Guest Blog Writer: Julie Richer Director of Marketing, Harbor Health Services

What is PACE?

Caregiving for a loved one as they age, with expanding daily care needs, can be a challenge. PACE is here to help.

The Harbor Health Elder Service Plan, a program of all-inclusive care for the elderly (PACE) supports you as a caregiver by providing elders with comprehensive healthcare and social support. Pace allows seniors to remain healthy and independent at home. Caregivers find comfort knowing their loved ones ever-changing needs are being met by a team of clinicians specializing in the care of older adults.

We put the well-being of seniors first, promoting independence in the comfort of their own homes, even when their health challenges make them eligible for nursing home care. Services are based on recommendations and coordination of our specialized geriatric interdisciplinary team. PACE provides primary medical care on-site, preventive health services, rehabilitation, behavioral health services, PACE adult day centers, homecare services and support in addition to transportation for all medical appointments and the day center.

“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.”

― Lena Horne

Joe’s wife Norma runs a small business and is not available to provide transportation every day. Norma is also concerned about leaving Joe for long periods of time while at work or babysitting her grandchild. Sometimes Norma just feels like she need a few minutes to herself to recharge so she can be a good caregiver for Joe.

After meeting with the enrollment team at PACE Joe and his wife Norma, with support from their children, decided that PACE was the best option to keep Joe at home while providing the support that Norma needed to remain his primary caregiver. Joe attends the PACE day center three times a week, while at the center he attends the men’s group, walking club, receives physical therapy and visits with his primary care physician. Both Norma and Joe have a team to rely on to support his care and he is doing well with PACE.

PACE support gives caregivers the assurance that their loved ones are receiving excellent quality, individualized healthcare and support so they can continue as caregivers while meeting their own career and family obligations. PACE provides all the support you need to remain productive at work and home while still giving your aging parents the care and attention you would love to give them.

Isolation, loneliness, and boredom are very common issues among elderly people. They may be compounded by mobility issues as one ages. The inability to drive as much as they used to could compound the loneliness, they feel daily. There are fewer opportunities to make friends and get involved in social engagements, adding to the reason why many older parents tend to stay at home.

PACE is a specialized geriatric healthcare model combining both social support and medical care. Our PACE locations offer both medical care from physicians, registered nurses, physical and occupational therapists, social workers, dieticians, pharmacists and other clinicians along with an Adult Day Center and social support at home. If your loved one is experiencing increasing isolation the PACE Day Center can provide a special time during the week when they see friends, visit with PACE staff, exercise, enjoy a nice hot meal. All transportation for medical appointments are provided by PACE.

Caregivers have the peace of mind knowing that their loved one is safe and cared for during the day. Of course, not all PACE participants come to the PACE center daily, but it is a great option for PACE participants who are lonely at home or require more daytime supervision.

The PACE Model of Care is centered on 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. Providing support for PACE Participants in their home is integral to the program. When needed, PACE provides care in the home including home aide support, occupational and physical therapy, social work and prescriptions delivered directly to your home.

Caregivers often find the home support services are key to keeping their loved ones at home. A caregiver may be able to provide transportation for medical appointments themselves but find daily assistance with dressing, bathing, and medication management to be difficult to provide on their own. PACE, working as a team with the caregiver provides the support frail elders require to remain independent at home.

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. While all PACE participants must be certified to need nursing home care to enroll in PACE, only about 7 percent of PACE participants nationally reside in a nursing home.

The Harbor Health Elder Service Plan PACE operates two medical facilities, Brockton and Boston. The service area includes Boston, the South Shore and Southeastern Massachusetts. Your loved one’s PACE enrollment is managed by a small, dedicated enrollment team, available to meet you at home, at PACE or speak to you on the phone to provide details of the program. PACE is a program of Medicare and Medicaid, to enroll in PACE an elder must meet certain levels of frailty, unfortunately those elders who are fully independent are not eligible for PACE.

To learn more about Hearbor Health Services and PACE go to:

Harbor Health Elder Service Plan

Or call 617-533-2437