Program for the Elderly to Help Seniors Successfully Age at Home Opens in North County San Diego
New nonprofit to serve hundreds of eligible seniors as flagship of Gary and Mary West’s $11 million philanthropic effort to advance unique care model
San Marcos CA— PACE, which stands for Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly, has come to north San Diego County with the official ribbon-cutting today of the nonprofit Gary and Mary West PACE in San Marcos. Established with a grant from the Gary and Mary West Foundation, the nearly 20,000-square-foot center and its team, including physicians, social workers, nurses, nutritionists, and physical and occupational therapists, offers high-quality, comprehensive, and coordinated healthcare, social services and support for vulnerable seniors with chronic care needs who want to successfully age in place rather than in a nursing home.
PACE is a model of person-centered care that has been shown to reduce rates of emergency room visits, unnecessary hospital admissions, long-term nursing home placements, and reduce the cost of care and the strain on family caregivers. Over 90 percent of PACE participants are able to successfully remain in their homes and communities, many live longer, are more socially engaged and have a better quality of life than those in nursing homes or other institutional settings.
“Our goal, privilege and responsibility is to help low-income seniors live as independently as possible for as long as possible in their own homes, while also providing much needed support to their family caregivers,” said Shelley Lyford, president and CEO of the San Diego-based Gary and Mary West Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to lowering healthcare costs to enable successful aging for America’s seniors.
How Gary and Mary West PACE Works
Gary and Mary West PACE (located at 1706 Descanso Ave., San Marcos, CA 92078) provides a wide range of services including adult day programs, medical care, social services, dentistry, home care and physical, occupational and speech therapy. Transportation to and from the center and outside medical appointments is provided, as well as social activities, meals, pharmacy, long-term services and supports, and caregiver training and support groups. All services are managed by an interdisciplinary care team to ensure the coordination of care and clear communication to participants and their families.
The Gary and Mary West PACE (photos and b-roll) is among the first programs in the nation to have a co-located state-of-the-art dental facility, serving both PACE participants and area seniors. The Gary and Mary West Senior Dental Center offers comprehensive oral healthcare services from specialists trained in geriatric dentistry, including oral exams, cleanings, fillings, treatment for gum disease, extractions and dentures.
“The Gary and Mary West PACE program was specifically created to be the gold standard by which all PACE programs will be measured. We are thrilled to bring the program to North County seniors and their families and take our place as a vital member of this community,” said Renata Smith, executive director of Gary and Mary West PACE. “So often individuals and families who have healthcare needs experience a fractured, hard-to-navigate healthcare system. PACE is just the opposite. In PACE, the interdisciplinary team is the ’heartbeat’ of the program that sets it apart from other care delivery models. We have had numerous enrollees and their families tell us how PACE has positively impacted their lives.”
Medicare and Medi-Cal reimburse PACE for care. If participants are enrolled in Medicare and Medi-Cal, they will pay nothing, or they will pay their Medi-Cal “share of cost.” The program also accepts people enrolled only in Medi-Cal and people who want to pay privately. There are thousands of seniors in the area that may be eligible for enrollment in Gary and Mary West PACE. To apply or learn more about eligibility, contact Gary and Mary West PACE at (760) 280-2230.
Bringing PACE to seniors everywhere
While the PACE model of holistic care has proven its effectiveness, access to these programs is limited. There are only 130 PACE programs operating in 31 states and now 15 PACE programs in California, which is far from enough to address the needs of our growing population of seniors. Gary and Mary West have contributed nearly $11 million in funding from different West Health nonprofits to ensure more seniors across the country are able to receive their healthcare from PACE centers and continue living in their communities. The new Gary and Mary West PACE center is the flagship of these efforts.
“Every community in the United States could benefit from a PACE,” said Tim Lash, president of the Gary and Mary West PACE. “The rapidly growing senior population in California and across the country will put enormous strain on our current fragmented, and often inefficient, healthcare delivery system and increase the demand for senior-appropriate health and supportive services. We are committed to increasing access to programs like PACE through the launch of our program in North County San Diego and through collaborative efforts at the national level to ensure seniors are able to access the care they need.”
In 2017, the National PACE Association launched PACE 2.0, an initiative to expand access to PACE for many complex high-need, high-cost populations across the country, with the goal of innovating the PACE model to serve more seniors and other individuals with high-care needs. The PACE 2.0 project is supported by the West Health Policy Center and by The John A. Hartford Foundation.
About the Gary and Mary West PACE
The nonprofit Gary and Mary West PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) is part of an innovative, nationwide model of care for vulnerable seniors with chronic care needs offering high-quality, comprehensive and coordinated healthcare, social services and support to enable them to successfully age in place. Established with a grant from the Gary and Mary West Foundation, the Gary and Mary West PACE program was specifically created to be the gold standard by which all PACE programs are measured. The West PACE center is located at 1706 Descanso Ave., San Marcos, CA 92078. Learn more about the program and eligibility requirements online at westpace.org or call us at (760) 280-2230.
About the Gary and Mary West Foundation
Inspired by its founders and sole funders, Gary and Mary West, the Gary and Mary West Foundation is dedicated to lowering healthcare costs to increase access to high-quality, affordable models of care that enable seniors to successfully age in place. As part of the West Health family of nonprofit, nonpartisan organizations based in San Diego and Washington D.C., the Foundation works with its Institute and Policy Center using philanthropy, applied medical research, policy and advocacy to transform healthcare across America. Learn more at westhealth.org and follow @westhealth.