PACE: Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly

“This [PACE] is what kind of program I want to work in. This is what is needed.”

Sonja Felton

Executive Director, Huron Valley PACE

This is an episode about a program that helps caregivers. I recently learned about a program that more people should know about. It’s called PACE: Program for All Inclusicve Care for the Elderly.

PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) is a unique health plan and care provider, committed to keeping aging adults with challenging healthcare conditions in their home, by caring for their medical, physical and social needs. Caregivers describe PACE as a massive relief – 97% who use it recommend it to others. 

People I interviewed about PACE love PACE. It reminds me of the way people talk about hospice. They love it and are so grateful to have found the program. In both cases I think what they love is the coordination of care. The fact that everyone communicates and it isn’t the caregivers job to be the lonely hub of communication for everything.

The typical PACE participant is similar to the average nursing home resident. The typical participant is an 80-year-old woman with eight medical conditions and limitations in three activities of daily living. Nearly half (49 percent) of PACE participants have been diagnosed with dementia. Despite a high level of care needs, more than 90 percent of PACE participants are able to continue to live in their community.

Cindy Pierce: Author, Storyteller, Inn-Keeper, Caregiver

“Everyone talks a big game about aging in place. I love the idea, but why it worked for previous generations is because usually the mom was not working and at home taking care of kids. And then the kids could take care of themselves, so she took care of the aging parent. We’re both working. Our kids are off doing all sorts of things – like, we’re not around at home.”

Cindy Pierce

Cindy Pierce is the funniest person I know. In this podcast episode about caregiving and PACE, Cindy tells a really funny story about her time caring for her mom. I love Cindy because she uses humor to talk about the hardest topics. 

Cindy Pierce is a social sexuality educator, storyteller and author of Sexploitation: Helping Kids Develop Healthy Sexuality in a Porn-Driven World and Sex, College and Social Media: A Commonsense Guide to Navigating the Hookup Culture.

Combining comic storytelling and years of research, she engages audiences with her message about making healthy choices and navigating cultural pressures. Cindy encourages educators to engage in conversations with students about the influences of social media, Internet porn and hookup culture. Young people are struggling more than ever to feel at ease, worthy and relevant as they attempt to find balance with all realms of their busy lives.

Cindy and her husband, Bruce Lingelbach have three young adults and run Pierce’s Inn in Etna, N.H.

Credits and Thank You

Thank you to Sonja Felton from Huron Valley PACE, Robert Greenwood from The National PACE Association, and Stephanie Winslow from the PACE Association of Michigan.

Thank you to Pat Cupples and Hotels and Highways for your original music.

Thank you to Cindy Pierce for sharing stories about the time she spent as a caregiver.

Photo: Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash