Meet the Underdog of Senior Care
The Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, funded by Medicare and Medicaid, has quietly succeeded in enabling some older Americans to age in place.
Felicia Biteranta was struggling when, five years ago, she enrolled in a PACE program operated by Lutheran Senior Life in Jersey City, N.J.
Having suffered a stroke, she found it hard to eat without choking. She fell frequently; her diabetes was out of control; she had pulmonary disease and asthma. She might miss a medical appointment if she could not arrange or afford a taxi. Her family lived far away.
She was, in short, a candidate for a nursing home. But such a move is what PACE — the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly — was designed to prevent.
“The main goal is to let people age in place,” said Maria Iavarone, executive director of the PACE program that Ms. Biteranta participates in. “Nobody wants to give up their home. It’s where you’re most comfortable. It’s where you should stay…..