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Proposed center offers seniors option to nursing home

By Karissa Minn
kminn@salisburypost.com
LEXINGTON ó A new senior center providing an alternative to nursing home care is set to open in Lexington next fall.
United Church Homes & Services (UCHS) has applied to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the state of North Carolina for a PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) center to serve Rowan, Davidson, Davie and Iredell counties.
Dan Dagenhart, a Salisbury resident and member of the UCHS board of directors, said buses would pick up enrolled seniors five days a week and take them to the center in Davidson County.
In time, he said, there may be a satellite center opened in Rowan County.
Through an inter-disciplinary approach, the PACE program provides medical care, social services and personal care services required by participants.
ěThis is for needy individuals… that are certified for a nursing home, but they donít want to go into a nursing home,î Dagenhart said. ěThey want to reside in their home, and this is a means whereby they can do that.î
Amy Reimann, director of PACE for UCHS, said the center could create more than 100 new jobs in the area
UCHS has purchased the old Winn Dixie building, 802 E. Center St., Lexington, to serve as the PACE Center. Renovations are under way on the 32,000-square-foot building, according to a UCHS press release.
Planned improvements include a complete renovation of the interior and exterior adding architectural design elements such as courtyard spaces and new masonry columns.
The PACE Center will offer adult day health care, along with on-site physicians, nurses and physical, occupational and recreation therapies.
Services and benefits also include prescription drugs, meals, nutrition counseling, personal care and transportation.
ěWe are staying true to the UCHS mission of serving others and making programs accessible and affordable, but weíre finding new ways to accomplish that mission,î Doug Fleegle, UCHS president and CEO, said in the press release.
Participants must be 55 or older and certified by the state of North Carolina as eligible for nursing home care. They must be able to live safely in the community at the time of their enrollment with PACE services.
UCHS, a not-for-profit corporation, operates three continuing care retirement communities, a stand-alone nursing facility, and six affordable senior housing communities across North Carolina and Virginia.
For more information about UCHS, visit www.uchas.org. For more information about PACE, go to www.npaonline.org or www.cms.hhs.gov/pace/

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