One year of COVID at Siouxland PACE
The top priority of Siouxland PACE
, a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, is to keep its participants healthy, while helping them live as independently as possible in the community. When a global pandemic, that proved especially dangerous for the elderly population that PACE serves, hit the Siouxland community – Siouxland PACE had to pivot to continue keeping participants healthy.
“One of the greatest benefits of being a Siouxland PACE participant was the sense of community here in the center,” says Randy Ehlers, Executive Director of Siouxland PACE. “Participants could gather here to build relationships with peers, receive medical care in our clinic, enjoy a hot and nutritious meal in our dining area and participate in rehabilitation and therapy support all in one location. When COVID hit, we had to close the center to keep our participants and our staff safe, and those services had to be reworked.”
The staff at Siouxland PACE began checking in on participants over the phone, offering medical support via telehealth visits and delivering meals to their doorsteps – determined to get them through this isolating pandemic with the comfort of knowing that they weren’t in this alone. “We really had to think outside the box in providing services to our participants during the pandemic,” says Amada Delaney, Occupational Therapist at Siouxland PACE. “Our biggest goal was making sure our participants knew that they weren’t alone; we really came together to make sure they had what they needed to remain safe, happy and healthy.”
According to the National PACE Association (NPA), the rate of PACE participants that have died from COVID is one-third the rate of nursing home residents. The rate of confirmed cases among PACE participants is also one-third the rate of nursing home residents. Throughout the pandemic, the PACE model of care has demonstrated resiliency and increased potential growth for the future, by continuing to provide all of the care and services necessary to participants safe in the community.
“The pandemic was a challenging time here at Siouxland PACE,” Ehlers continues. “Our dedication to participant and staff safety has enabled us to open our doors once again and begin letting participants back into the center at a limited capacity.”
To learn more about Siouxland PACE, visit unitypoint.org