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Staying Well at Home with Community LIFE

The Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) is a model of care focused on maintaining the ability of the most vulnerable citizens to live in the community. To qualify for PACE a person must be 55 or older and be certified by the state as needing nursing home level of care. The typical participant is 80 years old, has eight chronic medical conditions, and has limitations in three activities of daily living (meaning they need help with things like dressing, bathing, or feeding). Most are enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid. Despite the high care needs, 95% of PACE participants can continue living in their home setting rather than a nursing home.

For twenty years, Community LIFE (CLIFE) has helped older adults live independently. Prior to the pandemic, participants could be picked up at home and transported to our centers where they could enjoy the benefits of day center services for socialization, activities, and dining, physical therapy to maintain strength and function, and a medical clinic where providers worked as part of an intradisciplinary team to evaluate and treat any acute and chronic conditions.

Like everything else, CLIFE has been affected by COVID-19. However, our mission to maintain the well-being and dignity of seniors by preserving independence in the home has not changed. CLIFE has adapted by bringing our services into the community. All disciplines are using telehealth for assessment and monitoring of participants. We are providing more home care and providing more physical and occupational therapy in participants’ homes. We have created a mobile physical therapy van that can be driven directly to participants’ homes. Our physicians and nurse practitioners are doing home visits in addition to telehealth. Meals, groceries, and supplies are delivered.

One of the unseen consequences of COVID-19 has been the isolation and loneliness of our most vulnerable citizens. CLIFE has responded by repurposing vans that were used to bring participants to and from the centers to now take participants on drives. Our recreational and music therapists are providing activities remotely. Clergy preside over group worship services via video conferencing. Finally, CLIFE has a robust team of behavioral health experts who routinely touch base with participants and provide remote or in-home therapy to those most in need.

COVID-19 has been challenging for all of us. The success of CLIFE in maintaining our participants in their homes despite a pandemic highlights the strengths of comprehensive, fully integrated care model that addresses physical, social, and psychological determinants of health.

For more information, call (866) 419-1693 or email info@commlife.org or visit www.commlife.org.



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