Originally published in the Charlotte Sun

The Hope PACE Center in Port Charlotte is a fresh concept in health care for aging adults in the area.

Hope PACE, which stands for Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly, is a program of Hope HealthCare Services, a community-based agency and Medicare provider that meets the total healthcare needs of its participants while providing other services and allowing them to be independent and continue to live at home, according to the website www.hopepace.org  . Hope PACE also has facilities in Fort Myers and Lehigh Acres, with an additional one planned for Naples.

Not only does the multi-purpose center offer healthcare services, it offers activities, nutritious meals and the opportunity to socialize and make new friends, its website states.

“This program is the first in the area and way ahead of other forms of providing care for the elderly, said John Strickling, community relations director for the Port Charlotte Hope PACE. “The baby boomer population is growing and they are living longer. We will and can meet their needs.”

Those who enroll at Hope PACE get all their medical care through the center.

“Instead of the person having to go to various offices throughout the area we can provide these services all in one place at the Hope 4 4 Center. Home health care is also part of the supplied service,” said Port Charlotte Hope PACE Manager Mary “Maggie” Magagnos, a registered nurse who is certified in hospice and palliative care. “Many seniors choose to live at home rather than in a nursing home. We help them to do this by providing special health care.”

The center is set up for total health care, with fully equipped exam rooms. It receives laboratory and diagnostic services, as well as care from specialists in cardiology, nephrology, ophthalmology, dermatology, orthopedics, podiatry and more.

Services offered include transportation to and from the center; medical appointments and outings, primary medical and nursing care; occupational, physical and speech therapy; prescription drugs and medical equipment, according to its website. Services are provided for diabetics and heart disease patients. The center provides daycare for those whose assessment warrants the need, as well. Participants at Hope PACE come to the center on an individually planned basis, which can range from a few days a month to a full week at time. Normally, a client who qualifies can come to the center three days a week from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Other social activities, meals and services are available as well. Transportation is provided. Musicians often provide entertainment during the day.

Dorothy Barklay, who has come to the center for four months said, “I really enjoy the companionship here. I live by myself and enjoy doing crafts and the entertainment. “This place is fabulous,” said another client, Linda Dukes, who has been enrolled at Hope PACE since January. “We get medical attention and the nurses are aware of wound care. This is an excellent place and it allows me live in my own home and meet people. There is no other place like this in the area.”

Hope PACE also aids individuals who can no longer live at home with help finding nursing home services, hospitalization or hospice care.

To be eligible for the Port Charlotte Hope PACE, individuals must be 55 years or older, reside in Charlotte County and have health problems that qualify them for nursing home care but are able to live safely in the community.

Hope PACE is covered for those who have both Medicare and are Medicaid eligible at no cost. For those who are Medicare eligible only, there is a fee. There is no cost to those who are Medicaid eligible only. Private pay is also accepted.

For more information or to sign up, call 866-659-7223 and ask for information about the Hope PACE Center in Port Charlotte. The Port Charlotte office is at 3280 Tamiami Trail, suites 45 to 47.