PACE: Where You Belong – Part 2: Stories of Resilience and Community

In our continued journey through the PACE narrative, we dive into the second chapter of our three-part series. Focusing on the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), we’re privileged to shed light on its transformative reach. As we embrace this month’s theme, “PACE: Where You Belong,” we illuminate the depth and breadth of PACE’s impact, highlighting its undying commitment to enhancing the holistic well-being of its elderly participants and their caregivers. Here are two touching tales that capture the heart of PACE.

Uphams PACE: Sarah’s Dream of Community Living Realized

Since joining Upham’s PACE in 2016, Sara (name altered for privacy) has faced a series of daunting challenges. With a past marked by homelessness, Sara was residing in a PACE-contracted Assisted Living Facility at the time of her registration. Unfortunately, a severe fall that led to hospitalization and subsequent nursing facility care rendered her ineligible to remain in her assisted living space. With limited family backing and the intricate nature of housing documentation, her dreams of community living remained unfulfilled. Sara’s only alternative was long-term residence in a nursing home, a setting she endured for six years.

However, Sara’s PACE Interdisciplinary Team (IDT) firmly believed a nursing home wasn’t the right fit for her. Committed to realizing Sara’s dream of community living, the IDT, despite facing hurdles like inadequate family support, regulatory constraints, and Sara’s health issues, tirelessly championed her cause. Their dedication bore fruit earlier this year when Sara transitioned to a PACE supportive housing apartment. Today, Sara relishes her daily visits to the PACE Center, receives diligent care from the PACE staff, and dances with a renewed spirit. Relieved to be out of institutional care, Sara is a testament to the collaborative, patient-centric approach of the PACE IDT and Supportive Housing teams.

Harbor Health PACE: Maria’s Heartfelt Testimony of Family and Care

Upon learning about the program through her daughter, Maria recalls with gratitude, “I called, and they accepted me – thank God.” Maria paints a poignant picture of loneliness many seniors feel, stating, “If I were at home, I’d have no one to talk to; my daughter would be working, everyone is busy.” However, PACE has given her a vibrant social environment that she cherishes deeply. “I feel like it’s my family,” she says, emphasizing the camaraderie she feels with everyone, from fellow members to the staff – even sharing that the lady who picks up the trash chats with her in Spanish.

Maria’s days at PACE are filled with joyful activities. She enthusiastically shares that from playing dominoes and bingo to dancing, “even though I am in a wheelchair, I still do the shimmy.” While her family in Puerto Rico often inquires about PACE, Maria proudly tells them about her fulfilling experiences and the diverse group of people she interacts with daily. Maria’s words of wisdom to her friends? “If you can join, you should.” One of the most touching aspects of her journey at PACE is her close bond with her aide, Sandia. To Maria, Sandia is more than just an aide; she’s like a daughter. They even share moments of joy, with Maria chatting to Sandia’s grandmother over FaceTime. Maria, who spent her entire life catering to her family, eloquently sums up her experience, “It’s so nice to be at this stage of life and be taken care of so well.”

As this chapter concludes, the tales of Sara and Maria underscore the significance of PACE and its unwavering dedication to its community. Stay with us for the final part of our inspiring series.