If our goal is to stay in our own homes as long as possible and to receive supportive medical care, transportation and a stimulating social environment, I found a program that may be be the best kept secret in senior care. There are 122 of these very special centers in 31 states. I wish I had a magic wand and there would be an option like this for every community. It's called PACE and it's been around since the early 70's.
A day of learning and loving
I spent the day with Lifecircles PACE in Muskegon, Michigan speaking to a passionate group of carepartners. Everyone from the CEO, physicians, therapists, psychologists, office staff, bus drivers, social workers, clinical and office staff and direct care professionals attended and participated. PACE is sort of one-stop care for elderly folks who qualify for nursing home placement but wish to remain in their own homes as long as possible. Some participants live in assisted living facilities and are picked up and brought to PACE for therapeutic and social activities.
Best Kept Secret in Senior Care
Most family caregivers have never heard of the PACE program, I know I hadn't. It's funded through Medicare and Medicaid and there are rules and limitations about who qualifies for services. However, for those who do qualify - it is extraordinary. The facility in Muskegon is bright, cheerful and immaculately clean. The faculty and staff are passionate about their work and I learned that the staff turnover is very low - highly unusual in the senior care world. They love their work and they love the people they care for.
Find out about PACE
To learn that a place like this exists and is thriving is one of the most uplifting and inspiring experiences I have had as I travel to speak to support professional and family caregivers. If you'd like to learn more about the PACE program and see if there is one near you, here is the link: https://www.npaonline.org/pace-you
A future option?
PACE may be the best-kept secret that serves those who need care, but wouldn't it be wonderful if more people could access programs like this? 122 programs in 31 states. The need is great and this model is something to consider as we look to the future.
Breeda Miller helps Caregivers Carry On. Breeda has a voice and message that resonates with audiences. Her focus on self-care seamlessly connects with your Wellness and Work/Life Balance needs. From healthcare professionals to family caregivers, administrators to support staff, Breeda brings humor and the power of story to make a lasting impact. Connect with [email protected]