For the past 20 years, AltaMed has offered PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly), a comprehensive senior care package. PACE patients are aged 65 and older, and qualify for nursing home level care, but remain living independently in their own homes. Many of these seniors live alone and are unable to leave their homes without a reliable form of transportation. While the program includes managed medical care to ensure seniors receive all the health services they require, PACE goes even further to focus on the whole patient. The program includes transportation to and from traditional health care services, as well as social and educational activities that promote interaction and cognitive activity. Participants get to take art classes, play with petting zoo animals, make projects in woodshop and play bingo–all while interacting with their neighbors. The seniors have responded so positively that we are hoping to further engage participants in active learning with new language and technology classes in the near future. By helping our seniors remain cognitively active, AltaMed allows them to stay healthy and in their own homes longer.
With PACE, we have made significant progress in making sure our elderly patients are not living in isolation but are engaging with friends and continued learning. As the aging population grows rapidly, however, these programs are becoming more critical than ever. With your help, we can ensure that the elderly in our community remain social, healthy and independent for as long as possible.
Prior to enrolling in AltaMed’s PACE program, Oscar spent his days home alone. He watched countless hours of television and worried about his health and what was going on in the world around him. He rarely left his house. Indeed, he often had a hard time getting to doctor appointments or running errands. He felt lonely, like he was becoming a burden on his family.
Now, Oscar comes to one of AltaMed’s PACE clinics at least two days a week. He has met a lot of new friends with whom he enjoys engaging in conversation and playing games like Bingo. “I need to keep my mind active,” he says. “I enjoy talking to different people here about different things.”
Oscar has also started eating better and exercising at the PACE fitness facility, where he does some light weightlifting. “I definitely feel a lot healthier. I’m taking a more active role in my health, and even though I’m getting older I feel better than I have in years. I feel so good that I want to go back to school to learn another language! I already speak English and Spanish fluently, and some French, but I would like to improve my French and learn Italian.”
In addition to living a healthier, more social lifestyle, Oscar can now make doctor appointments and run errands. PACE provides transportation assistance to and from the program center and ensures that he can get to the doctor, receive his prescriptions and even pick up groceries. “The people here at AltaMed are nice to work with,” says Oscar. “They are kind and they know me by name. I appreciate what they do for me. I know I can live independently longer, thanks to PACE.”
Seniors like Oscar deserve to be treated with respect and to live in their own homes for as long as possible. PACE programming provides elderly patients with the tools they need to stay cognitively active and prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. With your help, we can continue to offer fun and beneficial activities that allow the frailest among us to remain at home and live independently with dignity.
$45 will provide a senior with language learning software. AltaMed has made significant strides in increasing access to care in our communities. Join our mission!