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PACE program offers comprehensive senior care

September 5, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
It's one of the biggest dilemmas children and their elderly parents face: Is it time to move to a nursing home? Chronic illnesses make it difficult for many seniors to live at home, even with a caregiver.

We'd all like to grow old gracefully. Now one local senior care center says it has a solution.

Greta Goodman, 80, is a take-charge gal, but up until a few months ago her health was so bad her daughter Mindy couldn't leave her side.

Greta can't manage at home alone, but moving to a nursing facility was out of the question.

Now she can stay home with her furry friend Farfel thanks to the Brandman Centers for Senior Care in Reseda.

The Medicare/Medi-Cal program delivers nursing-home-level of care services, but seniors don't have to move in. It's based on a national senior health care model.

The Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) model is centered on the belief that seniors with chronic care and their families can be better served within their own communities whenever possible.

Buses provide door-to-door transportation.

Nationwide, about 70 percent of seniors who participate in a PACE program have Alzheimer's or dementia.

CEO Molly Forrest says the center offers comprehensive medical care and more.

"Hearing aids, eyeglasses, your teeth cleaned, there are no co-pays, there are no deductibles," said Forrest.

Seniors also get to take advantage of music classes, pet therapy, hair and nail services and dental care.

The cost is about $3,900 a month. But people with Medicare and Medicaid pay less, or nothing at all. Clients must need nursing home care to be eligible.

"The Brandman Center Program avoids placement in a nursing home as long as possible and hopefully forever," said Forrest.

The Brandman Centers for Senior Care in Reseda can take patients living as far north as Agoura Hills, down to Valley Village.

The center is a program of the Los Angeles Jewish Home.

Four more PACE Model centers are being planned to open throughout the L.A. area.


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