Page 25 - Scene Magazine 45-05 May 2020
P. 25

   Local Interest
Fund Development Coordinator, Senior Care Partners P.A.C.E.
   The term “Essential Worker” has become a household word in recent weeks. Never before has the term been used so prolifically by the media, businesses and government officials. Many courageous souls have braved the potentially infectious work spaces to make sure people have the goods and services that are crucial during
Essential and Extraordinary
Assistants, in addition to helping with household chores, are providing much needed human interaction with the seniors. The Recreational Therapy Departments are creating “recreation kits” that are being delivered to homes. Social Workers and Spiritual Care Coordinators are making phone calls to check up on participants and providing a “listening ear” that brings comfort to many.
The organization is also testing
an innovative care solution that helps participants improve self-management
of chronic conditions and provides compassionate 24x7 psychosocial support. The technology, called Care. coach, provides specialized tablet-based devices that display an avatar of a pet animal, which serves as a 24-hour-a-
day “friend” to support complex, high risk individuals. This product has been shown through published research studies to reduce loneliness. Individuals talk naturally with the avatar using their voice, and receive psychosocial support and coaching on managing multiple chronic conditions. The system is powered by a specially-trained team of health advocates employed by Care.Coach and supported by evidence-based protocols and artificial intelligence. Through this system, the Senior Care Partners P.A.C.E. healthcare team is automatically alerted about adverse events and perceived changes
in the health status of the participant. It can also remind participants of dietary and medication schedules or other appointments.
Another innovative care strategy was launched when near the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak in Michigan, the husband of a participant was rushed to the hospital with severe symptoms and ultimately lost his battle with the virus. He was the primary caregiver for his wife who suffers from advanced dementia. She was unable to stay aloneand no long term care facility would admit her for care due to her coronavirus exposure. Thankfully,
one of our Personal Care Assistants volunteered to spend the night with her so she would not be alone.
Center clinic was quickly turned into
an Alternative Care Site and special accommodations were made to make
it an overnight stay facility to care for this participant and any others who
may test positive for COVID 19. The staff immediately and courageously stepped up to care for this participant and others 24 hours a day at the site. Since then, two other participants have been cared for at this site where they also are receiving around the clock
care and socialization. Dr. Elizabeth Warner, Senior Care Partners P.A.C.E. Medical Director, said, “Sometimes you have to think outside the box and make unusual accommodations in a crisis situation. We have an amazing staff who care deeply for our participants and sacrificially give of their time, even overnight, to make sure our participants are safe and protected.”
a pandemic. From grocery stores
to hospital intensive care units and everywhere in between, people have stepped in, stepped up, and followed through with the responsibilities of their essential tasks. We as a nation could
not be more proud or thankful for the service of all those individuals.
As part of the healthcare community, Senior Care Partners P.A.C.E. continues to be committed to serve and care for one of the most vulnerable segments of our population during these difficult days – older adults with advanced illness. Providing care for our PACE participants is much different under the Stay Home, Stay Safe rules. Normally, our centers are full of seniors in attendance for medical appointments, physical therapy and socialization. However, under the current circumstances, our essential healthcare professionals now must take those same services to the homes of our participants.
Others within the organization have stepped up in various ways. One of
our Spiritual Care Coordinators made dozens of masks for the frontline staff and the participants and the Purchasing Department worked together to obtain Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from various sources including hand sanitizer from Green Door Distillery. Staff members also rallied together to purchase meals for other frontline staff members. Other efforts of this nature are too numerous to mention and are consistently taking place throughout the organization.
“Our participants are counting
on us to protect their autonomy and independence and to support them
in making decisions about their care during the uncertainty of the current healthcare system due to the impact
of COVID 19 infections,” said Laura Ferrara, CEO of the organization.
“No one enjoys being quarantined to their home. So our staff is consistently thinking of very creative ways to provide important medical care as well as addressing their socialization needs so they don’t feel isolated and alone.”
“I couldn’t be more proud of how our staff has come together to work as a team during this crisis,” said Laura Ferrara. “Everyone throughout the organization has stepped up to make the impossible possible. These are unprecedented times and we have an amazing team who has rallied together for the benefit of our participants. They are not only essential, they are extraordinary.”
The organization’s doctors, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, recreational therapists, social workers, spiritual care coordinators
Senior Care Partners P.A.C.E. is still enrolling new participants during this time. To learn more about the services provided and how Senior Care Partners P.A.C.E. can care for you or a family member, please call (269) 441-9319, visit, or text PACE to 51555.
and Personal Care Assistants have been coordinating efforts to make sure every participant need is being met. House calls are being made by the healthcare professionals and the Personal Care
To address this situation, under the direction of the Medical Director and Director of IDT Operations, the Portage

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