Homeport-Cushing announces the continuation of its HomeportTalks speaker series to help local senior residents continue to live at home with the help of available local services.

Dr. Allan S. “Chip” Teel will explain how “Full Circle America” supports seniors living in the comfort of their homes. The presentation: “An In-Home Alternative to Assisted Living” will be offered on Thursday, Aug. 25 at 3:30 p.m. in the Cushing Community Center. The public is invited.

In response to the “Don’t you ever put me in a nursing home” sentiment, Dr. Teel started a unique eldercare project in Damariscotta in 1994, aimed at helping people stay in their own homes as long as possible. The focus is on a resident’s connection to the community, family, friends, animals, not primarily on medical issues.

This service is being made available in the Midcoast area under the direction of Dr. Ira Mandell, director of the hospice program at Pen Bay Medical Center.

The service involves technologies, volunteers, and employees, all overseen by a registered nurse. To deal with the isolation and loneliness of many people living alone, people above 65 years old are trained to become involved with the care and monitoring of their fellow senior citizens. The goal for the community is to find people willing to assist in such a venture.

Depending on need, certain technical supports are used to enable people to live independently –

• A wearable call button/speakerphone, pre-programmed for several numbers.

• A web-cam located for family or Full Circle staff to monitor activity over the Internet.

• A sensor indicating one is in the home.

• A motion sensor to turn lights off and on.

• A stand-alone Skype (Internet) touch videophone, pre-programmed for contacts.

Costs depend on need. An average cost, based on personal goals – help with errands, shopping, feeding the dog – is about $400 per month. At the upper end, monitoring up to three times a day for an elder with dementia runs about $1000 per month. These costs – from $5,000 to $12,000 a year – compare to institutional costs of $50,000 to more than $100,000 a year.

Because the cost of institutional care cannot be sustained into the future, and its care can be impersonal, Teel is encouraging his in-home alternative to assisted living nationally, as Full Circle America. The web site fullcircleamerica.com is accessible and informative. His book, “Alone and Invisible No More,” available at Amazon.com, will be available at the HomeportTalks presentation on Aug. 25.

Teel is a graduate of Dartmouth College and The University of Vermont Medical College. He has been a family physician in private practice in Damariscotta since 1988. He has a Certificate in Geriatrics and has been a Medical Director and provided patient care at nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Homeport-Cushing is a volunteer network, researching and distributing information about the existing public and private services that support one’s decision to stay in thier home as they age. All Homeport activities are open to everyone and are generally offered at no cost.

“We are pleased that interest in Homeport is growing in and around Cushing.” said Carol Cardon of Cushing, Homeport spokesperson, in a news release. “Many residents have expressed interest in better understanding the decisions we need to make so our family doesn’t have to make them for us after we’re gone. We are excited to host Dr. Teel’s HomeportTalks presentation.”

Other Homeport-sponsored activities this summer include TaiChi and Yoga classes.

For more information, contact homeport.cushing@gmail.com.