How PACE Continues to Meet Seniors’ Needs During the Pandemic
Highlights From Our Issue Brief With the Center for Community Solutions
PACE is designed to support seniors who wish to age in place and continue to reside in their home, rather than move to a long-term care facility. This community-based approach to senior care allows seniors to remain in their community, in familiar surroundings, while receiving the help they need. As with any organization, McGregor PACE was challenged to demonstrate resilience in the face of COVID-19. We were, and continue to be, committed to ensuring the continuity of our services for participating seniors during the pandemic while also keeping them safe.
We have joined with The Center for Community Solutions to assess our response to COVID-19 as well as our ability to adapt quickly to meet the needs of participants. While nursing homes throughout Ohio and across the country have been hit hard by the pandemic, PACE participants had a lower rate of cases and deaths due to COVID-19. The National PACE Association reported that both the rate of PACE residents that have died from COVID-19 as well as the rate of cases are one-third lower than for nursing home residents. We are grateful that so many of our seniors have stayed safe and healthy.
How did PACE programming transform to meet our participants’ needs during COVID-19? Here is a snapshot of the actions we took:
- Maintained existing home-based services for participants
- Shifted center-based services to participants’ homes to minimize risk of infection
- Expanded the use of telehealth and other digital communication with participants
- Redeployed our center-based staff to fill other roles
- Utilized Mobile Health Vans
- Repurposed our PACE centers for overnight care and respite care
- Offered participants continued access to PACE health centers and clinics
- Provided social support to participants with regular check-in phone calls
We are committed to continuing to be flexible and innovative to shift our programming and services as needed throughout the duration of the pandemic. Our central goal—to keep our participants living safely in their homes—is unchanged. If you or your loved one would benefit from the services of PACE, we hope you will reach out to speak to a team member. In the meantime, we invite you to read our full issue brief with the Center for Community Solutions.