The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) – also called Living Independence For the Elderly (LIFE), with their focus on keeping participants at home and in the community, are safer than nursing home care. The rate that LIFE/PACE enrollees have contracted the virus or died as a result of it is one-third the rate of nursing home residents, according to the National PACE Association (NPA).
LIFE Pittsburgh, a nonprofit program that provides comprehensive and integrated care to seniors who may not otherwise be able to live independently at home, continues to provide care to their participants by keeping them safe in their homes during these uncertain times. While adapting their process at their Adult Day Health Centers to ensure the health of current participants, LIFE Pittsburgh also left enrollment open for new participants who would benefit from access to their essential programs that help seniors at home.
LIFE Pittsburgh has been serving the elderly population in Allegheny County for over 20 years with a comprehensive program of support services that provide seniors the ability to maintain their independence in their homes and communities. The program model, known nationally as PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly), provides the participants, family, caregivers, and professional health care providers the flexibility to meet those health needs with integrative care.
Eligible participants must be 55 years old or older, live in the designated service area, meet the state’s medical requirements for nursing facility level of care, be able to live safely in the community, and be financially eligible as determined by the Allegheny County Assistance Office (or be able to privately pay). Individual care plans are coordinated for each participant to assist in medical, social and daily living activities while focusing on providing care with respect and dignity as outlined in the Balanced Budget act of 1997 set forth by the National PACE association.
“The continuous coordination of care sets the LIFE program apart from any other care model, which ensures quality of life to its Participants,” says Deanna Guarnaccio BS, CTRS, Outreach Supervisor at LIFE Pittsburgh. Primary care and community services for participants provided through LIFE Pittsburgh’s Day Health Centers and the in-home program are based on an individual’s needs. “They receive the very best care from dedicated geriatric care professionals without sacrificing their independence.”
A participant of LIFE Pittsburgh’s team may include a doctor, registered nurse, master’s-level social worker, licensed therapist, personal care aid, and registered dietician – in addition to the center manager and staff. Care for participants can look like daily vital checking, solution-focused health routines, communicating with family members the participant’s ongoing needs, surveying home accessibility, and providing transportation to appointments with their LIFE Pittsburgh wheelchair accessible van fleet. To learn more about eligibility and the process of enrolling, contact LIFE Pittsburgh at 412-388-8050 TTY: 711 and ask for the Enrollment Department. Or visit their website at LIFEPittsburgh.org. “Please reach out if you need extra support, we are here for you,” says Ms. Guarnaccio, adding “stay safe and stay well.”
As published by The Northside Chronicle
LIFE Pittsburgh enhances the ability of seniors to live in their own homes through high-quality and comprehensive services. We are a community-based alternative to nursing homes and personal care/assisted living, providing in-home care to those whose health limits their independence.
What care is provided?
- Primary, preventative, and emergency care
- Vision, dental, foot, and hearing care
- Access to on-call emergency assistance from Doctor or Nurse 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Prescription drugs and home delivery
- Assistance with dressing, bathing, grooming and other daily activities
- Homemaker and chore services as necessary
- Transportation to and from medical appointments
- Behavioral healthcare and counseling
- In-home skilled care
- Skilled nursing care
- Physical, occupational, and speech therapy
- All medical supplies and equipment
- Nutritional counseling
- Medical imaging
- Laboratory services
- Continual and comprehensive medical evaluations
How will this help my family?
LIFE Pittsburgh supports your family members and other caregivers by providing the tools and education to keep loved ones at home. With our day health center and in-home care expertise, we understand the challenges of caring for frail older adults, and can ease the caregiving burden.
How much does this cost?
If your gross monthly income is less than $2,382 and you have less than $8,000 in assets (excluding one house and one car), the program would be paid for you by the State and Federal government. This includes medications and medical equipment. We will help you through the application process for financial eligibility.
Is there proof that LIFE Programs work?
- National studies have shown that LIFE programs reduce the need for expensive long-term nursing home care (Gerontologist Vol 45, No. 2, 2005).
- LIFE prevents and/or significantly reduces preventable hospitalizations (Journal of Gerontology Vol 61 No. 7, 2006).
Is LIFE Pittsburgh right for you?
- Are you 55 years or older?
- Do you need assistance with your daily activities, like bathing, dressing, grooming?
- Are you having difficulty with managing your medications?
- Do you need assistance with basic housekeeping, laundry, cleaning, or vacuuming?
- Have you noticed a significant weight gain or loss in the last few months?
- Do you have difficulty with walking, balance, endurance, or flexibility?
- Do you see several specialists and doctors and have difficulty making and keeping those appointments?
- Have you recently fallen?
- Could you benefit from ongoing physical, occupational, or speech therapies?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, call us today at 412-388-8050 to see if you are eligible for LIFE Pittsburgh.
Our mission is to help older adults remain a vibrant part of their communities.
The participants and staff at LIFE Pittsburgh’s Allegheny Center Green have been extra busy over this past holiday season! With the help of the recreation staff at the Adult Day Health Center, participants learned how to knit and crochet very small (red) hats for babies! With the intention to donate the hats to the American Heart Association’s initiative called, Little Hats, Big Hearts™, participants took to the project with flare and began knitting and crocheting feverously – often requesting the supplies of staff at the center as soon as they arrived.
