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New senior/medical center facility opens in IE

A new center for senior citizens was inaugurated on Wednesday, the first of its kind in the Inland Empire.
April 23, 2014 2:48:16 PM PDT
Actress Sharon Stone helped inaugurate a new center for senior citizens on Wednesday, the first of its kind in the Inland Empire. The new facility will make a big difference in many lives.

It's not too often you see a celebrity like Sharon Stone at a ribbon-cutting ceremony in San Bernardino. But she says care for the elderly is such an important issue to her that it was something she didn't want to miss.

"Who's going to help all these people who ultimately don't need to live in an elder care facility, but need to have some kind of place to go where they're not parceling out every need?" said Stone.

Wednesday was the grand opening of the Inland Empire's first PACE center. PACE stands for Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly. Run by a company called InnovAge, it's basically a senior center/medical center all rolled into one.

"You can come here, and have breakfast and a hot lunch, get a hearing aid, get your dental work, see a chaplain, play games, see other people," said Stone. "It is not only medical, but social."

Roy Hicks, 74, says he doesn't have family close by, so the convenience is what sold him on it.

"Everything is under one roof, and transportation is provided to the center from my house. It's the greatest thing to happen to me," said Hicks.

Even the design of the building itself will be helpful for people with special needs. For example, the circular hallways will be beneficial for seniors with dementia.

"We discovered that if we designed a circular hallway with stopping points along the way, with either seating or something interesting to look at, that it gave them a safe indoor space to do that," said Dr. Mary Tuuk, InnovAge chief medical officer.

They say it's affordable too.

"There are no co-pays, there's no co-insurance. Really there's no out-of-pocket cost if you qualify for the program," said Tuuk.

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