For high school sophomore Lindsey Skaf, afternoons following school are synonymous with time to spend with her grandmother Christine – playing cards and sharing stories. During one of their card games, Lindsey started noticing her grandmother’s memory lapses. It wasn’t long afterwards that the family found out Christine had Alzheimer’s.
After a first paying for help at an adult day care center, Christine’s daughter Lois discovered the Hope PACE program through a friend.
“I looked into it. I have to say, it was like angels came into our life when we got Mom into the program,” said Louis. No longer did Lois have to worry about driving her mother to a center, nor did she have to pack meals. But, the real kicker was that Lois’ insurance covered the cost completely, with no out-of-pocket expense whatsoever.
“My mother is with people her own age, and is stimulated,” Lois says, still breathing a loud sigh of relief. “I mean, it took so much stress and worrying away.”
Christine enjoys riding the bus in the morning and arriving for breakfast with people who she has come to know over the last four years. “We have a good time,” she says. “We play cards, we do some exercise, and we do a lot of talking. It’s a good program. We play bingo all the time and we have a music man. They keep us busy.”
For Lois, the Hope PACE program also centralized all of her mother’s medical care, and it provides ongoing support and dialogue with a social worker regarding emotional, medical, and social concerns. “I’ll call the social worker to express an issue and a need. They’re good at trying to help and accommodate,” she says.
In terms of assessing the value of Hope PACE, Lois considers the alternative. “PACE took the big stress away. Without it, I probably would have burnt out and she wouldn’t have been able to stay at home. She can stay here as long as it’s safe here for her,” she says.
The caregiving experience of the Skaf family is not unique. If you are the spouse, son or daughter of an aging loved one, you may find yourself needing special support as well. Through Hope PACE, older adults can stay safely in their own homes and enjoy a greater level of independence.
How does it work? Upon enrollment, PACE participants receive all of their health care through the program, including:
. Primary medical and nursing care, including specialists
. Dental care
. Medications and medical equipment
. Lab services
. Occupational, physical and speech therapy
. All necessary prescription drugs
. Skilled home care and personal care aides
. Hospitalization, skilled nursing facility care, and end-of-life care
With an established network of professional support, caregivers can manage the needs of their aging parent or spouse. Through Hope PACE, caregivers can enjoy peace of mind, knowing that their loved ones are receiving state-of-the-art medical care and other supportive services like nutritious meals and transportation.
To be eligible for Hope PACE, individuals must be 55 years of age or older and reside in Charlotte, Collier or Lee County. They must have health problems that would normally qualify them for nursing home care; however, they must be able to live safely in the community with the assistance of Hope PACE.
The PACE Care Centers are conveniently located in Port Charlotte, Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres, and Naples:
Port Charlotte Center
3280 Tamiami Trail, Suite 46
Port Charlotte, FL 33952
Fort Myers Center
2668 Winkler Avenue
Fort Myers, FL 33901
Lehigh Acres Center
1201 Wings Way
Lehigh Acres, FL 33936
13020 Livingston Road
Naples, FL 34109
Hope PACE is free of charge for those who have both Medicare and Medicaid. For those who are Medicare eligible only, there is a fee. Private pay is also accepted.
For more information, call 855-454-3102 and ask about the Hope PACE program or visit HopePACE.org