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  • Writer's pictureKathy L. McNair, Esq.

The PACE Program Helping Seniors Age in Place

Unlocking the Potential of Aging in the Community

As an Elder Law attorney, I help seniors, by seeking solutions that empower them to age in place.  One remarkable program achieving this mission is the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).  I have witnessed first hand how this program helps seniors who would otherwise need nursing home care remain living at home or in assisted living communities. 

I was guardian for a woman named Mary, who lived in an assisted living facility, in Boston.  Mary was originally from Ireland and she did not have any family in the United States.  She had served as a nurse in World War II.  She was a sweet woman, with a great sense of humor and had some very interesting stories.  After paying for the assisted living facility for a few years, Mary was beginning to run out of money and her only option at that point would be to move to a nursing home.  However, I enrolled Mary in the PACE program, which helped her pay for the assisted living.  In addition, Mary had the option of going to the PACE center if she wanted to.  She loved going there and went each weekday, where she had the support of personal care aides, and a medical team.  Each day they would engage Mary in activities, provide socialization, special events, entertainment, and support.  When Mary’s health declined significantly and nursing home became the only option, PACE helped with this transition and helped to make sure Mary had the best care possible.  PACE is an excellent program that helps seniors remain independent for as long as they possibly can. 

What is PACE?

PACE is a comprehensive solution designed to enable seniors to continue living at home or in their communities, rather than needing nursing home care. There are two main components to PACE. 

The first involves a day program at the PACE Center with an on-site team of professionals, including doctors, nurses, social workers, physical therapists and social workers. The seniors receive personalized and immediate care to address their needs.  Each weekday, transportation is provided to the PACE Center, where seniors can engage with others, participate in activities, eat lunch together, and ensure that their needs are met. 

The second component involves care at home, including help with personal needs, medication management, help with chores, and meal preparation.  The PACE team does everything they can to help seniors stay out of nursing homes and fight loneliness and isolation. In certain instances, PACE even helps seniors pay for assisted living facilities.

Financial Considerations: Income and Asset Requirements

For those that meet certain income and asset requirements, the PACE program is free.  For those that do not meet these requirements, there is an option to pay privately.  In Massachusetts, the income limit in 2014 is currently $2,829. The asset limit is set at $2,000, but Elder Law Attorneys are often able to make recommendations to help seniors qualify and protect assets.   You do not need to have Medicare or Medicaid benefits to qualify for PACE, as there is also a private pay option.  If you have Medicare Advantage, you won’t be able to qualify for PACE, so it is better to switch to regular Medicare. 

Nationwide Reach: PACE in 32 States

PACE is currently available in 32 states across the U.S., PACE is making a difference in the lives of seniors. Its model of care is flexible and adaptable, ensuring that seniors receive the necessary support, whether they have a strong support network or are navigating aging alone.

Staying Every Step of the Way

PACE commits helping seniors every step of the way. Even if nursing home care becomes an eventual necessity, PACE aims to exhaust every option to keep seniors in their communities, surrounded by familiarity and comfort.  If nursing home care becomes the only option, they help with the transition.

How PACE Has Made a Difference

At Senior Solutions, we have witnessed firsthand how PACE has transformed lives. From solo agers to married seniors, or those with lots of support, we have recommended the PACE program to many clients who have gotten the help they need.  If you are interested in finding more about how you can qualify for PACE or other Medicaid programs, to help you or loved one stay at home, please contact our office, as we can help you get the care that you need while protecting assets. 

Please take the first step and contact us now to schedule a free consultation. We are here to help guide you and protect your assets. You may contact us by calling our office at 617-489-5900 or schedule a brief free consultation by clicking on this link: 

Senior Solutions, Attorneys at Law, is an Estate Planning and Elder Law firm, serving the Greater Boston, Massachusetts area, since 2001. We are ready to help you with Medicaid Planning, Estate Planning, Probate, Guardianship & Conservatorships, Special Needs Trusts, and Fiduciary Services.

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