PACE Your Life opens at Milford Wellness Village
All-Inclusive Care Programs for Aged (PACE) Your Life recently opened at Milford Wellness Village. The program aims to help seniors age in place, providing healthcare, medication, transportation and even meals. PACE Your Life will hold an open house on Thursday, June 16 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The public is invited to the event at the center on Clarke Avenue.
“We serve people over the age of 55 who live in our service area,” said program director Lisa Bond. “There is a very clear consensus that a program to serve seniors who really needed coordinated care and social services was a great need in the region. Meir Gelley, the owner of Nationwide Health Services, decided to move forward with a PACE center here in the Wellness Village.
PACE Your Life is for seniors who may qualify for nursing home care, but are able to live safely in their community while receiving services. To be eligible they must be in specific postcode areas including Milford, Milton, Lewes, Harrington etc.
“What happens when someone is new to our program is that we do an initial assessment and one of the things that is unique is that we have an interdisciplinary team,” Bond said. “Each participant receives a physician, clinical nurse, home nurse, social worker, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, dietitian and activity specialist. If they come in the morning, we will serve a light breakfast. Various activities will be offered during the morning. And then, for example, if they need to see a primary care doctor or a nurse practitioner, either because they have something planned like a wellness visit, or because they don’t feel well that day, they will go back to see their provider doctor. If they need physiotherapy, occupational therapy or speech therapy, they will come back for them. We have a rehab gym, so they can do that while they’re here too.
Bond explained that a person participating in the program can come simply for the activities or have a medical appointment. A hearty lunch is provided to them in order to provide a main meal for participants who may not be able to prepare large dinners at home. Transport is also provided to the center. Participants must have difficulty with an activity of daily living which may be from dementia, brain injury, or even someone who may have had a back injury many years ago and, as they age, their mobility deteriorated.
“We also have a smaller room that we can use for memory care or for those who find being in a room with 50 or 60 other people too stimulating,” Bond said. “As we grow, we will develop a calendar of activities in a way that recognizes that people are in different places. We will be able to accommodate up to 200 people, although there will not be 200 people in the center on any given day. »
The center, which is in the same location as the emergency department of the old Milford Memorial Hospital, no longer resembles the austere efficiency of an emergency room. The walls are painted in bright colors and a large saltwater aquarium adds brightness to the lobby. The day center has a mock kitchen with a stove and a dishwasher designed to help people with reduced mobility. A counter in the day center is low to help new wheelchair users adjust. Lunch is provided by the Village Café, and they can handle dietary restrictions. There is a large room with bins where attendees can also store a change of clothes.
“We also provide their incontinence supplies through the program. So obviously we have them here in case they need them here. But we also have them shipped to them, so they get them on a regular basis,” Bond said. “And what we can do is we have a laundry room with a washing machine and a dryer. So we can do the laundry on site. We might go with you and spill some coffee on yourself, and you’re a mess, and you need to wash your clothes, we can do that here and change you. But also, if someone has trouble doing their laundry at home, like the laundry is in someone’s basement, right? It is no longer particularly safe for them to descend. We don’t want people falling because it’s devastating. to the elderly, when they fall. We can ask our transport to bring the laundry and we can do it while they are here at the center. We also have the option of sending someone to their home to help with the laundry. Again, sort of working on the plan, in terms of what they think might be best.
The center also has a shower area for those who have difficulty showering at home. Shower areas are large and can accommodate wheelchairs and walkers, as are all bathrooms.
“The only thing here that’s private, the only thing there’s a charge for because everything else is included, is our little living room,” Bond said. “We are partnering with Polaris to get a barber and stylist. And so, so if anybody wanted to get their hair done, they’re here now and it would cost you a little. But that’s just some kind of advantage. If someone has transport problems, maybe they can’t get to the hairdresser, right? So they could come here and take care of it while they’re here during the day. So I think it is and it is very good. You know, women, anything can happen, and we always want our hair styled, no matter how old you are, you want your hair styled.
There is a large clinical area which includes an observation section if anyone needs to lie down, needs an IV or oxygen. They are monitored by a nurse while they are in the observation room.
“One of the things that’s really special about the program, too, is that we become the insurance company and we get a capitation rate from Medicare and Medicaid. And so, then we can authorize services, this team will authorize services,” Bond said. “We don’t have to go through the Medicare approval process. We can bring them in and do PT. And so we’re doing a lot more, not just helping people recover and get back to their baseline, but staying content. And we don’t want them to slow down, we want to keep moving forward.
The gym not only includes standard physiotherapy and workout items, but also has a small kitchen so those who might have mobility issues can be assessed in a real setting. Bond explained that it helps therapists ensure they can bend over and pull out a frying pan, can stand long enough to cook a meal, and other issues that an older person might have. The center also offers meal delivery services. There is a media area with a large television and a computer which is also available to participants.
“We have people who are cognitively intact, so they can come and watch TV or log on to the computer,” Bond said. “It’s a nice gathering area for people who just want to socialize. They might be in a wheelchair, but they want to get out of the house and just interact with others.
For more information about PACE Your Life, contact them at 302-865-3565 or 1-833-PACE302.