Living at Home
Up until two years ago, Jeanney Lloyd spent most days alone in her Cleveland apartment, watching her favorite TV show, “Walker, Texas Ranger,” and getting around as best she could with bad arthritis and a walker.
Now the 69-year-old, who worked as a doughnut maker and a housekeeper, is surrounded by friends, laughing or dancing as she plays trivia games, watches movies, has lunch and learns to speak Spanish.
That’s on top of working out on exercise equipment as part of the physical therapy that keeps her legs strong.
Jeanney does all that every Wednesday and Thursday at MetroHealth’s Old Brooklyn Campus inside the Adult Day Center that’s part of the McGregor Foundation’s PACE program.
“This program did me good,” Jeanney says, “because it got out of my apartment. Before this, I couldn’t walk too good.”
McGregor PACE – the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly – is the only PACE program in Ohio. PACE offers people who are eligible for nursing home placement the opportunity to remain living in their homes, says Elliot Cruz, Business Development Director for PACE, which serves more than 600 people like Jeanney, throughout Cuyahoga County.
It’s available at little or no cost to Cuyahoga County residents 55 and older in need of services such as help with dressing, bathing and medication management but who can still live safely in the community.
The Adult Day Center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. And McGregor PACE sends vans to participants’ homes to pick them up at their doorsteps and drive them to the center one to five days a week.
Each day begins with a continental breakfast followed by a list of activities from exercise to art therapy to shopping trips in the community, when COVID isn’t an issue.
But PACE Is about much more than keeping seniors engaged.
There’s a medical clinic inside each center so participants can see a doctor or nurse if they’re not feeling well and save the trouble and cost of an Urgent Care or Emergency Department visit. The centers also provide annual flu and COVID vaccines. The usual medical visit can be 30 to 60 minutes in length because the medical staff has the time to focus on the individual’s health and care needs.
Physical, occupational and speech therapists are available as is podiatry, vision, hearing and dental care. Medication, along with wheelchairs, walkers, oxygen, hospital beds and other medical equipment, are part of the all-inclusive services. And a separate secure unit is offered for those with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia who are at risk of wandering.
Services are customized to each person and delivered to their homes on the days they don’t come to the center. Instead, hot lunches, health checks and physical and occupational therapy are sent to them.
All that comes with a price tag that clients and their families love.
McGregor PACE’s Adult Day Center care is free for those who qualify and are covered by Medicare or Medicaid. For those who aren’t, the cost is about $3,600 a month (less than $120 a day), much less than the $8,000 to $12,000 nursing homes cost, Cruz points out.
Another benefit is the location. The Old Brooklyn Campus also houses MetroHealth’s Senior Health Outpatient Program, which brings together dozens of primary care and specialist physicians to provide personalized care to those 55 and older. Some of those physicians provide care to PACE clients.
The building also houses the multimillion-dollar, 96-bed ProMedica Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation at MetroHealth as well as the MetroHealth Rehabilitation Institute, ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the best hospitals in the United States and the best hospital in Ohio for rehabilitating patients after severe stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, multi-system trauma and other serious and medically complex illnesses and injuries.
There are three PACE locations in Ohio, all operated by the McGregor Foundation and all in Cuyahoga County. The other two centers are in Warrensville Heights and on Cleveland’s east side in the East Cleveland/Cleveland Heights community, near the MetroHealth Cleveland Heights Health Center at Severance Town Center.
At MetroHealth’s OBC campus, almost half of the 224 clients are of Hispanic descent. So care is provided in English and Spanish.
And that care is focused on one goal: to keep seniors living in their own – or their child’s – home for as long as possible, where they’re more comfortable, happier and don’t have to spend their savings on a nursing home.
“The PACE program really helps people stay in their homes longer,” says Lee Ann O’Brien, McGregor’s Chief Marketing Officer. “We know not everyone wants to live in residential care, nor can they afford to.
“When you’re working, you wonder what your parents are doing all day long. You want them to stay engaged,” she says. “Statistically, we can definitely tell you, people in the PACE program expand their longevity by 24 months – and it’s all about staying engaged.
“Our goal is to keep participants remaining as healthy and independent as possible, as well as relieve some of the burden and stress placed on their caregivers.” Research also shows that those participating in PACE programs, where services can be delivered to their homes if needed, are less likely to contract COVID-19.
The PACE Adult Care Center program is one of many services for seniors provided by The McGregor Foundation as it works to improve the quality of life for seniors and help resolve the shortage of affordable housing for them. McGregor also offers medication management, assisted living, hospice and other services for those 55 and older. It is the goal of most older adults to remain in their home. It’s our goal to help them succeed!
If you’re interested in the PACE program for yourself or a loved one, check out this brochure or call Elliot Cruz at 216-205-4008 or 1-888-895-PACE.