My Elder Service Plan — Maria’s Story

My Elder Service Plan — Maria’s Story


I would be in a nursing home without PACE. Things come in threes; I had a brain surgery, then, I had, three years later I had open-heart surgery and then I had a stroke. I bounced back after everyone but I couldn’t bounce back from the stroke. My daughter Ashley saved my life. She said I’m gonna call the ambulance for you. Ah, no – I said no don’t do that. I was in a coma nine days the neurologist said I wouldn’t survive. I proved them wrong. I had to learn how to speak again. I can’t use my right hand I was a right-handed person. I had to learn to eat, I had to learn to walk. So the goal is to keep people safe and healthy and you know 365 days a year 24 hours a day. People are able to live independently in the community and maintain their independence for as long as possible. That’s our mission – that’s why we come to work every day. We have two locations one in East Cambridge and one in Malden. When my mom got sick it was kind of a nightmare. Umm, she was in the hospital for three weeks I believe and the social worker there was – kept giving me lists of things I needed to do and call people and it was just, um, it was hard. Before PACE, it was just I didn’t really know what I was doing considering my mom was so young and I was too I guess [laughter], so I didn’t really know about you know disability, applying for Social Security, I didn’t know anything. So yes it was a huge relief for myself, my mother and the rest of our family. We have a comprehensive interdisciplinary team right when you join our program. You’re visited by a provider, so a doctor, or nurse practitioner, a nurse, a social worker, a dietitian, or rehab staff, activities. We are each assessing different needs that participants have to really have full lives. Every two weeks I get my house cleaned. When I first came here my daughter used to come on Saturdays and do my laundry for me. I don’t need, I don’t need it anymore. I do my own laundry and fold it and hang it up. I’m proud of myself. I’m glad my daughter from the PACE program. They’re very valuable. It’s a good thing, wonderful thing. I am glad I came here. I’m very glad I came here. We invite people to come in and take a look at the site, take a tour, meet some staff, to see the activities that happen on a daily basis and find out how to preserve independence, dignity and health. [Music]