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COLUMBIA - The Boone County Council on Aging received $30,678 from United Way for its Safe at Home Program.

The Safe at Home Program is a free service for seniors. Volunteers come to their homes and help them with everyday tasks, such as taking them to appointments and making sure their houses are cared for and clean.  

The Heart of Missouri United Way passed on the proposal to give the council money earlier this year, but this round of funding, it was approved. 

"Safe at Home is a strategy we came up with for United Way that talks about how seniors can remain safe in their homes," Executive Director of Boone County Council on Aging Jessica Macy said. "One of the things that falls under the Safety Net for United Way is personal safety. It's really important for our agency to help seniors to remain safe, specifically in their homes, because, if not, they end up in institutional care and that's really, really expensive for our society and for the senior themselves to afford."

Macy said the council's proposal cites a study from the Forum for Family and Consumer Issues at North Carolina State. The study said seniors are vulnerable in three areas: health factors, cogitative ability, and social network. The Safe at Home Program targets these areas and provides volunteers to assist seniors in everyday activities.

Macy said keeping seniors safe at home could save the rest of the county money. She said when seniors are healthy, they don't spend money on health care or apply for Medicaid. Thus, tax payer money can go to other important things.