We all want the best care for our aging loved one, but getting that care can be frustrating. If you have an aging loved one, you know what it’s like to drive your loved one from appointment to appointment; to manage all of their medications; to deal with doctors who don’t talk to one another; and you struggle with leaving your loved one at home, alone and without the supervision, the company and the interaction they want (and need).
It doesn’t have to be this way. Thousands of families across America have found a different and better kind of care for their aging loved ones – PACE. Programs of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) provide comprehensive health services for individuals age 55 and over who are determined to be “nursing home eligible” by their state’s Medicaid program. The care model is centered around the belief that it is better for the well-being of seniors with chronic care needs and their families to be served in the community whenever possible.
What do we offer?
PACE services include primary and specialty medical care, medications and medical supplies; all emergency medical, surgical and hospital services; social services; therapies (occupational, physical, speech, recreation, etc.); day health center services; home care; transportation to and from the day center, medical appointments and PACE organized trips; minor modifications to the home to accommodate disabilities; and anything else the program determines is medically necessary to maximize a member’s health.
Who do we serve?
PACE programs enroll only the very frail–a patient population for whom prevention and health promotion makes a significant difference. Most PACE members have multiple diagnoses, with an average of over 7 diagnoses per member. Among the most common are cardiac problems, diabetes, hypertension, and vascular disease.
How do we do it?
At the core of the PACE care model is the interdisciplinary team. This team is made up of doctors, nurses, therapists, pharmacists, social workers, caregiver aides, chaplains and others. Primary care providers and other caregivers are trained in working with seniors and are focused on treating the whole person. They work together with the participant and any appropriate family members to create an individualized care plan. PACE programs provide high levels of preventive services, such as frequent check-ups, exercise programs, dietary monitoring, programs to increase strength and balance, and more.
PACE programs organize their services in a “PACE Center”. These Centers have a Day Health Center, physician’ offices, nursing, social services and rehabilitation services, along with administrative staff, all in one site. Members attend centers from rarely to daily, depending on their care plans. Most members attend about 2 days per week.
Where do our participants live?
Participants may live in their own home or with a family member and receive in-home support from a PACE employed or contracted caregiver. Others live in some type of care facility such as an adult care home, assisted living facility or residential care facility.