Via Christi HOPE offers care, relief for older adults and their adult children
When Rachel Jones left the hospital after weeks in intensive care, she was fragile, weak and in need of multiple prescription medications. Her daughter, Ann Herman, realized that neither she nor her father could provide the care, transportation and medical equipment that Rachel needed, so she called Via Christi HOPE, a program that helps income-qualified older adults remain in their homes instead of going into nursing care.
HOPE answered Jones’ multiple needs, providing constant medical attention, medical equipment, medications and the positive emotional and physical support needed to “bring her back to the active person she is today,” Herman says.
Via Christi HOPE is Kansas’ first Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly or PACE®.
Compared to placing an individual in a nursing home, HOPE saves Kansas taxpayers an estimated $1,000 per month in Medicaid costs. This is why Kansas state lawmakers and other officials are taking a close look at Via Christi HOPE as a potential model for saving the state money on serving older adults in the Medicaid insurance program.
|From left, Wayne and Rachel Jones visit with fellow HOPE participant Dale Wilson and Hope Scheuerman, standing, activity assistant, Via Christi HOPE.
“Proven to enhance quality of life for those we serve, the PACE model allows seniors to continue living actively in the community by coordinating and providing all the services they need — whether it be preventive, medical or long-term care,” says Justin Loewen, CEO of Via Christi HOPE.
Because payment rates for services for HOPE’s seniors with Medicare and Medicaid are predictable and fixed, the state’s health costs are 25 percent lower than for those served outside of HOPE.”
“HOPE saved my life,” says Rachel. “I was in a wheelchair when I came in. I couldn’t climb steps. Now, I can go up the front steps and I can walk with a walker and even use a cane at home. They worked miracles with me.”
After seeing the great progress her mother made in the HOPE program, Ann Herman realized that her father, Wayne, had been there for Rachel 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the stress was taking a toll on him as well. Ann persuaded her father to join her mother by enrolling in the HOPE program.
“Within a year, Dad had received a new pacemaker, the new eyeglasses that he needed and he was able to see a dentist,” she explains. “But he will tell you that new friends and social activity have been the best thing that HOPE has brought him.”
Ann calls Via Christi HOPE a godsend for all of her family — not just her parents.
“Their transportation is here and available. To have everything under one roof, in one convenient location, and having a team to work with … I couldn’t have asked for anything better. You don’t have to feel like you’re all alone.”