San Diego County has more than 330,000 people who are 65 years and older, which means there are a lot of adult children having family roles flipped on them.
When children become their parents' caregivers, life can become very stressful and overwhelming. But here in San Diego, a local organization is helping ease the burden and allow seniors to stay in their own communities for as long as possible.
St. Paul's Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) offers everything from meals to end of life care.
PACE has been in San Diego for two years, but it's been around in other locations since the 1970s. Here's how it works: PACE gets a certain amount of money at the beginning of each month from Medicare and Medical. Funding is based on how many clients are enrolled (currently 105) and what their needs are.
"It's amazing to see the difference in their lives within just a couple weeks," said Executive Director Allan Allgood.
In the adult day program, seniors get socialization (including karaoke! What do you think the top songs are?), brain stimulation exercises, nondenominational services, they can even Skype.
PACE also provides transportation, meets home care and home health needs, and if one of their participants goes into the hospital, or needs respite care, PACE picks up the tab. It will also clean the person's home, and install modifications (like ramps) if need be.
The first $3,500 was raised eight years ago, by the PACE foundation. Since then, a ton of money has poured in through grants and by reaching out to the community. And it's a good thing. It costs $5 to $10 million dollars to get a PACE site up and going. There's one site now on Elm St., and the goal is to open three more in San Diego County in the next 10 years.
For more information, call (619) 677-3800.