Celebrating 30 years of PACE

November 5, 2020

Cindy Cowie remembers how it all started. There was a small team of caregivers, a handful of seniors, and a conference room. The early days of Community Care’s PACE program felt like a one-room schoolhouse.

There was a nurse, a social worker, and Cindy, a recreational therapist.Back then, job titles did not matter as much. You just rolled up your sleeves and helped where you were needed.

“Back then we were a family taking care of family, that was really how we all felt,” Cindy said. “Everyone was willing to help anyone out. I still think that’s the Community Care way.”

Fast-forward 30 years and Community Care’s PACE program has grown and now serves more than 500 members in three counties. The Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) is designed to provide the kind of care a person would get in a nursing home setting but allows them to stay in their own homes.

This November, Community Care celebrates 30 years of providing PACE in the Milwaukee area.

Community Care was one of the first organizations in the country to offer the program. It was modeled on a program that started in San Francisco in the early 1980s. The program started here in Milwaukee in 1990. Community Care now offers PACE in Milwaukee, Racine, and Waukesha counties.

Besides providing care to members in their homes, Community Care also operates two PACE adult day centers, in Milwaukee and Waukesha. While the day centers are open to the public, PACE members who visit the centers can see their doctor, visit the pharmacy, and participate in activities all under one roof.

“It continues to be a unique way of taking care of our members and has done some awesome things for people in the 30 years that we’ve offered it,” Cindy said. “It’s made a difference in a lot of peoples’ lives.”

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