Understandably, seniors want to maintain their independence in their homes
as long as they can. However, as their needs for assistance increase,
sometimes staying in their homes alone all day can create an unhealthy
and unsafe situation. They may stop eating well because they don't
have the ability or the desire to cook. They may stop taking their medicine
properly because they can't keep track of the medication schedules
and their only company during the day may be their television sets.
PACE is a program designed to address these types of unhealthy and unsafe
situations. As a participant in the PACE program, seniors can attend the
PACE day center program. At the day center they receive nutritious meals,
interaction with other seniors and access to medical care. Once they are
accepted into the PACE program, each senior is assigned a case management
team who assess their health and their assistance needs on a regular basis.
With trained professionals keeping such a close eye on their wellbeing,
changes in their health can be caught early before they escalate into
life changing events.
The PACE program is only available in a few counties in Florida and Pinellas
County is fortunate enough to be one of them. The costs to participate
in the PACE program can be covered through a combination of Medicare and Medicaid.
Many seniors fear admitting that they need help with anything because they
see an admission that they need help with one thing as the first step
on a fast track to the nursing home. Much to their surprise, asking for
help through the PACE program can actually give seniors more, not less,
control over their living environment and a better chance to stay where
they want to be, which is healthy and safe in their own homes.