Arthritis Awareness Month

May is Arthritis Awareness Month.  Many of our participants are afflicted with this condition, including 1 in 4 Americans.  The CDC recommends the following to help manage arthritis:

1. Learn new self-management skills.

Join a self-management education workshop, which can help you learn the skills to manage your arthritis and make good decisions about your health.How can a self-management education workshop help me?

Learning strategies to better manage your arthritis can help you:

  • Feel more in control of your health.
  • Manage pain and other symptoms.
  • Carry out daily activities, like going to work and spending time with loved ones.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Improve your mood.
  • Communicate better with your health care provider(s) about your care

2. Be active.

Physical activity is a simple and effective, non-drug way to relieve arthritis pain. Being physically active can reduce pain, improve function, mood, and quality of life for adults with arthritis. Regular physical activity can also reduce your risk of developing other chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. It can help you manage these conditions if you already have them.

Stay as active as your health allows, and change your activity level depending on your arthritis symptoms. Some physical activity is better than none.

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults be physically active at a moderate intensity for 150 minutes per week. Visit the health.gov website to learn more about the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.

Unsure about what kind of activity is safe?

Get more information about how to exercise safely with arthritis or find a community program near you. Physical activity community programs—like Enhanced®Fitness, Walk With Ease, and others—help adults with arthritis be healthier and reduce arthritis symptoms.

3. Talk to your doctor.

Talk to your doctor if you have joint pain and other arthritis symptoms. It’s important to get an accurate diagnosis as soon as possible so you can start treatment and work to minimize symptoms and prevent the disease from getting worse.

The focus of arthritis treatment is to

  • Reduce pain.
  • Minimize joint damage.
  • Improve or maintain function and quality of life.

You can play an active role in controlling your arthritis by attending regular appointments with your health care provider and following your recommended treatment plan. This is especially important if you also have other chronic conditions, like diabetes or heart disease.

4. Manage your weight.

Losing excess weight and staying at a healthy weight is particularly important for people with arthritis. For people who are overweight or obese, losing weight reduces stress on joints, particularly weight bearing joints like the hips and knees. In fact, losing as little as 10 to 12 pounds can improve pain and function for people with arthritis. At any age, low-impact, arthritis-friendly physical activity (like walking) and dietary changes can help you lose weight.

5. Protect your joints.

Joint injuries can cause or worsen arthritis. Choose activities that are easy on the joints like walking, bicycling, and swimming. These low-impact activities have a low risk of injury and do not twist or put too much stress on the joints. Learn more about how to exercise safely with arthritis.

Sports- or work-related injuries to joints can increase the likelihood of developing osteoarthritis. To reduce the likelihood of developing or worsening osteoarthritis, take steps to minimize or prevent injuries to joints, such as wearing protective equipment and avoiding repetitive motion joint damage.

To learn more about PACE services, click here.

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Separation anxiety: Coronavirus takes toll on those with Alzheimer’s, their loved ones

Alzheimer’s is a tough disease to contend with in the normal, everyday world.  Some of the individuals suffering more than most during this time of crisis are those challenged with some form of dementia, especially those with Alzheimer’s.  In our transition to a home-based model, we have taken steps to ensure that these individuals and their loved ones continue to get our support.  The Record recently wrote a story on this topic here, and our own Executive Director Jillian Simon commented on how our changes provided continued support to this group.

To learn more about PACE services, click here.

New York Times: Just What Older People Didn’t Need: More Isolation

Isolation is a high-priority issue with seniors. 

The New York Times just printed an article highlighting this issue and how senior groups are tackling it through technology.  Although we were not named specifically in the article, it refers to two PACE programs in Southern California that have utilized Grandpads, which we call “WelbeLinks” to combat loneliness and increase their ability to socialize. To learn more about our PACE services, click here.

 

 

 

Click on the logo to read the full story.

 

 

Dog Rescue Highlights PACE’s unique Model

One of our Stockton PACE participants was hospitalized for a period of time, leaving her dog along at home.  A member of our care staff came to the rescue, ultimately saving the dog and returning her to her owner.  This video shows one example of our PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) is different from other senior care models, including nursing homes.  One of core values is our “Courage to Love” and we clearly demonstrated how our love for our participants motivates us to go above and beyond.

