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Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) Southeast Michigan
Southfield, MI, 48033, United States
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With the goal of helping the elderly remain in their homes for as long as possible, the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) supports 1,230 residents of southeast Michigan through centers in Southfield, Detroit, Eastpointe, Dearborn, Sterling Heights and Pontiac.
As participants of PACE Southeast Michigan, individuals can visit their center for routine medical needs, rehab, activities, and prescriptions, which are paid for through Medicare and Medicaid, according to Laurie Arora, vice president of public affairs, philanthropy and organizational development at PACE Southeast Michigan. "Most of our participants are dual-eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, though some are private pay," Arora says. PACE Southeast Michigan is administered by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and is one of similar programs in 31 states across the country.
On a small scale at the Thome Rivertown Center in Detroit, PACE also has housing for 21 nursing home-eligible individuals. The facility, which is not staffed by PACE, is a certified Green House Home for the Aged and is an alternative to a standard nursing home, says Arora.
"There is a community table, a common living room and residents can help cook if they like, or request what they'd like for dinner," she explains. "It's a very home-like atmosphere."
Community living is also planned for PACE center in Pontiac. "Finding affordable housing for low-income seniors is a pain point, so we are providing our own housing for seniors," Arora says. "There will be 12 rooms in this community living area, and will be managed by PACE Southeast Michigan staff."
In addition to medical care, PACE participants benefit from valuable socialization that can ease the isolation that so many seniors living alone experience. During non-pandemic times, participants can come to the center to visit with friends and participate in activities. "On a day-to-day basis, there is socialization and we also provide meals. We also deliver meals to our participants in their homes, and during COVID, that has been really beneficial," Arora says.
The program at its core is simple yet, through a host of grant funding and philanthropy efforts, the services provided to participants are comprehensive. "We provide life enrichment activities and rehabilitative services," Arora explains. "Participants can visit our clinic, and if they need to see a specialist, PACE covers the cost of that. If they go into the hospital, we cover that cost and their medications, too."
As COVID has impacted PACE's daily routines, the nonprofit has secured grant funding to provide essential groceries, fresh produce, eggs and milk and other goods such as toilet paper, delivered to participants' homes. "Our life enrichment staff go to participants' homes to drop off activity kits. We can arrange for light chores and if they need help with medication administration, we can do that, too. Our social workers check in on participants and if they see something that is needed, we have a philanthropy fund that we have developed to fund fixing a leaky roof, for instance," Arora says.
During COVID, where it makes sense to do so, PACE Southeast Michigan has adopted telehealth services and provides in-home visits by clinicians. "This keeps participants safe and it's safer for employees as well, going into a home to see one person," says Arora. "However, we have some participants where it's vital that they come into our centers, and we have found ways to do this safely by limiting the numbers."
The team at PACE Southeast Michigan does more than provide comprehensive wraparound care for vulnerable elderly participants, says Arora. "We get to know them and we become a family. There's a love and caring in the family atmosphere and that's what sets PACE apart. Our team is mission-driven. Every decision we make is to improve the lives of our participants. We live that and it's a beautiful program."