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PACE helps seniors stay in their homes

Older adults in North Dakota who are eligible for nursing home care often remain living independently at home, where they prefer to be. Although living at home, they may need a level of care that’s difficult for them to manage the medical and self-cares they require by themselves.

That’s where Northland PACE Senior Care Services comes in. PACE (Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) is a program designed to successfully preserve older adult’s ability to remain living at home through a team-based approach. Northland PACE, a non-profit based in Bismarck North Dakota, also operates offices in Bismarck, Dickinson and Fargo in addition to the Minot location.

The program employs its own interdisciplinary team (IDT) of professionals to provide a comprehensive range of services – a medical director, nurse practitioner, registered nurse, social worker, health aides, therapy services, and several others. Families are also actively involved in care needs and health decisions.

PACE – Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly – is a program of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Most of the individuals served by its local partner, Northland PACE, are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. Instead of dealing with separate federal and state programs individually, those who enroll into the Northland PACE program work directly with the staff of PACE, receiving all of their health care needs along with transportation, housekeeping and socialization based on the needs of each person that enrolls. In addition to primary care services from the PACE team, those that enroll also receive specialty care services in the community as needs arise. Prescription medication is also provided.

There are no hidden costs, copayments or deductibles for those eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, instead, reimbursement for those services is made directly to Northland PACE. As the Northland PACE program ensures all cares and services are provided based on the needs of each person that enrolls as well as serving as payment source of services there is no need for separate Medicare Part A, B, and D coverage. Participants must be 55 or older, live within the Northland PACE service area, meet level of care need, and able to safely live at home with Northland PACE services.

Bosch says that the main requirement, is that the individual they care for must be eligible for skilled nursing home care but wants to remain in his or her home. Northland PACE’s services offer an alternative that permits them to stay in their home as long as the team and family believe it’s safe and feasible. If nursing home admission becomes necessary, PACE then is responsible to cover that cost to ensure the enrolled participant of the PACE program is receiving the best care in the most appropriate environment of care.

Each person that enrolls into the Northland PACE program has their own care plan. Each member of the Northland PACE team assesses the needs for cares and services individually; then their observations are put together into a plan to meet the individual’s needs and wishes. The variety of professionals on the team share and learn from each other allowing the team to thoroughly know and understand each person that enrolls and their needs. That helps them all decide on the most appropriate services and is the success of the program, to assist in preserving enrolled participants living safely and independently at home.

Another benefit of the team approach is taking much of the burden of care off the family and other caregivers. Northland PACE services are provided from both the Northland PACE center as well as in the homes. Participants of the program can enjoy activities and other services offered in the Northland PACE center as well as ensuring all care needs are provided in the home.

Enrolling in PACE begins with a comprehensive assessment by the local staff in its office at 2700 8th Street NW in Minot or in the home of anyone that may be interested in learning more. For more information, visit website www.northlandpace.com or call 701-857-8045.

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