As we celebrate National PACE Month this September, it’s an opportunity to reflect on the remarkable two-year journey of the HopeWest PACE program and the profound impact it has on the lives of older adults and their families. While renowned for our hospice and palliative care services, we’ve taken great pride in furthering our commitment to the Grand Valley community by introducing the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). As the Executive Director of PACE, I am honored to share our story of helping older adults age healthy and happy.

For those who are unfamiliar, PACE is a simple, streamlined approach to healthcare that revolves around the unique needs of each participant. At HopeWest PACE, we’re about simplifying the medical processes that have many layers and are often challenging to navigate. We focus on providing complete, personalized care that allows older adults to embrace life on their own terms.

A common myth is that aging must always lead to dependency, and we challenge that belief every single day. PACE operates on a simple yet profound principle – keeping older adults in their community wherever they call home, surrounded by their memories and loved ones, for as long as possible. Through a carefully coordinated network of medical, social, and support services, we address not only the physical health of our participants but also their emotional well-being. This approach isn’t just about extending lives; it’s about enhancing the quality of those extra years.

Participants in our program receive help navigating medical procedures, appointments, and s, which can sometimes prove to be difficult tasks without the support of a dedicated team. With HopeWest PACE, participants and their families have a single point of contact – a dedicated team that collaborates to provide seamless care. This streamlined model not only simplifies the process, but also ensures that nothing falls through the cracks. It’s care the way it should be – straightforward, efficient, and effective.

The heart of our program lies in our participants’ renewed sense of hopefulness, and I am privileged to see this and hear this every day. We’ve witnessed individuals who once felt alone or without purpose rediscover their passions and engage with others in the Grand Valley. This transformation is what fuels our excitement every day, and it’s the reason we wake up ready to serve. Aging doesn’t have to mean giving up; it can also mean gearing up for a different kind of adventure.

National PACE Month is a reminder that aging is a shared experience. It’s time to provoke thought about the potential that lies within each older adult– the wisdom they hold, the stories they carry, and the contributions they continue to make. Together, we can make every day of growing older a day worth looking forward to.

By Jill Orrock, PACE Executive Director at HopeWest