During the COVID-19 pandemic, the PACE (Program of All inclusive Care for the Elderly) model of care stood out not only in terms of safety and cost, but importantly, in terms of quality of life. Loretta McNamara, a WelbeHealth participant, tells her story of how PACE shined a light in her life during COVID in a recent interview with the Sacramento Bee.
Common sense and growing research demonstrate that seniors are happier when they feel rooted in their own home and community. Living at home affords more control over one’s life, imbuing a sense of meaning. Loretta felt like she had lost control and was trapped under mandatory lockdown at her nursing home during COVID. Fortunately, her social worker helped her find WelbeHealth. Now she can live more independently at home with the support of a caring team and her costs are covered by Medicare and MediCal. “I feel freer,” McNamara says.
Quality of life does not stop with the PACE participant. During COVID-19, the pressures on adult children and other family caregivers was especially high. PACE gave the help these family caregivers needed so they could get by under unprecedented circumstances. In addition to medical care, PACE coordinates appointments, provides transportation, and offers extra support around mental health, nutrition and medication management. For example, WelbeHealth deployed tablets for telehealth during COVID-19, ensuring access to many services including mental health support while keeping participants and their family caregivers safe as possible.