The company opened its federally recognized Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) on Sept. 30 in Jersey City and followed with its opening for Bayonne residents.
“This widely accepted program throughout the United States enhances the quality of life for seniors by managing all of their healthcare needs enabling them to continue to live safely in their community,” said Annemarie Rahi of Bayonne, director of community outreach.
“PACE is an all-inclusive health care program providing many of the services in the homes of participants,” she said. “Home healthcare, Visiting Nurse services, meals, physical therapy. Also, we have a large provider network for physician specialists in Bayonne and the county at large.”
Rahi said that while the company doesn’t have a physical structure in Bayonne, residents can easily get to the comprehensive one the company has in nearby Jersey City.
The program’s 14,000-square-foot facility, located on Jersey Avenue, adjacent to the Jersey City Medical Center, provides participants with central access to a team of physicians, nurses, social workers, therapists, and support staff to help keep them healthy, active, and as independent as possible, living in their own homes.
Transportation to the Lutheran Senior Life Center is provided, giving participants quick and easy access to comprehensive on-site healthcare services, a nutritious hot breakfast, lunch, snacks, and a variety of social activities.
The Lutheran Senior Life Center offers primary and specialty medical care; access to medications, supplies, and medical equipment; after-hours care by a physician; adult day services; in-home support services; transportation to and from the facility; therapy; dietary counseling; and support services. Lutheran Senior Life offers an interdisciplinary team approach to managing the medical, social, and personal needs of seniors enrolled in the program.
“Participants in the program receive home healthcare services and adult day services based on their individualized care plan determined by the interdisciplinary team,” says Peg Bucci, vice president of Housing and Community Services at Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey. “The Lutheran Senior Life program has all of the components needed to keep seniors in their own home, while properly addressing their healthcare needs. It also provides peace of mind to families who need help caring for their elderly relative.”
Shirley Hardhouse of Bayonne is in the program.
“It’s convenient, it’s nice, and the food is good,” she said. “The service is good. The doctors are good.”
Hardhouse, who turns 67 on May 1, has a number of medical conditions, including problems with her heart, eyesight, and walking.
“I go there twice a week, to the Jersey City Center,” Hardhouse said. “In the center, they give you breakfast and lunch. They have activities if you want to participate. They have an exercise room and physical therapy for the people that need physical therapy.”
Hardhouse said there are doctors of all disciplines at the center, including those for conditions related to heart, stomach, and lungs. They also have onsite dentists and eye doctors.
“But they have doctors outside the facility also that you could go to,” she said. “For any type of medical problem. It’s always within Hudson County and it’s always in network.”
“They take care of medical needs, my prescriptions, and my personal needs,” Hardhouse said. “Cane or walker; they provide that for you. They provided a shower chair for me. They provide me with my medications and other personal needs. I’m happy with that facility because of the attention that you get. I wouldn’t be able to find another program like them.”
Rahi said that the company’s entry into the Bayonne market came at an opportune time, because the one other alternative—Global Options—will end soon.
“But this program is being discontinued June 30,” she said.
Rahi said that residents requiring longterm care may have to enroll in a managed longterm care program (MCO) when that ends. But seniors already in Global Options can seamlessly switch to the PACE program to avoid being automatically enrolled in an MCO.
“With MCOs, services are fragmented,” Rahi said. “There is no integration and coordination of care. That is what truly differentiates the PACE healthcare program delivery model from other models of care.”
To enroll in the Lutheran Senior Life program, seniors must be 55 years or older, able to live safely at home at the time of enrollment, and be residents of Bayonne, Jersey City, Hoboken, North Bergen, Union City, Weehawken, Guttenberg, or Secaucus.
A person must also be certified to need New Jersey nursing-home level of care and want to stay at home.
Lutheran Senior Life is a program of Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey, a faith-based, not-for-profit social service organization and provider of compassionate, quality senior care services, as well as community programs, such as adoption, immigration and refugee resettlement, community residences for developmentally disabled women, and affordable housing for seniors and families.
“Lutheran Senior Life does not discriminate in the delivery of services based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, mental, or physical disabilities or source of payment,” Rahi said.
For more information about Lutheran Senior Life, or to determine if you or your loved one qualifies for the program, call (877) 543-3188. You can also visit lutheranseniorlifenj.org.
Joseph Passantino may be reached at: JoePass@hudsonreporter.com.