Bringing Opportunity to Reexamine Senior Living through McGregor PACEWednesday, May 19, 2021
In the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, vacancies in nursing homes and long-term care facilities were on the rise as patients sought to avoid the virus. But many struggle to afford the same level of care from home.
The pandemic has given new momentum to a local program helping older residents stay in place.
The option to stay home was important to Cleveland-area resident Brenda Brown when she received a positive cancer diagnosis 14 years ago. She enrolled in the Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) through the McGregor Foundation.
“I was very ill at one time and unable to really take care of myself, and it was kind of hard for the family to give me the care that I needed,” Brown said.
Through PACE, patients receive care and transportation to in-person appointments with eye doctors, dentists, general practitioners and other medical specialists. The program aims to provide a way for people to stay in the community and still receive medical care for whatever they need.
During the pandemic, Brown said, she’s been able to receive all the care she needs remotely.
“If I’m sick and I can call them and they’ll send a nurse to the house,” Brown said. “If the nurse thinks that I need to go to the hospital, they send me to the hospital.”
Without programs like PACE to provide full comprehensive services, just one accident or medical issue can result in moving into a long-term care facility, said McGregor Foundation President Ann Conn.
“They don’t have the overall system to support them,” Conn said, “when really they just needed to make sure they got those preventive services to keep them stable in the community.”