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New center offers alternative to nursing homes

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AllCare Health has opened a new center in Grants Pass that operates as an alternative to nursing homes, allowing people to live at home while getting medical care and other services at the center.

Based on a national model of integrated care, the PACE center is the first to open in Southern Oregon. PACE stands for Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly, AllCare officials said.

Research on PACE centers in other parts of the country shows participants have better lives and are less likely to have to move into nursing homes, said Deneen Silva, executive director of AllCare’s PACE center.

“People are happier. They are living in their home environment longer. Their quality of life improves dramatically,” she said.

The PACE center in Grants Pass features a medical clinic, a dental office, fully accessible bathrooms with showers, an exercise and physical therapy room, a hair salon, consultation rooms for social services, an outdoor patio, classrooms, comfortable living-room style spaces and a large dining room for breakfast, lunch, recreation and socializing.

Silva said people typically visit a PACE center about twice a week, but sometimes more if they need extra help.

The PACE center in Grants Pass opened March 1.

For now, in-person services at the center are limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many services are being provided to participants in their homes. On April 1, AllCare expects some participants will start coming in for medical care, Silva said.

To join the program, people have to live in the center’s service area, which includes the area in and around Grants Pass in Josephine County, then stretching to Medford and as far as Phoenix in Jackson County. Ashland and upper Rogue River communities from White City north are outside the service area boundaries.

Participants have to be at least 55 years old, able to live safely in a community-based setting at the time of enrollment and eligible for nursing home level of care, Silva said.

They need to be eligible for Medicare and/or Medicaid or willing to pay private fees.

Participants also have to agree to receive all their health and long-term care services exclusively from the PACE program and its contracted or referred providers. The program offers medical, dental, mental and vision care.

The AllCare PACE center’s staff members include primary care providers, registered nurses, therapists, social workers, therapeutic aids, dietitians and people who specialize in driving people to and from the center and outside appointments. Patients can be referred to a network of specialists, such as oncologists, Silva said.

She said the new center provides wraparound care to improve people’s health and quality of life on a variety of fronts.

“PACE is really known throughout the nation as the gold standard for elder care. AllCare recognized there were various gaps in service for this particular population,” Silva said.

For more information about the AllCare PACE center, call 541-474-8000 or see allcarehealth.com/PACE.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or valdous@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @VickieAldous.

The AllCare PACE Center in Grants Pass offers an alternative to living in a nursing home. Photo courtesty of AllCare Health
The AllCare PACE Center in Grants Pass offers meals, recreation, exercise, social services and physical, mental, dental and vision health care for eligible people ages 55 and older. Photo courtesty of AllCare Health