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PACE – An Innovative Approach to Long-Term Care

Dear Maria:

My mother is 89 and lives alone.  She’s managing, but I worry that one fall could change the whole picture and my top priority is to keep her at home and out of a nursing home.

We can’t afford to hire help because she is on Medicaid and her only source of income is Social Security.  I work full-time and can’t be with her.  What’s the best way to keep her at home and out of a facility when you have limited funds?

Sincerely, Margaret, Washington, D.C.

Dear Margaret:

If you haven’t heard of a PACE Program, now is the time to learn more. PACE stands for Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly and I think it is one of the most innovative approaches to long-term care around.

By enrolling in a PACE program, your mother would be able to interact with her peers through a variety of activities and would also have access to personal care, medical care (if needed), assistance with medications, rehabilitation services (if needed) and she would receive transportation to and from the PACE program each day. If she required assistance at home in the mornings before going to PACE or in the evenings after the PACE drop-off, this would also be included.

To qualify for PACE, a person must be at least 55 years of age, have a home in the community and be safe to live in that home, and have both Medicare and Medicaid in order to cover the cost of services.  It’s still possible to qualify without this dual coverage, but there is a significant share of cost.

To find out if there is a PACE program in your mom’s community, check out the National Pace Association.



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