National Caregivers Month
Locally, TRU PACE, a Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly, is helping older adults age in place in southwest Weld and Boulder counties. This holistic medical program opened in March of 2017 and has helped support local caregivers, whether they are the spouse, the adult child or friend. TRU PACE manages all medical care and medications, in-home services, and rehabilitation therapies, provides transportation, and has a day center Monday through Friday based in Lafayette.
Key in this model of care is caregiver support. The PACE model provides a Monday-Friday Day Program which gives the caregiver a break and they also provide respite care. In addition, caregivers of loved ones enrolled in PACE have access to supportive services for themselves. 80% of our Participants live at home and 90% of them live with or near an involved family caregiver.
Caregiver health and well-being is a growing public health issue. There are a multitude of benefits and challenges when giving care to another. For many, the benefits can include: keeping you active, mentally engaged, increasing physical performance, increased family closeness, and a sense of purpose.
And of course, there are challenges to caregiving. Caregivers have to juggle multiple roles: providing support to their loved one, maintaining a household and more often than not, a job. Many have younger children and for older caregivers, they frequently have healthcare issues of their own. Over time, a caregiver can experience social isolation, poorer nutrition, feelings of being overwhelmed and less likely to care for themselves.
This month, the Area Agency on Aging is sponsoring a six week class called “Powerful Tools for Caregivers”. It will meet Tuesdays, 10am-11:30am starting November 5 – December 10th at the Carbon Valley Regional Library, 7 Park Ave, Firestone. Registration is required. Call Marissa Watson-Bane at 970-346-9700 press 1.
TRU PACE, a Medicare and Medicaid program, identifies and supports the unique needs of family caregivers to maintain their loved one at home. Caregivers in TRU PACE have access to an assessment that leads to a care plan with support services, education, respite care and interventions that address their needs. TRU PACE’s Social Work team completes a comprehensive participant and caregiver psychosocial assessment at enrollment and every 6 months to address changing participant needs, assist with advance care planning and identify and respond to caregiver support needs.
In addition, there is a monthly caregiver support group with an emphasis on educational topics related to caregiving. These groups also create a sense of community and combat isolation. In the winter of 2020, TRU PACE hopes to launch an online evening support group.
TRU PACE’s wrap-around services help support participants and their caregivers as they try to age in place. The program is paid through Medicare and Medicaid combined or through private pay. For more information, please call 303-926-4745 or go to pace.trucare.org.