The decision about what to do with an aging and frail parent isn’t always an easy one. This decision and its difficulty increases when there may be a culture shock. Such is the case of Jacinta and her mother.
Jacinta came to the United States from Nigeria in the early 1990s. Her mother lived with her and her family, travelling between the Northeast and Nigeria. She returned to Nigeria in early 2004, to help her youngest daughter with her new family. While there, she fell ill, and eventually slipped into a coma. When she was well enough, Jacinta helped her mother come home. “She had never been so frail,” Jacinta recalls. Her mother was half her weight before she left, was not as active or engaged, and not as involved in life. Jacinta was nervous about leaving her mother alone, and didn’t want to think about the prospect of a nursing home. Jacinta knew where she wanted to place her mother so she could stay at home.
“PACE,” she says,” It would let my mom have all of the care she needed during the day while being able to come home in the afternoons. It’s a blessing not to have to worry about her medical care when I’m at work, or when my kids are away. Mama is always looked after.”
Jacinta enjoys having her mother in the program, and knows the feeling is mutual. Even though Jacinta is a nurse, at home, her mother will often not allow her to change her dressing because her PACE nurse is her caregiver. “She really enjoys the activities,” Jacinta explains. On a trip to the Museum of Science in Cambridge, MA, Jacinta’s mother grew excited about a display about Nigeria life. She was excited to see an accurate representation of her homeland,” Jacinta explained. “The curators of that exhibit were delighted to hear from her perspective.” A few days after that trip, they sent a thoughtful note.
“PACE has given me back my mother and our freedom,” she explains.
PACE participants may be fully and personally liable for the costs of unauthorized or out-of-PACE program agreement services, with the exception of emergency medical situations.