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The Face of Long Term Care is Changing!
Monday, July 25, 2016

The previous paradigm in Long Term Care was when a person was unable to perform two or more of their activities of daily living (transferring, toileting, bathing, dressing and taking medications or needed 24 hour supervision due to a cognitive impairment) they were rushed away to a nursing home. The current paradigm shift in LTC is to bring services to the frail senior in the community and to avoid or delay nursing home placement.

What are the forces that have impacted LTC and created the need for a change? The first issue is money, it cost Medicaid approximately $72,000 per year to care for a senior semi-privately in a nursing home in Cleveland. Second seniors are living longer than ever before, and Baby Boomers are aging. The forces of money and the growing senior population have forced America to “rethink” how we care for frail seniors.

When Dr Peter DeGolia, Geriatrician and Medical Director for McGregor PACE was asked what attracted him to McGregor PACE? He replied, “It’s the way all senior care (and chronic disease in general) should be managed. It takes a team to properly care for older adults and people with chronic diseases. The Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) provides a model and environment in which older adults can be cared for in a comprehensive, collaborative and coordinated way. It is the way all chronic disease should be managed. Adults with complex medical problems require a team of health professionals who work together as one unit to address and manage the health problems. Our health system today is too fragmented with poor communication and financial rewards for performing more procedures and test rather than doing what is medically appropriate and proper for the individual.”

Dr. DeGolia stated, “The PACE promotes a holistic model of care. It is local and therefore very accountable to the patients and their caregivers for the service provided. There is no bureaucrat in Washington, D.C. or on Wall Street making decisions. In the PACE program, patients and their caregivers are encouraged to become members of their health care team and participate in decision making.”

When asked what Dr. DeGolia liked best about the PACE model? He stated, “Collaborative, coordinated, team-based care. My time is not focused on how many visits I do in a day but the quality of the visits I perform. I can spend time with my patients to discuss and evaluate their problem rather than worrying about how many people I’ve seen, how many tests I’ve ordered, or specialists I’ve referred people to.

Dr. DeGolia recalled one PACE participant success story that especially stands out. Mr. RG was on the verge of nursing home placement. He was living alone, his apartment was badly infested with bebdbugs, and he was becoming increasingly confused.

Mr. RG had been seen in the emergency room twice in 1 month and admitted to the hospital for 3 days due to acute confusion. He was not getting the care and attention he needed, and was referred to McGregor PACE out of desperation by the Pastor of his church. The PACE program evaluated him and he was enrolled into the PACE program within 30 days. Once enrolled in McGregor PACE his health was evaluated and medications reviewed. PACE worked to clean up his bedbug problem. It became obvious that Mr. RG would either be admitted to a nursing home or we find reasonable alternative housing. The PACE program was able to place Mr. RG in a PACE contracted Assisted Living Facility where he has successfully lived for the past year, happy and gaining weights!

Today the good news is there are programs like McGregor PACE that provide all the medical care (primary care, specialty care, therapy and hospital care), long term care (home healthcare) and supportive services (transportation, meals, durable medical equipment and supplies) a frail senior would need.. McGregor PACE also has 3 Adult Day Health Centers that provide a safe and stimulating environment. We believe in engaging seniors in activities and socialization. People live longer when they are able to pursue their passions.

“Aging in place” successfully is 10% clinical and 90% doing the things that you love in a familiar environment. McGregor PACE participants have fewer hospitalizations, fewer nursing home admissions, live longer and experience a greater sense of independence than their non PACE counterparts. Caregivers also benefit from McGregor PACE. The PACE program eases the stress of being a caregiver.

McGregor PACE operates 3 Adult Day Health Centers in Cuyahoga County. For more information, call the center that is located closest to where you live.

East Side – Cleveland

McGregor PACE
26310 Emery Road
Warrensville Heights, Ohio 44128
(216) 791-3580

East Side – Cleveland

McGregor PACE at The Langston Hughes Center
2390 East 79th Street
Cleveland, OH 44104
(216) 361-0917

West Side – Cleveland

McGregor PACE at Senior Health and Wellness Center
MetroHealth Old Brooklyn Campus
4229 Pearl Road
Cleveland, OH 44109
(216) 205-4000