The Pace Center in McPherson is getting ready to open and start assessing seniors in McPherson and surrounding counties who are interested in joining the program.
Pace is a Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly that Bluestem Communities established in McPherson to help seniors live out their entire lives safely in their homes and communities.
“The dream of Bluestem is to enrich the lives of individuals who are moving towards the end of their life journey, and to aid communities in meeting the needs that were being created by the aging baby boomers,” explained Executive Director Chris Scott at the ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday for the new Pace Center in McPherson.
As the need to care for the aging population continues to grow, the purpose of Pace is to help senior citizens stay in their homes their entire lifetimes to free up nursing home beds for those who really do need them.
“In 2012, there were forty and half million people over the age of 65. In the next 15 years, that doubles to over 70 million,” Scott stated. “So there are going to be greater needs than we have beds and facilities to accommodate.”
McPherson’s Pace Center will be the largest one in the nation and also the most rural, ultimately covering 20 counties and 15,125 square miles.
In his speech at Wednesday’s ribbon cutting ceremony, Scott told his audience that the program will change the world for many seniors by helping the elderly live out their lives with greater self-determination.
Scott also believes the center in McPherson will set a precedent for the establishment of Pace centers in more rural communities.
“Bluestem might be the butterfly effect in action,” Scott predicted. “Our creative approach to medical care and delivery will have a rippling effect and create new models of service for even more sparsely populated areas like western Kansas.”
The success of Pace centers throughout the country as a whole is impressive, as Scott further emphasized during his speech.
“As of the end of 2015, ninety-three percent of participants in Pace programs nationally remain their entire life in the community without permanent long-term placement.”
The new center in McPherson is located at 113 S. Ash and will be opening within two weeks. For more information about the Pace program and to find out if the services might be right for you or a loved one, call the Pace Center toll-free at 1-844-588-7223.
To find out more about the Pace program, search the Kansas Department for Disability and Aging Services website at www.kdads.ks.gov