The Moore American

February 27, 2013

Full Circle Life Enrichment Center may be forced to close

By Shana Adkisson
The Moore American

MOORE — For staff and board members of Full Circle Life Enrichment Center, things are looking a little bleak.

The adult day center that has been in the Norman community since 1998, may have to close its doors soon due to lack of funding and participants. That possibility has Full Circle Life Enrichment Center board president Geri Krenek worried.

“We have just been hanging on for month to month. Unfortunately, what happens in our business is that people get sick and elderly people have to go in nursing homes. We had one person pass away recently, so we lost seven people since January. Since we lost these people, we don’t have that money coming in. That is our main problem right now is we need people in those chairs,” Krenek said.

Full Circle Life Enrichment Center, 1304 Lindsey Plaza Drive in Norman, provides a variety of health, social and related support services during daytime hours for senior citizens in Cleveland County. Family members bring their elderly loved one to the center for a day of activities that include Zumba, art, games, bowling and bingo. It’s a United Way agency and is believed to be the only such facility operating in Norman.

“They are constantly busy all day long to keep their minds stimulated,” Krenek said.

Currently, the center has 15 participants, but could handle 40. Krenek adds that the center needs to have about 26 clients in order to break even.

“We need to have more full time people,” Krenek said. “We’re the best kept secret in Norman.”

In another attempt to cut costs, the center has cut hours for its staff.

“The staff is so good, so caring and so dedicated to those people (participants). They don’t make that much money but they treat those people like their own family,” Krenek said.

The staff includes a new executive director, Jessica Welp, who is soliciting grant funds and trying to recruit more participants.

Krenek worries that if the center is forced to close that family members of Full Circle Life Enrichment Center will have no place to go.

“We’ve got people that have been there for 10 to 15 years. If we have to close, we will have participants and family members that won’t know what to do with their family member, and that’s the real crisis,” Krenek said. “I know it’s very important for a lot people.”

Krenek points out that at $62 a day, Full Circle Life Enrichment Center is more cost effective than a nursing home.

“A lot of times a family member, if they can’t handle taking care of their loved one any more, they feel guilty. As a caregiver, they need to have some support. They can’t be a good caregiver if they are stressed out. Sending that loved one to Full Circle eases their mind that person is being well taken of,” Krenek said.

Krenek adds that financial assistance from DHS is available for those individuals who qualify.

“We even let them come for a day for free to see what it was about,” Krenek said.

For more information about Full Circle Life Enrichment Center, call 447-2955 or visit FullCircleLEC@coxinet.net. The center is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.