PACE: Where You Belong – Part 3: Stories of Inspiration and Empowerment

In the third and final installment of our “PACE: Where You Belong” series, we bring to you heartening stories of inspiration and empowerment from the participants and their caregivers of Neighborhood PACE and Cambridge Health Alliance(CHA) PACE. These narratives reflect the profound impact of PACE programs and illuminate its members’ life-changing experiences.

Kathleen Monteleone – Neighborhood PACE

Kathleen Monteleone’s encounter with a medical crisis in 2017 highlights the lifesaving intervention PACE can provide. Experiencing sudden numbness, a PACE nurse’s advice led her to urgent care, revealing a critical brain bleed:

“The PACE Rehab team gave me the tools to help me regain my mobility and independence – qualities I hold dear… I maintain constant communication with all of my Care Team – doctors, nurses, staff – all excellent and truly caring and professional and vital to my well-being. I don’t know where I would be without PACE……PACE has been a beacon of hope and support in my life.”

Her recovery journey, supported by the PACE Rehab team, emphasizes the program’s role in restoring independence and health.

Nilda Goodridge – CHA PACE

For Nilda Goodridge, PACE was a beacon of hope in addressing her mother Sheila’s declining health and social isolation. The program’s adult day services provided Sheila with an enriching social environment, creative stimulation, and medical care, reinvigorating her zest for life:

“I love coming here. There’s a lot going on and it keeps my mind interested,” says Sheila, whose laugh comes easily now. “I like the people I’ve met. I say that from my heart because it’s true.”

Nilda’s relief in finding comprehensive support for her mother underscores the far-reaching impact of PACE on families.

Gerald Casey – Neighborhood PACE

Upon his return to East Boston, Gerald Casey’s discovery of PACE marked the beginning of a journey filled with personal growth and community engagement. From starting a book club to participating in health-focused programs, Gerald’s story is one of active involvement and holistic well-being:

“The most impressive thing about the PACE program is the people who are running the program. I truly believe they care about my health, and I like how they allowed me to have a say in my care… Getting into PACE and having a team support my overall health was life-changing. I started at 300 lbs, and now I am down to 230 lbs, and my blood pressure has stabilized. I can honestly say the PACE program saved my life and gave me a better quality of life.”

His health transformation, overcoming weight and blood pressure issues, is a testament to PACE’s integrated care approach.

Tomiko Matsuda – CHA PACE

One recipient of PACE housing assistance is Tomiko Matsuda. Shortly after she relocated to the United States from Brazil, her daughter passed away suddenly. Matsuda resided at the YWCA for a period. When PACE placed her in supportive housing with wraparound services, many of her medical conditions improved. She started participating in the PACE adult day program. “Before I came, I was very depressed,” says Matsuda in her native Portuguese through an interpreter – another CHA service. “I lost my mother, my daughter, and my brother. But I’m happy now. I came out of my depression.”

These stories from Kathleen, Gerald, Sheila, and Tomika embody the spirit of PACE: Where You Belong. They narrate the provision of care and the fostering of empowerment, community, and a renewed sense of purpose. As we conclude our series, these tales of inspiration continue to affirm the vital role PACE plays in the lives of older adults and their families.