The Lakeshore’s PACE Program, LifeCircles Continues to Provide Quality Care and Services to Vulnerable Seniors in the Community.
LifeCircles PACE is celebrating the positive impacts that PACE programs have in our communities, and in the lives of seniors during National PACE Awareness Month. Across the nation, PACE organizations care for 95% of enrollees in the community, rather than in a nursing home. The Michigan Legislature recently made a resolution that September is PACE Awareness Month in Michigan. The National PACE Association (NPA) also recognizes September as National PACE Month.
“LifeCircles PACE program has offered seniors and their families in Muskegon, Ottawa and Allegan Counties a personalized in-home alternative to nursing homes for more than 10 years. The program gives seniors more freedom and peace of mind to live life on their own terms, right in the homes they love. This model of senior care has been a total game changer for many struggling families.” said Luke Reynolds, Executive Director of LifeCircles PACE.
In order to enroll in PACE a person must be 55 years or older, live within a PACE service area, meet functional/clinical eligibility requirements as determined by the State of Michigan, and be able to live safely in the community with the support of the PACE program’s custom services.
The model has been operating nationally for more than 40 years but has grown quickly over the past decade. There are over 260 PACE centers in the U.S., serving more than 51,000 frail seniors who might otherwise need to live in nursing homes. In Michigan there are 20 PACE centers operated by 13 organizations with deep community roots.
“Caring for older individuals with multiple health care needs has been particularly challenging during this pandemic,” said Shawn Bloom NPA President. “To keep participants and staff as safe as possible, the PACE model of care has been adapted from bringing participants into a PACE center several times a week to providing more services in the home. The model allows seniors to reduce risks associated with the COVID-19 virus, but continue receiving needed support. The resilience of PACE programs in the face of this pandemic has been inspiring.”
During the COVID crisis, LifeCircles PACE has innovated and shifted services to increase the safety of participants, their families and staff. The program provides additional support and training for older adults and family caregivers. Registered dieticians, pharmacists and other team members coordinate resources to ensure groceries, prescriptions and other supplies are delivered safely to the individual’s home. LifeCircles utilizes telemedicine or video visits whenever possible. When this isn’t possible, customized medical and therapeutic care is safely brought directly into the home. The skilled geriatric team at LifeCircles PACE maintains close contact with families and individuals so that they can be proactive and prevent medical emergencies. The team continues to find new ways to socially connect and engage participants who often miss seeing their friends at the PACE centers.
About LifeCircles PACE: LifeCircles has served West Michigan’s Lakeshore for over 10 years with a complete health and social program that allows frail older adults to live in their own communities rather than move into traditional nursing homes. Since its founding, LifeCircles has served nearly 1000 seniors who live in Muskegon, Ottawa and Allegan counties. PACE offers a cost-effective alternative to nursing home care, providing overall savings of 41% to the State. LifeCircles is a non-profit partnership of Mercy Health, UMRC/Porter Hills, and Senior Resources. Find out more about LifeCircles PACE by calling 231-733-8655, 616-582-3100 or by visiting www.LifeCircles-PACE.org. You can learn more about PACE programs in Michigan by visiting The PACE Association of Michigan. To learn more about PACE programs nationwide visit The National PACE Association.