Setting the PACE: HopeWest provides care to elderly

Phil Castle, The Business Times

Venta Streff, right, a participant in the HopeWest Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, joins with James Wall, a volunteer, to assemble a puzzle at the PACE day center in Grand Junction. (Business Times photo by Phil Castle)

A fast-growing program adds to a continuum of care provided by a Grand Junction-based organization.

Along with its end-of-life hospice and palliative care and support for those grieving loss, HopeWest provides an even wider range of medical and support services intended to enable the elderly to remain in their homes for as long as possible.

“I think that’s a really beautiful thing,” said Mandy DeCino, director of pre-enrollment and engagement for the HopeWest Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).

The benefits of PACE extend beyond participants to easing workloads for caregivers and providing care at a lower cost than what would be provided in a skilled-care nursing facility, DeCino said.

Participation in PACE has grown from 52 to 138 over the past year of what’s not yet a 2-year-old effort for HopeWest, DeCino says. There’s capacity for more.

Nationwide, a total of more than 152 all-inclusive care programs are offered in 32 states, DeCino says.

The programs are funded through Medicare federal health insurance for those 65 and older as well as Medicaid, a joint federal and state program offering health coverage for individuals who meet certain functional and financial requirements.

HopeWest offers all-inclusive care for people in 12 Zip Codes in Mesa County — with the exception of outlying areas, DeCino said

Participants must be at least 55 years old and live within the service area, They also must meet the criteria for care at a nursing facility, but also be able to live safely in the community with the assistance of PACE services, DeCino said.

The program provides a range of services, she said, including primary and specialty medical care, prescription medications, medical equipment, physical and occupational therapy, dietary counseling and transportation.

About 80 HopeWest employees are involved in some way in the program. But the organization also contracts with more than 1,600 providers to meet the needs of participants, DeCino said.

The program delivers some services in participants’ homes, but also delivers a range of services from an 80,000-square-foot day center in Grand Junction. The center includes a medical clinic as well as dining and recreation areas, a salon, barbershop and meeting rooms.

PACE provides managed care tailored to each participant. That in turn provides participants peace of mind, DeCino said. “We’re coordinating it for them and with them for the rest of their lives.”

In addition, PACE offers a choice for participants and their families in providing services that keep participants in their homes, she said.

It’s part of a continuum of care from HopeWest.

For additional information about the HopeWest Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, call (970) 255-7223 or log on to