The City of Pittsburgh’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI) is excited to announce that construction began for Phase 2 of the Allegheny Circle Two-Way Conversion Project on April 19, 2021. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
Harrisburg, PA – The Wolf Administration today announced a 14-county expansion of the Living Independence for the Elderly (LIFE) program, a long-term care program that helps seniors live in their home and coordinates their health and personal needs. Through this expansion, LIFE programs, under the jurisdiction of the Department of Human Services (DHS), will be established in Bradford, Cameron, Carbon, Centre, Clearfield, Elk, Fulton, Jefferson, Monroe, Potter, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, and Wayne Counties.
“All Pennsylvanians deserve to age in place in their community with family and peers as they are able. LIFE programs around Pennsylvania help make this possible,” said DHS Secretary Teresa Miller. “We are pleased to be able to bring the LIFE program to more Pennsylvanians around the commonwealth.”
Many older Pennsylvanians wish to continue living in their homes and their communities for as long as economically and medically feasible; and Pennsylvania’s LIFE program enables participants to stay out of nursing homes and remain in their own homes and communities and live happier, more productive, and more fulfilling lives.
“This LIFE expansion will give seniors and their loved ones what we know they want — the opportunity to get the care they need without being separated from the community and family they’ve grown comfortable with,” said Department of Aging Secretary Robert Torres. “Social isolation remains an enormous concern for the aging population, so having this long-term care option made more accessible in 14 counties will benefit many Pennsylvania families.”
The program was first implemented in Pennsylvania in 1998 and is known nationally as the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). People who are 55 or older who meet the level of care for a skilled nursing facility or special rehabilitation facility, are able to be safely served in the community, and live in an area served by a LIFE provider are eligible for LIFE. LIFE participants must also meet financial eligibility requirements or privately pay for services.
The Wolf Administration is committed to serving people in the community, and LIFE is an option that allows older Pennsylvanians to live independently while receiving services and supports that meet their health and personal needs. The LIFE program is one of Pennsylvania’s home and community-based services options, currently serving more than 7,000 people across the state.
The expansion of the program will allow more people in more parts of the state to be served by LIFE. The service areas of Carbon, Monroe, Susquehanna, Wayne and Centre counties have been assigned to LIFE Geisinger. LIFE Geisinger is currently active in nine other counties. The Clearfield, Jefferson, Elk and Cameron service areas have been assigned to LIFE Northwestern Pennsylvania, who is currently active seven other counties. In addition, the Bradford, Potter, Sullivan, Tioga, and Fulton service areas have been assigned to Community LIFE, who is currently active in two other counties.
LIFE Pittsburgh was recognized by Aetna with their Well-being Award. The awards program, which started in 2017, is aimed at creating a healthier workplace for employees through innovative programs. For more information, click here.
This article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette talks about the expansion of the LIFE programs in Pittsburgh. LIFE stands for Living Independence for the Elderly. From the article:
Ms. Gago said these existing programs, because of their experience and comprehensive nature, are in better shape to assist people with serious needs than the managed care organizations that will be starting from scratch with new clients and provider networks. And a lot more people will learn of the existence of LIFE Pittsburgh and Community LIFE now that they’ll be told they have to make a choice, she said.
“We believe we can say, from the standpoint of both Community LIFE and LIFE Pittsburgh, that we’ve proven in Allegheny County that we can take care of a frail, complex older adult both in the community and in their home, which is no small task,” Ms. Gago said.
Read the entire article, here.
On June 30th, LIFE Pittsburgh will open the doors of their newest center to the McKees Rocks community. This center is the fourth and largest expansion in the company’s 18-year history. With 30,000 square feet, the new McKees Rocks center will serve nearly 200 people.
The new center will be located at 130 Chartiers Avenue, in McKees Rocks. The official ribbon cutting will be at 3:00 PM, followed by tours and festivities until 4:30 PM. Rich Fitzgerald is scheduled to attend and will provide opening remarks. “One of the most important resources that we can provide at the county is an opportunity for older adults to remain as independent as possible, for as long as possible, and to provide the supports they need as they age,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “LIFE Pittsburgh is one such organization that allows us to do exactly that – providing our older adults with care, supports and other services to allow them to remain in their own homes.”
This expansion reflects the increasing demand for a comprehensive care program in the home, and will accommodate for future growth. The opening will bring over 100 jobs to the McKees
Rocks community, and will allow for LIFE Pittsburgh to grow its overall workforce. Joann Gago,
CEO of LIFE Pittsburgh said, “As Allegheny County’s population continues to age, we know we are in a great place to serve those citizens who need our services and continue to grow our program.”
In addition to the McKees Rocks location, LIFE Pittsburgh has Greentree, Northshore and
Allegheny Center locations. These centers provide participants their medical needs and supportive services, so that they can live at home with the quality of life and freedom that they desire, for as long as possible. These services include personal care, medical services, leisure activities, pastoral care, emotional support, caregiver support, meals, hearing and vision care, dental care, transportation, home safety modifications and durable medical equipment.
About LIFE Pittsburgh
LIFE Pittsburgh is a local, nonprofit organization, part of the national PACE program. It provides comprehensive care to elderly seniors who would otherwise not be able to live independently at home. LIFE Pittsburgh serves seniors in Western Allegheny County and operates four centers. For more information, visit lifepgh.wpengine.com or call 412-388-8050, TTY:711
Today LIFE Pittsburgh celebrates 17 years providing healthcare to seniors. For the staff it is about being in an environment that allows for personal growth and the opportunity to contribute to another person’s life and to give something greater than (beyond) themselves.