A Bay area woman is making a difference in our community through her work with seniors.
- Kelli Casto is this week's Everyday Hero
- Saving our Seniors serves several counties in Bay area
- LINK: Saving our Seniors
- Want to nominate an Everyday Hero? Email us
Occupational therapy assistant Kelli Casto spends most of her working days with seniors, and working for them pretty much the rest of the time.
Everyday Hero Reporter Bill Murphy met her in one of several garages she uses to temporarily store some key important medical equipment.
"I think a lot of people think when seniors get on Medicare they're completely taken care of," Casto said. "Unfortunately that's not true. They're only covered (for) three pieces of items. A wheelchair, a walker and a three-in-one commode."
To fill that gap, Casto began "Saving our Seniors," an organization providing medical equipment to seniors free of charge or with a small fee.
"If we don't have an item currently in our inventory, we will purchase it for them up to $200 per senior," she said.
Usually that purchase is paid for with Casto's own money.
Items include hospital beds, walkers, wheel chairs, canes and crutches, adult pull-ups and the list goes on.
The seniors have no way of getting the equipment to their home.
"We deliver the equipment. So every time we do that we have to rent a U-Haul," Casto said. "So that becomes pricey."
Along with the need for supporters for this non-profit, Casto says there is a real need for people with the means to deliver this equipment.
Started about a year and a half ago, last year 300 seniors were helped and this year's goal is 500.
For Casto, being able to get this equipment into the hands of those who need it is what it's all about.
"I just want to make every senior be able to live a healthy and independent life in their home," she said.
Saving our Seniors serves Pinellas, Hillsborough, Sarasota, Manatee counties and parts of Pasco County.