Rescuing Daisy Video

To learn more about PACE services, click here.

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Remote Home Care Model Aims to Protect Seniors

WelbeHealth and our PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly ) centers was recently profiled in the Escalon Times on how we met the COVID-19 crisis head on, quickly making changes to our program model so that we could deliver our senior care services such as medical appointments and meals to our participants’ homes, instead of our centers.  We also equipped our participants with WelbeLink tablets so that medical and rehab appointments could be done remotely and to help our seniors combat isolation.  Read about our changes to deliver nursing home level of care to our participants.

Remote Home Care Model Aims to Protect Seniors 

To learn more about our other PACE services, click here.

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WelbeHealth Sierra Shifts to Remote Home Care Model – Latino Times

WelbeHealth and our PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly ) centers was received additional coverage from the Latino Times on how we met the COVID-19 crisis head on, quickly making changes to our program model so that we could deliver our senior care services such as medical appointments and meals to our participants’ homes, instead of our centers.  We also equipped our participants with WelbeLink tablets so that medical and rehab appointments could be done remotely and to help our seniors combat isolation.  Read about our changes to deliver nursing home level of care to our participants here.

To learn more about PACE services, click here.

Stockton PACE Shifts to Remote Home Care Model – Latino Times

WelbeHealth and our PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly ) centers was received additional coverage from the Latino Times on how we met the COVID-19 crisis head on, quickly making changes to our program model so that we could deliver our senior care services such as medical appointments and meals to our participants’ homes, instead of our centers.  We also equipped our participants with WelbeLink tablets so that medical and rehab appointments could be done remotely and to help our seniors combat isolation.  Read about our changes to deliver nursing home level of care to our participants here.

To learn more about PACE services, click here.

“Changes to PACE Programs” WelbeHealth

MENLO PARK, CA (March 27, 2020)—WelbeHealth, operator of three PACE programs across California, has made major adjustments to its clinical and operational model to protect the health and well-being of its participants in the face of the rapidly escalating COVID-19 pandemic, including a shift to remote and home care for its vulnerable population of seniors. 

PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) is a longstanding Medicare and Medicaid program that provides comprehensive medical and social services enabling older adults to live in the community instead of a nursing home or other care facility. Since 2019, WelbeHealth has become one of the fastest-growing PACE operators in the U.S., opening Stockton PACE in greater Stockton-Modesto, Pacific PACE in the PasadenaGlendale-Burbank region, and LA Coast PACE in the greater Long Beach area. 

Welbe has been prepared to operate during a pandemic since long before the emergence of COVID-19. The company’s leadership and clinical teams have worked extensively in recent weeks to implement their emergency preparedness program, including launching their Pandemic Incident Response Systems. These systems include a well-defined chain of command and pandemic-specific roles and responsibilities, ensuring clear communication and enabling continued high quality of care for PACE participants. 

In the traditional PACE model, most participants visit a day center two or three times per week. With the emergence of coronavirus, Welbe’s PACE programs have made major changes to protect the health of vulnerable seniors. Since March 16, participants have been receiving nearly all their care remotely, at home. In addition to medical care, the programs also continue to provide essential services to seniors based on individual needs, including food preparation and delivery, medication delivery, and personal hygiene assistance. 

 “I’m extremely proud of our team’s creativity and devotion in ensuring that our seniors continue to receive exceptional care 24/7,” said the President of WelbeHealth, Matt Patterson, MD. 

To support home-based care for participants, Welbe has deployed over 200 4G LTE “WelbeLink” tablets with hardware and software specifically designed for use by seniors. Welbe’s care teams use the tablets to maintain regular video communications with participants in the home, making hundreds of calls per day to manage seniors’ medical needs and concerns and complete social and behavioral health check-ins. The tablets also provide games and entertainment for seniors to enjoy throughout the day. 

