Programs of All-Inclu?sive Care for the Elderly will expand from eight to 59 counties in Kansas?in?cluding Marion County?according to Shawn Sulli?van, Department for Aging and Disability Services secretary.
?PACE will offer eligible individuals in our expansion counties an alternative that allows them to stay in their homes and communities,? Sullivan said.
?An estimated 11,900 people in Kansas are clinically and financially eligible for the PACE program,? he added. ?The expansion we are announcing today will allow us to enroll more of those eligible Kansans in PACE and, with the help of PACE, keep those enrolled safely in their communities.?
Gayla Ratzlaff, coordinator of the Marion County Department on Aging, said the program should help more seniors achieve a key aspiration.
?Any service that helps people stay in their own homes longer is a good thing,? Ratzlaff said. ?This is where people want to be.?
Until now, PACE was available only to residents of Sedgwick, Shawnee, Doug?las, Jackson, Jefferson, Osage, Pottawatomie and Wabaunsee counties, serving about 377 people.
?PACE has shown it can enhance the quality of life and independence for older Kansans, maximizing the dignity of and respect for older adults while preserving and supporting their families,? Sullivan said.
?It allows them to live in their communities as long as possible. We would like to eventually offer this kind of care in every Kansas county.?
Ratzlaff said PACE can benefit both seniors and those who care for them.
?This program can be beneficial to primary caregivers, who care for a spouse, parent or friend,? she said. ?The caregiver may be able to continue working because of the PACE day program.?
Ratzlaff said PACE also can provide more daily management of individual chronic conditions such as diabetes, COPD, chronic heart failure and kidney disease.
?Individuals may start having issues with their chronic condition, and with the weekly monitoring of their health problems may be caught sooner by medical staff to lessen or stop the issues,? she said.
?The person who is not having this daily monitoring may let the condition go unchecked until it becomes more debilitating before seeking medical assistance.?