Carolina SeniorCare: PACE

By Melissa Ellenburg

Have you ever wondered what business went into the old Winn Dixie building on East Center Street? Questioned who is riding in those white buses with doves on the side and who goes in and out of the building on a weekly basis? The answers to your questions are the participants at Carolina SeniorCare. The PACE program to be precise. PACE stands for Program for All Inclusive Care for the Elderly.

PACE is an adult day health center and provides a variety of care for the elderly in our area where participants over the age of 55 receive their primary medical care, as well as a multitude of other perks. All medical aspects are housed in one building with the exception of patient visits to a few specialists. For these services, Carolina SeniorCare provides transportation to and from the specialist locations.

Operating in Lexington since October 2012, Carolina SeniorCare serves four counties – Davidson, Davie, Iredell and Rowan. Currently there are over 200 people who come to the center on a regular basis. These participants come to the center via the transportation provided by the center at no additional cost. At any time during the day, you can walk into the building and see a group of seniors playing bingo, Name That Tune, or even exercising while the music plays! Don’t think you can exercise due to an inability to stand and move around? No problem! Carolina Senior Care’s recreation therapist will make it work for anyone who wants to participate.

The center also provides clinical and possibly rehabilitative services to help individuals resume a quality of life enabling them to remain active citizens in the community. It is that quality of life that the participants and families strive for when contacting Carolina SeniorCare. The goal and purpose of the PACE program is the help individuals remain at home as independently as possible for as long as possible. PACE is ultimately the alternative to skilled nursing care, and the staff at Carolina SeniorCare works hard to keep people in their homes.

PACE is a federally funded program that is administered through Medicare and Medicaid. Through an enrollment process, participants receive an assessment that is administered by an individualized care team to assess what medical or socialization needs are of concern. It is this care team that is the core of the foundation of the PACE program. Carolina SeniorCare is about individualization. No participant is the same, nor are their needs. It is that individual participant care that makes the program so different from any other program available. Overall, PACE provides primary medical care, physical and occupational therapy (if needed), activities for socialization, wellness, home care, durable medical equipment, incontinent supplies, transportation, and meals. If you think this is a lot of services, PACE actually provides more, and each eligible household could benefit once evaluated.

PACE is not a new program, even though it is fairly new in this area. Originally established in San Francisco in the 1970s, the PACE model has grown across the nation. According to the National PACE Association there are 123 PACE programs operating 233 PACE centers at the present time. North Carolina currently has 11 PACE programs operating at 12 centers. The Davidson County regional program is only one in this area.

Carolina SeniorCare proudly represents this community in providing a team approach to healthcare and allowing our participants to remain at home as long as possible. To learn more about Carolina SeniorCare or the PACE program, please either visit us at 802 East Center Street in Lexington, or call 336-746-3500. Someone will be glad to speak with you and answer any questions you may have.

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