Nursing care takes a smart detour

  1. nursing care takes a smart detour

    a new approach to the frail elderly finds it's cheaper to help them maintain their independent lives at home - which most prefer.

    by michael vitez, inquirer staff writer
    sunday may 27th, 2007

    ruby biggs is an example of america's looming problem - and of one solution.
    how do we care for soaring numbers of old, frail people?

    biggs is young by today's standards, just 73. but her arthritis is so bad that even with a walker she can take only a few steps and is still prone to falls. she has an ulcer, diabetes, memory loss. she has no husband, no children.

    she is a classic american nursing home resident.

    except she lives at home, alone - the beneficiary of a pioneering new program in long-term care that is taking off, especially in pennsylvania.

    the program, life (living independently for elders), is designed to give people sick enough for a nursing home another option - to live at home, but get their medical care, socialization, and even a hot meal at a center in their community.

    and at less cost than a nursing home....
    i have worked with both penn and st agnes life program and recomended programs to many homecare patients. program accepts those over age 55 eligible for medicare & or medicaid and meet nursing home criteria. they provide primary care doctor, np who manages client, all health care provided along with medications with goal to keep one at home and out of hospital so strong preventive focus. home health aides assist those with adl defecits in own homes. home is always better than snf.

    transporting members in life center vans, members can get ther hair cut and styled, pt exercise, hot meal, and activities galore. st agnes even has washer/dryer to do laundry on site! along with resident animals for pet therapy.

    programs outside pa are called pace ....check them out:

    national pace association: home

    nurseweek: set the pace : one-stop care program for the elderly ...

    medicare link: program of all inclusive care for the elderly (pace)
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   withasmilelpn
    It's a great idea in theory, but where are they going to find all these home health aides? The CNAs I talk to laugh about the wages offered. Don't get me wrong , I love home care and did it for years. The fact is there is not enough staff available when there are call outs, etc. I tell family members who are considering it to expect to miss work at times due to staffing. And someone who has noone I would be very concerned about. I'm afraid that in the search to save money elderly care is going in the direction of the care we provide the mentally ill, and we all know how well that works. Not that LTC is the greatest. Hopefully it works out, but I have a lot of doubts.
  4. by   eltrip
    the P.A.C.E. program in my neck of the woods was a lifesaver for my SIL when caring for her mother (My MIL). My SIL was able to continue working and rec'd overnight respite care when needed. When the time came that my MIL was no longer manageable at home, the program got her into a nursing home asap. They were great.

    We need more of these programs. Especially with the upcoming generation of retirees.

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