PACE’s senior wellness program introduced at Providence Rest

PACE’s senior wellness program introduced at Providence Rest
Photo courtesy of ArchCare Senior Life Wellness Center

A new community-based health care program would help seniors stay with their families as an alternative to long-term care.

ArchCare, the Archdiocese of New York’s healthcare system, has started a wellness program with a center at Providence Rest designed to keep dozens of local seniors healthy while they continue to live in their own homes.

ArchCare Senior Life Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly is a nursing home alternative addressing elders’ social and medical needs in an outpatient setting.

This lets their family continue to go to work and live their lives while knowing that there is a team of professionals focused on the needs of their mom, dad or loved one, said Toni Levato, Wellness Center manager.

The PACE program is made up of a suite of all-inclusive services with a cadre of team members providing ongoing services and care.

“We put together a team of professionals that will address all health needs,” said Levato, adding “The whole team is always up to date – they provide home care, nurse management rehab services, pharmacy with medicine delivered to the home.”

The seniors can get at home visits by nurses or go to a designated health care center at San Vicente de Paul that has their medical records, and the program affords participants an opportunity to participate in a wide range of wellness-related activities.

These can include relaxation techniques, exercise programs; aroma, art and pet therapies; a horticulture club that teaches gardening from seed to table and related cooking using food they grow; as well as yoga and tai chi, said Levato.

Ranges of capabilities are accommodated as part of PACE activities, said Levato.

These pursuits let seniors overcome any social isolation, which can be a leading cause of depression, mental decline and deteriorating health for older people, according to the program.

“We hear every day how getting mom or dad out of the house and into an environment where they can be active and socially engaged transformed their health and outlook on life to the point where now they never want to miss a day with their friends,” said Levato.

It’s in keeping with a trend in healthcare towards community-based services that can take care of needs while keeping seniors out of higher cost nursing homes, she said.

The wellness center was sited at Providence Rest at the start of this year.

PACE took the place of medical adult day care program that had been run by Providence Rest itself, said Susan Steinberg, Providence Rest administrator.

After more than two decades of operation that earlier program proved to be cost-prohibitive in a changing healthcare environment, in part because of the structure of Medicaid reimbursements and other changes in healthcare, said Steinberg.

Providence Rest is leasing space to ArchCare for PACE, she added.

PACE is operating Monday through Friday, and may soon expand to Saturdays, with participants receiving transportation to and from home, as well as meals at breakfast and lunch.

In order to qualify, persons must typically be 55 or older and be eligible for nursing home care.

Learn more about PACE by calling ArchCare at (866) 263-9083.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.