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PACE helps older adults stay in their community

The Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) is a home and community-based program designed to keep older adults who are at risk for nursing home placement living in their community.  PACE is a partnership between a local sponsoring organization, and Medicare and Medicaid health insurance programs. To become a PACE “participant,” a person must be nursing home eligible. While a person can pay privately for services, most participants have Medicare, Medicaid, or both insurance programs.

The PACE philosophy: PACE members are called “participants” because they are encouraged to participate in their care–decision making and active care–whenever possible.  The overarching goal of the PACE Model of Care is to keep people living in the community and out of institutional care.  While an individual does not need to visit the PACE Center, which offers adult day programs with wrap around health services, it promotes socialization and addresses common problems of isolation, loneliness, and boredom.

Who can get PACE? Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE®) serve individuals who are age 55 or older, certified by their state to need nursing home care, able to live safely in the community at the time of enrollment and live in a PACE service area.

How does PACE work? PACE works by providing care and services in the home, the community, and at the PACE center. It is team-based care that provides everything covered by Medicare and Medicaid if authorized by your health care team.  If your health care team decided you need care and services that Medicare and Medicaid doesn’t cover, PACE may still cover them.  The team provides comprehensive coordinated care and includes the PACE participant, physician, nurse, social worker, recreational specialist, rehabilitation specialists, and transportation specialists.

Services: Delivering all needed medical and supportive services, a PACE program is able to provide the entire continuum of care and services to older adults with chronic care needs while maintaining their independence in their home for as long as possible. Services include the following:

  • adult day health care that offers nursing; physical, occupational and speech/language therapies; recreational therapies; meals; nutritional counseling; social work and personal care;
  • medical care provided by a PACE physician familiar with the history, needs and preferences of each participant;
  • home health care and personal care;
  • all necessary prescription and over-the-counter medications;
  • medical specialties, such as audiology, dentistry, optometry, and podiatry and speech therapy;
  • respite care; and
  • hospital and nursing home care when necessary.

See more at: http://www.npaonline.org/policy-advocacy/value-pace#services

Find a PACE program near you: Currently there are 116 PACE organizations in 32 states. To find out if you or a loved one is eligible, and if there is a PACE program near you, visit www.pace4you.org or www.Medicaid.gov, or call your Medicaid office.

Learn what to do to ensure safety at home for people aging in their communities. And, see how one new program is helping older adults remain at home with assistance from a handyman, occupational therapist and nurse. For those who like technology solutions, check out how sensors can offer peace of mind to caregivers.


This post was originally published on March 2, 2016

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