Sentara opens seniors’ facility

Published 10:56 pm Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sentara is offering the best of both worlds to elderly in Suffolk, Chesapeake, Norfolk and Portsmouth.

On Thursday, hospital administrators cut the ribbon on Sentara PACE, located in the Churchland Shopping Center, which will provide nursing home care during the day for elderly who want to live with their families.

“Some people have called it a nursing home without walls,” said Bruce Robertson, Sentara’s vice president of life care. “There are so many seniors who are institutionalized. PACE is an alternative for them to remain at home and get the same kinds of services they would get during the day at a nursing home.”

PACE is a community program covered by Medicare and Medicaid. It provides adult day care; primary physician care from an on-site physician; meals; transportation; social work; physical, speech and occupational therapies; home care; medications and supplies to elderly who met nursing home criteria.

Its services would allow for elderly living with loved ones to receive care and social relations during the day while their loved ones work. In case of emergency after the patient returns home, there is 24-hour emergency care transportation.

“It should give people a peace of mind while they’re at work, that their loved ones are getting the care they need,” Robertson said.

While patients are at PACE, they also have the opportunity to socialize with others in similar conditions. The center has a cyber café, with four computers, and a flat screen television, as well.