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Chambersburg OKs program to provide day care for elderly

September 25, 2008|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The Chambersburg Borough Council and Municipal Authority have both approved a plan for the authority to serve as a "pass-through agent" for up to $3.2 million in tax-exempt bonds for a day care program to provide services to the elderly.

The building for Lutheran Social Services Living Independence for the Elderly (LIFE) program at 840 Fifth Ave. is built and is set to open Oct. 1, said Pat O'Connell the chief financial officer for Lutheran Social Services, LSS.

The center will serve residents of Franklin County who are eligible for nursing home level care, but allows them to continue living at home, O'Connell said. To be eligible, a person has to be at least 55 years old, Medicare or Medicaid eligible and able to live in the community with the help of LIFE services, she said.

The program also will accept private pay clients, she said.

At the center, doctors, nurses, therapists, social workers and other health care professionals will work with clients and caregivers to develop individual care plans, according to a program summary. Transportation also will be provided, O'Connell said.

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Clients will receive day care services; physical, occupational and speech therapy as needed; primary medical care and access to specialists; and dentistry, optometry, audiology and podiatry services, according to the summary. Hot meals also will be served, O'Connell said.

The center can serve more than 80 people a day and will employ about 45 people, O'Connell said.

LSS took out a taxable line of credit to construct the 10,000-square-foot building, O'Connell said. LSS will use the tax-exempt bonds to pay off that loan, she said.

The Municipal Authority held a public hearing on the matter Monday and voted in favor of the project, borough solicitor Thomas Finucane said. The council and authority face no liability in issuing the bonds, he said.

LSS has committed $1 million for the start-up costs of the program and has received a $500,000 grant from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for the same purpose, O'Connell said. The program will take about four to five years before it reaches the break-even point, she said.

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