BENEFITING: Senior Charity Care Foundation
Senior Charity Care Foundation (SCCF) is a Utah non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to those in care settings and senior apartments who require care, services or support but have exhausted all other potential funding sources. All of the seniors we serve live at or below 200% of poverty and are forced to choose between paying rent and food and paying for dental care. In essence, they are forced to chose between homelessness or dental health. 82% of the request for assistance is for dental care because the costs are unpredictable and beyond the low-income seniors' ability to pay. In order to help control the unpredictable costs of dental care and the issue of transportation for seniors to get to appointments, we developed our own mobile dental clinic program. We initially contracted with a state service provider who also conducts mobile dental missions to rural parts of Utah. Our clinics are unique because we charge by the hour rather than by the procedure. In one hour, a senior receives an exam, x-rays, treatment plan, cleaning, and up to three extractions or three fillings. The cost to the senior will never be more than $82 for one hour of service. All too often, the senior’s teeth are not salvageable and all of them require extraction. Most of the seniors that we serve state that their lives and health have drastically improved thanks to the access to affordable dental care. Seniors often report that it had been between six months and 45 years since they last received dental care, other than for an emergency. The state dental program costs have increased, as a result we are now gearing up to provide our own mobile dental clinics, staffed with contracted dentists and AmeriCorps members. By providing our own clinics we will be able to go from 42 full-day clinics to 80. In order to serve more seniors, we will contract with dentists; work with the AmeriCorps program to recruit members to assist us; and collaborate with the local Dental Hygiene Schools to provide quality dental services. Through our own clinics, we will increase our care from the basics currently provided – exams, x-rays, cleanings, fillings and extractions to include dentures, temporary crowns, basic health screenings such as diabetes and blood pressure checks and for those on blood thinners, bleeding times. Our goals this year are to serve approximately 500 seniors and raise about $115,000 to help with continued operations of the Project Thrive. We desperately need the funds to get us through the first year of operation. We plan to bill any insurance the senior may have (1:4 seniors have some dental insurance) and we ask the senior to pay a co-payment of the hourly charge. Donations in any amount will help us serve the seniors who have gone without for too long. The Senior Charity Care Foundation is incredibly thankful for all support received. Together, we will improve the quality of life for our elders in need.