It’s no secret most of us want to remain in our own homes as long as we can. According to a new Home and Community Preferences Survey conducted by the AARP, 77% of adults 50 and older say they want to stay home for the long term. This number has remained consistent for more than ten years.
For older Kentuckians, remaining at home just got a little easier thanks to PACE – Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. This federal-state program operates in more than 300 locations nationwide and in July opened its first site in Louisville at 960 S 4th Street. Senior CommUnity Care of Kentucky is the Louisville PACE provider.
What is PACE?
PACE provides centralized care for older adults who may need nursing facility type support but would rather remain in their own home.
All Medicaid and Medicare covered services are included in PACE.
Some of the options patients may access include physician and nursing services, physical or occupational therapy, personal care, social services, dentistry, adult day care, emergency services, meal delivery, prescription medications, and specialty medical services.
PACE participants receive comprehensive care from an interdisciplinary team of medical professionals and staff, including physicians, nurses, social workers, dieticians, and therapists. This team is responsible for assessing a patient’s needs, developing a comprehensive care plan, and coordinating delivery of services. The team meets regularly to review and discuss the patient’s treatment and works together to provide for their medical and social needs.
Care may be given in the individual’s home, at the PACE organization center, or an area health care facility depending on the service and patient’s need.
PACE simplifies care for older adults, allowing them to receive the support they need to remain safely at home. Participants enjoy a better quality of life and are able to retain their autonomy which is of benefit to both the patient and their family. Maxine Myler-Cook, a PACE participant, appreciates the impact the program has had in her life. “We’re all dealt hands that we didn’t expect, and we didn’t want. But you’ve just got to take that hand, sit down at the poker table, and play that hand the best you can. And that’s what PACE helped me to do.”
PACE also provides support for caregivers by removing some of the daily burden of caring for an older loved one.
Who’s Eligible For PACE?
According to the Kentucky Department for Aging and Independent Living, to qualify for PACE, individuals must:
- Be 55 or older
- Meet nursing facility level of care as defined in 907 KAR 1:022.
- Be able to live safely in the community at the time of enrollment.
- Live in an area covered by a PACE organization.
How to Apply
To apply, contact the PACE provider in your area who can help you through the process. Information you should have on hand include, full legal name, date of birth, social security number and card, medical diagnosis, and other medical treatment records.
Other PACE providers in Kentucky include Bluegrass Care Navigators for participants in Fayette, Franklin, Anderson, Jessamine, and Woodford counties, and Horizon PACE for those in Estill, Madison, Barren, Clinton, Jackson, Laurel, McCreary, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Warren, and Wayne counties. Hosparus PACE will open early in 2024 in Elizabethtown to serve that area.
For more information, to apply, or to find PACE services in your area, visit: chfs.ky.gov/agencies/dms/dca/Pages/pace.aspx
By Kym Voorheen Roque | Photo by Anastasiia Chepins