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Helping keep elderly in their homes

by jmaloni

Health and Fitness Column

Sat, Jan 26th 2013 09:15 am

Some say there's no place like home. Norman Reichert agrees.

Reichert, age 86, has been a participant in Complete Senior Care since April 2012 and feels the program's all-inclusive services, coupled with the continued support of his family, have enabled him to stay safely in his Wheatfield home.

Reichert attends the Complete Senior Care day center, 1302 Main St., Niagara Falls, during the week for socialization and activities, and also to receive medical care via an on-site clinic operated by Mount St. Mary's Hospital and Health Center. Medical services, including primary care, nursing, podiatry and even dental care are provided in the clinic. Also on-site are restorative and maintenance physical and occupational therapy for participants in-need.

"I look forward to going to the program on Tuesdays and Thursdays," Reichert said. "It gets me out of the house and gives me something different to do."

Complete Senior Care also provides Reichert with aide services in his home during the week to assist with light housekeeping, laundry and meal preparation. On mornings Reichert comes to the day center, an aide helps get him out of bed and helps get him cleaned up and ready for the van service that comes to take him to the center.

Nancy Reichert, Norman's daughter-in-law, lives close by in the Wheatfield area and is one of his caregivers, along with her husband, Wayne. Nancy Reichert heard about the program last January from a family member and says she has seen a big difference in her father-in-law since he enrolled.

"I hated seeing (Norman) sitting in front of the TV all day. He stopped socializing - it was like he was living in a cocoon," said Nancy Reichert. "This program has been wonderful for all of us. Complete Senior Care has been phenomenal. It keeps the elderly in their homes - where they're comfortable - and takes the burden off of family members. I don't know what we would have done without Complete Senior Care. You're angels."

Complete Senior Care is a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). Eligible participants must be at least 55 years old, need a nursing home level of care, be expected to need the program's services for at least 120 days, and live in Niagara County. There are no income requirements; Medicare and/or Medicaid, long-term care insurance and private pay are all accepted. Call Virginia McAuliffe at 285-8248 for more information, to set up an assessment or schedule a tour.

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