HCN News & Notes

Mercy LIFE Celebrates Caregivers During National PACE Month

WEST SPRINGFIELD — The National PACE Assoc. has proclaimed September as National PACE Month, an opportunity to celebrate the lives improved by Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), like Mercy LIFE. This year’s theme of “Caring for Caregivers, Caring for You” highlights the role of caregivers and the support provided to them by PACE programs.

The caregiver burden of family members is significantly reduced when a loved one is enrolled in PACE, according to a new survey by the National PACE Assoc. PACE is an innovative Medicare and Medicaid program that helps people meet their healthcare needs in the home and community and at day centers rather than in a nursing home or other care facility.

The survey on caregiver burden found that 96.6{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} of family members are satisfied with the support they receive through PACE, and 97.5{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} of family caregivers would recommend PACE to someone in a similar situation.

Nearly half (49.6{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5}) of family members reported high caregiver burden at the time their loved one enrolled in PACE. After enrollment, more than 58{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} of those who had rated their caregiver burden as moderate to high experienced less burden.

Mercy LIFE is a PACE organization that has served seniors in Hampden and Hampshire counties for more than four years. A total of 124 PACE organizations serve more than 45,000 enrollees in 31 states. PACE enrollees are age 55 and over and need a nursing-home level of care, but more than 95{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} are able to live in the community with the services and support they receive through PACE.

“Caregiver support is among the key services that set PACE apart from other models of care,” said Joe Larkin, executive director. “We have had so many enrollees and their families tell us how PACE has impacted their life. It is gratifying to see this reflected in the data of the first national survey of PACE family caregivers.”

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