The Shirley Landry Benson PACE Center at St. Cecilia, a renovated, retired Catholic church was opened in September of 2007. Originally set to open in September of 2005, PACE’s emergence onto the scene of senior care in New Orleans was delayed by Hurricane Katrina. Through the efforts of many individuals, PACE Greater New Orleans, the first PACE program in the state of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast Region, was developed and revived by Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans. The success of this first site has inspired the PACE team to open a second site on the Westbank, expanding the PACE service area to cover an extensive portion of Orleans, Jefferson and St. Bernard Parishes.
The PACE program enhances the quality of life for seniors. It does so by preserving one’s autonomy through enabling frail older adults to live in their homes and in the community as long as medically and socially feasible. The program also works to preserve and support the older adult’s family unit. PACE doctors and other caregivers specialize in working with seniors. Often seniors have unique needs because they usually have more than one diagnosis that must be managed. PACE is focused on treating the whole person, not just their combination of medical conditions. That is why we have social workers who are experts in listening and helping seniors and their families better understand the aging process. This model of care, recognized under the National Registry of Evidence Based Practices, provides and coordinates all preventative, primary, acute, and long-term care service, as well as all necessary medications, to help families keep their loved ones at home. An interdisciplinary team of professionals coordinates the individual’s care in conjunction with the family, thus providing all the services covered by Medicare and Medicaid, as authorized, as well as additional medically-necessary services not covered when deemed appropriate. The interdisciplinary team of health professionals maintains open communication, thereby reducing unnecessary or duplicate care, or incidence of adverse events that result from incomplete knowledge of the patient. By providing an opportunity for seniors to receive this quality of needed care while allowing them to continue to reside in their own homes, PACE greatly enhances their sense of independence, dignity, and quality of life.
The PACE Model of care began in the early 1970′s, when the Chinatown-North Beach community of San Francisco saw the pressing needs of families whose elders had immigrated from Italy, China, and the Philippines and now needed long term care services. From these beginnings, the PACE Model has become a nationally known program that provides a full range of care to seniors with chronic care needs while allowing them to remain in their own homes for as long as possible.
PACE GNO will enhance the quality of life and autonomy for frail older adults while maximizing their dignity and respect. The PACE organization enables these frail older adults to live in their homes and in the community as long as medically and socially feasible, as they preserve and support the older adult’s family unit.