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Hope PACE now offers programs in the Cape

By Staff | May 15, 2015

Cape Coral now offers its residents a care center for older individuals, providing them with the opportunity to remain healthy, active and socially connected to others throughout the week.

“Everybody here is really wonderful. The people in charge are good to everyone. It’s a wonderful program,” said Lydia Oxx, a Cape Coral resident, of Hope PACE Care Center.

Hope Healthcare Services implemented PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) in 2008 to provide seniors with the opportunity to live independently in their own home. The program offers comprehensive, coordinated health care services, dental services, therapies, transportation and meals for individuals who are qualified for placement in a nursing home.

“The challenges of aging or coping with chronic illness can make it difficult to stay at home,” said Samira Beckwith, president and CEO of Hope HealthCare Services and founding president of the Florida PACE Association in a prepared statement. “PACE helps bring all healthcare services together to ensure these individuals are getting the attention they need to remain healthy and independent. For working adults with parents who need care and attention, the PACE program provides peace of mind that their loved ones are being cared for in a safe and supportive environment that meets their physical, emotional and social needs.”

John Strickling, who works at the new Cape Coral location, said the PACE program enables seniors with the opportunity to remain at home instead of going into a facility.

“As part of the program they come to the center during the week, so they can congregate and be together and have meals together and have activities,” he said. “It provides peace of mind for family members (because) they know they are being taken care of.”

To qualify for the program, individuals must live in Lee, Collier or Charlotte counties and have a health care diagnosis that qualifies them for nursing home care. They must also agree to allow Hope HealthCare Services professionals to manage their medical care.

There is no fee for individuals with Medicaid and Medicare. Other insurance companies can request a cost estimate.

Hope’s PACE program serves 220 seniors at its Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres, Naples and Port Charlotte locations.

The new care center, which opened at the beginning of May to serve the increase in needs for the older population, is at 1333 Santa Barbara Blvd., Building A. As of May 7, 42 participates had already registered at the Cape Coral location.

Oxx began attending Hope PACE Care Center in Fort Myers three years ago. She said her daughter, who works at the hospital, got her involved at the center because she would be home by herself for 10 hours a day.

“I remember the ladies coming out and talking to me and telling me about the center,” said Oxx, who is turning 82 this month, about agreeing to give the center a try. “I really enjoy it.”

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday she is picked up at her home and brought to the center where she stays from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. before the center’s transportation takes her back home.

“They keep us busy,” she said of her morning and afternoon.

Oxx plays games, does crafts and enjoys lunch at the center. Occasional speakers also stop by the center to inform and educate the members on a specific subject. Oxx said she also spends her time with instructors learning about watercolor painting and pottery.

Strickling said those who attend the center can see a nurse, have their pets visit, as well as participate in such activities as ballroom dancing. He said the women can also have their nails and hair done at the center.

“It’s so much more than being a conventional care facility,” Strickling said. “It’s all about taking care of an individual . . . meeting emotional needs and providing emotional and physical comfort.”

For more information, visit www.hopepace.org or call (855) 454-3102.