Lourdes Opens New Center Offering All-Inclusive Care to the Elderly
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Program is First in Southern NJ / Second in the State
Pennsauken, NJ -- The Lourdes Health System announces the opening of the LIFE (Living Independently For Elders) at Lourdes Center a new, community-based long-term care model, according to Alexander J. Hatala, health system president and CEO.
The LIFE at Lourdes Center is modeled on a national initiative called PACE: Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. Currently, there are about 60 of these centers throughout the United States. The Life at Lourdes Center is one of only two programs of this type in New Jersey, and the first serving southern NJ.
The PACE model was approved by Congress in 1997 to improve services and reduce the costs of care for the elderly as an alternate to nursing home placement. LIFE provides comprehensive services, including: adult day care, medical care, home health coordination, medication management, social services and respite care. Each LIFE enrollee will receive customized care that is planned and delivered by a coordinated, interdisciplinary team. A participant's care plan usually integrates some home care services from the team with several visits each week to the LIFE Center, which serves as the hub for medical services, rehabilitation, social activities and dining. Transportation is provided to clients. Funded by Medicare and Medicaid, there is no additional cost to the client once they are qualified.
"LIFE serves frail seniors throughout Camden County, enabling them to receive comprehensive health care while remaining in the comfort of their home and community. This program is consistent with our Mission of being a healing presence in the community. We are proud to be among one of the first healthcare systems to offer this vital new program," said Hatala.
The program also helps relieve the burden on family members and caregivers who often are overwhelmed with juggling the needs of their elderly loved ones. To participate in LIFE, enrollees must be at least 55 or older; certified by the state to need nursing home care; and be able to live safely in the community at the time of enrollment. For more information about the program call 856-675-3674.