Franciscan Health of Michigan City hold open house to showcase PACE program

Franciscan Health of Michigan City hold open house to showcase PACE program

Franciscan Health of Michigan City held an open house for its Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) on Tuesday, May 24 to educate both older adults and their caregivers on the options available in order for them to live safely and independently while still receiving the care they need.

“This event today is really coordinated in an effort to help the community understand PACE a little bit better and also introduce them to all other partners that we work with in the community,” said PACE Center Manager Melissa DeSutter.

PACE is a nationwide program designed for adults aged 55 and older, with the Michigan City Franciscan branch is aimed at helping adults in La Porte, Porter, and parts of St. Joe Counties. The Dyer location additionally offers PACE with the same exceptional care for those in Lake County as well. 

Additionally, PACE is a comprehensive program that works with each individual to offer the exact care they need as they venture into their older years. One of the many benefits is that any type of care or treatment one would need is all in one location, making it much easier than the alternative option of scheduling multiple appointments with many different providers.

Franciscan Health Pace Open House

Franciscan Health Pace Open House 80 Photos
Franciscan Health Pace Open HouseFranciscan Health Pace Open HouseFranciscan Health Pace Open HouseFranciscan Health Pace Open House

“We have different professionals who are part of our team that can also help support the care that our provider is providing,” DeSutter said. “So it's all right here in one spot. If there's a need for therapy, we have the therapy gym down the hall. We have a social worker that's part of our team as well, a dietary dietitian, and we also have a home care coordinator who can help get services lined up in the community too. So it's neat because it's all in one spot.”

DeSutter mentioned the program is a wonderful option for those who may be unaware of all the options available for elderly care, as looking for such care for a loved one can sometimes be quite overwhelming or anxiety-inducing. The open house also allowed visitors to interact with many of the different healthcare providers in the area who are also a part of PACE, including Center for Hospice, Paladin, and many more.

“I think it's a great idea to host these kinds of events because so many of our older adults and their families are really unaware of what the options look like in the area. So this is a great opportunity for them to really see and ask questions and understand how everything works in terms of senior care options. And also, it's really helpful for caregivers who are not sure where to turn or where to start,” DeSutter said.

In addition to healthcare treatments, PACE also offers numerous opportunities for seniors that they would normally not have the chance to participate in otherwise. Having such opportunities have proven to be life-changing as it boosts both the physical and mental health of those in the program, benefiting both the elderly and their caregivers as well.

“I think the participants that we have so far are very happily surprised with the service that we give them, and it's been a huge benefit to their families as well,” said Nurse Practitioner Sharon Friedrich. “Usually, the caregivers are somewhat burdened when they get to this point, and so we're able to help relieve some of that and take some of that responsibility off of their shoulders with our day program. And then we have participants who come and they have a great time. They do crafts, they do exercises, I mean, really, really love it. They get to interact with one another, and that social vacation for them is great because oftentimes our folks don't get a chance to get out and talk with other people - unfortunately, sometimes they're quite isolated.”

Friedrich in particular brings over 25 years of experience working with older adults to the PACE program. Through the combined experience of her and other team members, the PACE team is more than equipped to make sure that every person that enters their program is well taken care of at any moment, no matter where they’re at within their treatment program.

 DeSutter, Friedrich, and the rest of the staff encourage anyone who may benefit from the PACE program to give them a call to discuss options and learn more. A provider is always on call 24/7, so anyone can call at their convenience to learn more and begin their in-depth consultation. To learn more about the PACE program, please call (219) 214-4619 or visit