September 4, 2018

ALEXANDRIA, VA As part of its PACE 2.0 project, the National PACE Association (NPA) today released the fourth in a series of “Before I Found PACE” video testimonials to highlight the success of Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE®), which empower individuals to live safely in the community.

The new video features an older couple in rural Tahlequah, OK, and the services they receive from Cherokee Elder Care, the only PACE organization sponsored by a Native American tribe. After having a stroke, Terri Ann Dirteater enrolled in the PACE program to receive health and social services. Her husband Leon receives support as her caregiver.

“As people live longer, more often than ever spouses can find themselves in the role of caregiver,” said Peter Fitzgerald, executive vice president of Public Policy and Strategy at NPA and principal investigator of PACE 2.0. “PACE transforms not just the lives of the participants who enroll in the program but also their families and caregivers.”

PACE is a Medicare and Medicaid program that helps people meet their health care needs in the home, community and PACE centers instead of going to a nursing home or other care facility. The video testimonials allow the public to understand how the program positively affects individual lives and provides a personal perspective that goes beyond outcomes data or descriptions of how the model works.

“With the rapidly growing aging population in this country, PACE can serve a wide variety of people in many different situations,” Fitzgerald said. “These stories are a reminder of the number of unserved people who would benefit from PACE and reinforce our shared mission of growth to meet their needs as quickly as possible.”

More than 32 million couples over age 65 are in the United States today, and that number is increasing rapidly. PACE 2.0 aims to increase the number of people served by PACE from approximately 45,000 today to as many as 200,000 by 2028.

The initiative is supported by The John A. Hartford Foundation and West Health to develop and promote innovations to the PACE model of care that allows it to serve more people, expand to new communities, and assist new populations.

The PACE model uses an interdisciplinary team approach to provide care to individuals, age 55 and over, who qualify for a nursing home level of care. PACE is a Medicare benefit nationally and a Medicaid benefit in 31 states. It is the most successful model for keeping individuals out of nursing homes and in the community, where they enjoy a higher quality of life, remain connected to the community, and receive care in the most cost-effective way. PACE reduces the costs associated with emergency room visits, unnecessary hospital admissions and long-term nursing home placements. More than 95 percent of PACE enrollees live in the community.1

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The John A. Hartford Foundation, based in New York City, is a private, nonpartisan, national philanthropy dedicated to improving the care of older adults. A leader in the field of aging and health, the foundation has three areas of emphasis: creating age-friendly health systems, supporting family caregivers, and improving serious illness and end-of-life care. For more information, visit johnahartford.org and follow @johnahartford.

West Health, solely funded by philanthropists Gary and Mary West, includes the nonprofit and nonpartisan Gary and Mary West Health Institute and Gary and Mary West Foundation, in San Diego, and the Gary and Mary West Health Policy Center in Washington, DC. These organizations work together toward a shared mission of enabling seniors to age in place successfully with access to high-quality, affordable health and support services that preserve and protect their dignity, quality of life, and independence. For more information, visit westhealth.org and follow @WestHealth.

The National PACE Association works to advance the efforts of PACE programs, which coordinate and provide preventive, primary, acute and long-term care services so older individuals can continue living in the community. The PACE model of care is centered on the belief that it is better for the well-being of seniors with chronic care needs and their families to be served in the community whenever possible. For more information, visit www.NPAonline.org and follow @TweetNPA.

Contact: Robert Greenwood, 703-535-1522, Robertg@npaonline.org

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