The Community Health Impact Grant will Support Dementia Training for LifeCircles PACE Team Members and Local Care Partners for Two Years 

LifeCircles PACE is delighted to announce that it has received a Community Health Impact grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund (Health Fund). This two-year award of $100,000 will support dementia training to reduce caregiver stress and burnout for team members at LifeCircles PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly). Utilizing the nationally recognized Positive Approach® to Care (PAC) model, this project will also serve family members of PACE participants as well as formal and informal care partners throughout the region. The grant was secured through the Porter Hills Foundation and the United Methodist Retirement Communities Foundation.

With Day Health Centers in Muskegon and Holland, LifeCircles PACE offers an in-home alternative to nursing home living. The PACE program provides key services for program participants including comprehensive medical, occupational and physical therapy, pharmacy needs, nutrition and meals, health education, in home care, social and recreational activities, and door-to-door transportation. One of thirteen PACE sites statewide, LifeCircles serves nearly 350 participants living in Muskegon County and portions of Ottawa and Allegan counties. 

“It is so important that our participants’ families feel supported, especially those with loved ones who are living with dementia,” adds Luke Reynolds, Executive Director of LifeCircles PACE. “We are delighted that this grant will allow us to serve as a resource for dementia care in the region. By addressing caregiver burden we ultimately help our PACE participants live their best lives in the homes and communities they love.” 

“We are thrilled to receive a Community Health Impact grant from the Health Fund which allows us to launch this dementia training program for our LifeCircles PACE team members, participant family members, and local care partners,” says Wendy Brightman, President of the UMRC Foundation and Porter Hills Foundation. “Using Teepa Snow’s innovative and evidence-informed PAC model, this project will improve quality of life for our participants living with dementia and empower care partners and family members by providing them with increased awareness and improved hands-on skills.” 

“Forty-four percent of our total participants live with dementia as their primary diagnosis,” says Dr. Allison Ilem, Ph.D., BCBA, Director of Behavioral Health at LifeCircles PACE and, herself a PAC-certified instructor. “However, as many as 70% have some level of dementia or cognitive impairment. Because behavioral challenges are so prevalent with dementia, it is vital that we provide our team members, as well as family members and local care partners, with the tools and training they need to best serve the older adults in our care, while reducing the stress and burnout of care partners.” 

“The Health Fund is proud to partner with the Porter Hills Foundation on this caregiver-focused effort,” says Health Fund program officer, Tim Niyonsenga. “Professional and family caregivers alike need the tools and supports to be successful – and that includes taking care of their own needs and health. We look forward to learning from this project and understanding how a nationally-recognized model can work for Michigan communities.” 

PACE serves the social, medical, and supportive needs of low-income, older adults, ages 55 and up, who live within the PACE service area. PACE participants must be certified as meeting the State of Michigan criteria for nursing facility level of care, but be able to live safely in their homes and communities, thanks to PACE support. PACE offers a cost-effective alternative to nursing home care, providing overall savings of 40% to the State. 

For more information about LifeCircles PACE, visit https://lifecircles-pace.org/ or call 616-582-3100 or 231-733-8655

Teepa Snow's Positive Approach to Care
Learn more about Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care by clicking the image above.

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LifeCircles PACE is a proven, cost-effective alternative to nursing home care allowing eligible participants to live safely in their homes and communities with the help of PACE services. Often referred to as the “gold standard” for the care of older adults with healthcare challenges, PACE is designed to specifically meet the social, medical, and supportive needs of low-income, nursing home eligible adults ages 55 and older. The PACE model is based on the philosophy that older adults with chronic health needs and their families enjoy a better quality of life and are better served when they can remain in the community they call “home.” LifeCircles-Pace.org |616.582.3100 or 231.733.8655 

Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2020, the mission of Porter Hills is to be trusted experts serving seniors with grace. Its vision is to be nationally recognized as an unparalleled leader and partner in senior services. In March 2019, Porter Hills affiliated, under shared governance and leadership, with United Methodist Retirement Communities, based in Chelsea, Michigan. Together, UMRC & Porter Hills represent the second largest nonprofit senior living organization in Michigan. With a tradition of exceptional quality and a commitment to cutting-edge care, these faith-based organizations and their affiliates combine to serve more than 6,700 older adults each year, from 24 locations and service lines, across 22 counties in Michigan’s lower peninsula. UMRC and Porter Hills make up one of the state’s leading providers of PACE services, serving approximately 1,000 older adults across 15 Michigan counties. porterhills.org|616.949.4975 

Porter Hills Foundation is the charitable arm for Porter Hills, with headquarters in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 1995, the Porter Hills Foundation was officially established as a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Its mission is to raise, invest, and monitor the funds that support Porter Hills in providing a continuum of high-quality communities and services. With a focus on the health and well-being of older adults, and education and retention of our outstanding staff team members, the Porter Hills Foundation’s four priority initiatives include: benevolent care, employee support services, capital improvements, and life enrichment for older adults. porterhills.org/foundation|616.577.2297 

The Michigan Health Endowment Fund works to improve the health and wellness of Michigan residents and reduce the cost of healthcare, with a special focus on children and seniors. You can find more information about the Health Fund at mihealthfund.org