PACE program delivers health care to homes of low-income seniors in OC

GARDEN GROVE, Calif. (KABC) -- Instead of receiving care at a nursing home, Cal Optima's PACE program helps low income seniors live in the comfort of their homes. Before the pandemic, the MediCare/MediCal program was mostly focused at the PACE Center in Garden Grove with everything under one roof.

"Combining direct service providers, so your doctor, your nurse, your social worker, your dietician," said PACE Director Elizabeth Lee.

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One assisted living facility in Yorba Linda remains free of COVID-19 amid the pandemic.

In March, the coronavirus brought everything to a halt.

"It became very clear that congregate settings for seniors was not, just wasn't safe. We couldn't continue what we've been doing like most of the rest of the world," Lee said.

So they started delivering care in a whole new way.

"We took all of our services that were happening at the PACE center and we transitioned them into the communities, so virtual care as much as possible, using telehealth visits and using our fleet of vehicles to deliver medical supplies and equipment," she said.

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Thousands of letters sent to a Riverside retirement community have helped residents feel connected during the coronavirus pandemic.

The program is helping about 400 high-risk participants across Orange County.

"Health care delivered to them in their home during this pandemic, I think it's a huge option. I mean it's what I would want for my own family," Lee said.

To see if you or your loved ones are eligible, go to Medicare's open enrollment ends Dec. 7.
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