San Ysidro Health’s Commitment to Seniors and their Caregivers.
One in five members of our community are full-time caregivers for a family member, and many have to leave their jobs to provide that care. These are unsung heroes in our community. One such example is Gabriel. Gabriel’s primary caregiver growing up was Jose, his grandfather, his abuelito. Jose was kind, generous and taught him many important things about life and family. As a young man, Gabriel joined the Marines and served our country. Upon returning home he realized the man who had once cared for him was now in need of full-time care. That is when he stepped in and became his grandfather’s primary caregiver.
This meant Gabriel could not work, causing a huge financial burden on their family. Being committed to his grandfather, Gabriel wanted to ensure Jose had the best possible quality of life. This was stressful, though: he worried about Jose wandering off if he was left alone, and also worried about how to best care for him from morning to night. Then Gabriel found San Ysidro Health’s San Diego PACE (Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly), and it was life-changing.
San Diego PACE (SD PACE) helps seniors in need, those who are nursing home-eligible and who qualify for Medi-Cal, stay in their homes and their communities - people just like Gabriel’s grandfather. SD PACE staff evaluates seniors’ homes to ensure they are living safely in the community. An assessment is done for needs such as grab bars, minor home repairs and ramp installations. Repairs are then made by SD PACE, allowing staff to feel confident participants are safe in their homes.
When participants are at the SD PACE center, they receive services like meals, medical care, social interaction, physical and occupational therapy. They visit with their neighbors, dance with the Zumba class, get quality time with their onsite medical care givers and best of all, they make friends.
According to San Ysidro Health physician James E. Cavallos, MD, “SD PACE improves overall health and quality of life of its participants… and allows us to care for people’s loved ones so they can go to work. It is a game-changer.”
Because of SD PACE, Gabriel has returned to work and provides for his family and himself. He took classes at SD PACE to learn how to better care for Jose, both with his health issues and his dementia. He now has peace of mind knowing his grandfather is safe during the day, and that he is getting the care he needs. Best of all, while Gabriel is at work, Jose benefits from the extraordinary care provided at SD PACE.
San Ysidro Health is committed to expanding these services - a new SD PACE site is under construction in Chula Vista, and plans are underway for SD PACE expansion throughout the county. San Ysidro Health knows our seniors have committed their lives to care for their families and for our community - SD PACE is San Ysidro Health’s way of giving back to those who have given so much. You, too, can give and make a difference in the lives of San Diego’s seniors. Your gift at www.syhealth.org/donate will be appreciated and help change a life!
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