By Caitlyn Gudmundsen, Senior Manager of Program Development and Outreach
Today’s Front Line Hero is Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey, which has effectively adapted its PACE program to keep seniors safe.
Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey’s (LSMNJ) purpose is to help those who need them most, and has supported its community since the early 1900s. Today, LSMNJ offers senior healthcare and retirement living, affordable housing, immigration legal services, disaster recover, as well as many other community services.
LSMNJ provides a program called PACE (Programs for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly), which is a community-based program that includes medical care and social services with the goal of keeping the elderly safe and in their homes. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, PACE operated from a community center, but the program quickly adapted to continue serving seniors safely through the pandemic. LSMNJ altered its program to become “PACE without walls,” with new technology, including telehealth, video call check-ins, and even gaming platforms to bring PACE services into homes. PACE has kept seniors feeling connected during a time when social isolation is a real challenge, with staff making meal deliveries and conducting virtual group activities. LSMNJ also implemented extensive safety and cleaning protocols in its PACE services to help keep seniors safe from the virus, and have successfully transformed a program based in a physical center to being entirely home-based.
Thank you to LSMNJ for adapting your PACE program to continue to meet the needs of seniors through the pandemic!