LifeCircles Participants aboard the 2018 Tulip Time Float.

LifeCircles Participants aboard the 2018 Tulip Time Float.

LifeCircles PACE is helping older adults enjoy and engage in their communities along the Lakeshore. This May you might have seen a purple float rolling through Holland’s Tulip Time Volksparade. Older adults in the PACE program were on board and were wheeled along-side in tulip themed wheelchairs.

This Older Americans Month is highlighting Engaging at Every Age, and the participants at LifeCircles do just that. LifeCircles, the all-inclusive health and social program, provides an alternative to those 55 years or older who could benefit from living in a Nursing Facility, but would rather live in their own homes. LifeCircles participants take part in activities that promote wellness and social connection.

Growing older often means that over time social circles shrink, and it may become more difficult to get out of one’s home to visit others. These changes can lead to isolation. Many studies are showing the link between loneliness and poor health in older adults. LifeCircles offers a comprehensive program to help reduce loneliness and improve the wellness of their Participants. A key piece of this program is providing support for participants to engage with their community through special outings, volunteer efforts and educational offerings, proving that frail older adults with complex health and memory needs still cherish their communities.

Janell Schollaart, a long time Holland Resident said “I never imagined I could be in the Tulip Time Parade. I spent years watching my daughter Dutch Dance and this year she and my grandchildren watched me in the parade. It just made me so happy.”

“The parade was great, I’d never been in any parade. All of those smiling faces waving back at me made my day. I’m proud to be a Hollander and a part of LifeCircles” said Estella Martinez.

LifeCircles PACE began serving older adults with a customized approach to aging in 2009 in their location in Muskegon. They opened their second site serving most of Ottawa and parts of Allegan County in Holland in 2016. The PACE model of care is seen as the gold standard in innovative aging support that helps people remain in their own homes. Care is provided both in the center and in their homes.

LifeCircles participants and staff waving to the crowds at Tulip Time

LifeCircles participants and staff waving to the crowds at Tulip Time

For years it seemed everyone believed that when they needed extra help with mobility or memory that they needed to move to a facility. Today there are many different programs that can provide the help people need right in their own home. A recent AARP study reported that 90% of adults over age 65 wish to remain in their own homes rather than moving into a facility. The realities of providing and coordinating care for someone in their own home is no easy feat, but people who join a program like PACE and have access to a team of professionals nearly 24 hours a day.

LifeCircles and the Older American’s Month emphasize the importance of being active in meaningful ways no matter where or when you are in life. You are never too old to participate in activities that can enrich your physical, mental, and emotion well-being. It is becoming more apparent that remaining socially engaged can improve the quality of life for older adults.

If you are interested in learning more about LifeCircles PACE please visit them on the web at www.lifecircles-pace.org or you can call them in Holland at 616-582-3100 or in Muskegon at 231-733-8686