With around-the-clock support from leadership and the tremendous efforts of clinical team members, Welbe has been able to make the shift to remote care very rapidly. At Stockton PACE, the team assembled and delivered protective equipment and supply kits to all employees, set up and delivered hundreds of WelbeLink tablets and thermometers to all participants, and identified needs and delivered food and supplies to seniors’ homes — all in a matter of days. At Pacific PACE, one new participant reflected, “Pacific PACE isn’t just a change in doctor or health; it’s a change of life for me. I’m extremely grateful for everyone making this possible.” 

In addition to shifting to remote care, the company has taken numerous other steps to protect participants and caregivers during the pandemic. Since March 16, all team members have been mandated to shelter in place and work from home unless otherwise assigned by the emergency response team. WelbeHealth is also working closely with local, state, and federal health officials to ensure appropriate resources are available to care for participants, including being prepared to test participants and caregivers for COVID-19 when appropriate. 

“My colleagues and I chose to work in healthcare out of a sense of calling — a desire to serve and contribute when it matters most,” wrote the CEO of WelbeHealth, Si France, MD in a letter to participants and families. “I assure you that our team will continue to make every effort to do the right thing and protect our seniors during this critical time.” 

 

About WelbeHealth 

At WelbeHealth, our mission is to unlock the full potential of our most vulnerable seniors with empathy and love. We do it through PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly), a comprehensive medical and social care model with a decades-long track record of improved quality of life, life expectancy, and personal empowerment for frail seniors. As part of our PACE programs, most participants are able to live safely and independently in their own homes and communities rather than receive care in a nursing home. WelbeHealth operates three PACE programs across California, with plans for additional expansion in underserved communities. For more information, please visit welbehealth.com.

To learn more about our PACE services, click here.

TAKING ACTION TO PROTECT OUR SENIORS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

To our dear seniors, families, and caregivers,

As you know, the spread of coronavirus continues to escalate globally, nationally, and here in California. During these challenging times, I want you to know that our leadership teams have been working around the clock to implement a proactive clinical and operating model to keep our seniors safe and our team healthy.

We are taking bold, aggressive, and preemptive actions to maintain the health and well-being of our PACE participants and our team.

Pandemic Response Systems Implemented:

Our organization has been prepared to operate during a pandemic since long before the emergence of COVID-19. On March 13, we formally mobilized our emergency preparedness program and launched our Pandemic Incident Response Systems. These systems include a well-defined chain of command and pandemic-specific roles and responsibilities for our team, ensuring clear communication and enabling continued high quality of care for our participants.

Remote/At-Home Patient Care Launched:

As of March 16, our PACE participants are receiving nearly all their care remotely, at home. In addition to medical care, we continue to provide essential services to our seniors based on individual needs, including food preparation and delivery, medication delivery, and personal hygiene assistance.

Each participant has also been provided with a 4G LTE “WelbeLink” tablet with hardware and software specifically designed for use by seniors. Our care teams are using these tablets to maintain regular video communications with participants in the home.

Work from Home Mandated:

As of March 16, all WelbeHealth staff have been mandated to shelter in place and work from home unless otherwise assigned by our emergency response team. This mandate protects our participants and caregivers and ensures immediate containment of any single COVID-19 case.

COVID-19 Resources Ready:

We’re working closely with local, state, and federal health officials to ensure we have appropriate resources in place to care for our seniors. We are prepared to test participants and staff for COVID-19 when appropriate. In addition, we continue to monitor and comply with evolving government and CDC guidance.

My colleagues and I chose to work in healthcare out of a sense of calling—a desire to serve and contribute when it matters most. I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve you, and I assure you that our team will continue to make every effort to do the right thing and protect our seniors during this critical time.

Sincerely,
Si France, MD
CEO, WelbeHealth

To learn more about our PACE services, click here

How COVID-19 Spreads

How to Protect Yourself & Others

Social Distancing

WelbeHealth Sierra Celebrates One Year Anniversary

WelbeHealth Sierra, our first Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) celebrated one year of healthcare and wellness service to the eligible seniors in the San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties with a gala event at our WelbeHealth Sierra center.  The grand event was covered by the Latino Times  and described the rapid growth of the center and even mentioned the rescue of the dog Daisy, featured in this video.  Click below for the story.

To learn more about PACE services, click here.