​​​​​​​Wolf Administration Celebrates Living Independence For the Elderly’s 20th Anniversary in the Commonwealth

DHS continues to serve more people in the community

Harrisburg, PA – Today, the Department of Human Services recognized the 20th Anniversary of the Living Independence For the Elderly (LIFE) program in the commonwealth. LIFE provides services to more than 6,000 Pennsylvanians in 41 counties across the state. 

“The Wolf Administration is committed to serving people in the community, and LIFE is an option that allows older Pennsylvanians to live independently while receiving services and supports that meet the health and personal needs of the individual,” said DHS Acting Secretary Teresa Miller. “Today, we celebrate this program for its 20 years of contributing to the quality of life of the seniors in our commonwealth.”

LIFE is a managed care program that provides a comprehensive all-inclusive package of medical and supportive services. The program was established by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 and is known nationally as the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).

All of the PACE providers in Pennsylvania have ‘LIFE’ in their name. The first LIFE program agreements were signed in 1997 with services implemented in Pennsylvania in 1998.

“While we prepare to launch Community HealthChoices in the southwest region of Pennsylvania, it’s critical that folks know that LIFE is also an option,” said Miller. “We want our older Pennsylvanians to be aware that there are choices available.”

To be eligible for LIFE, you must:

  • Be age 55 or older
  • Meet the level of care needs for a skilled nursing facility or a special rehabilitation facility
  • Meet the financial requirements as determined by your local County Assistance Office or be able to privately pay
  • Reside in an area served by a LIFE provider
  • Be able to be safely served in the community as determined by a LIFE provider

Some of the many services available under the LIFE program include dental, meals, medical and non-medical transportation, LIFE Center services, nursing care, personal care, social services, recreational activities, and more. LIFE also fully integrates Medicare and Medicaid services for individuals eligible for both programs. 

To locate a LIFE provider in your area click here, or call the toll-free CHC Helpline at 1-844-824-3655 (TTY 1-833-254-0690).

November is Living Independence for the Elderly month and Governor Wolf issued a proclamation declaring it as such.

For more information on LIFE, visit www.dhs.pa.gov.

MEDIA CONTACT:    Rachel Kostelac, DHS, 717.425.7606

Coleen Gacesa named 2017 Outstanding Nurse by NPA

Coleen Gacesa, RN, BS, WCC, CCP, Education Manager, received the 2017 Outstanding Nursing Award.

The National PACE Association (NPA) has created several awards to recognize organizations and professionals who have made significant contributions on behalf of PACE.The Outstanding Nurse of the Year Award was created by the Nursing Consortium. 

The award recognizes a PACE nurse who provides and promotes the highest quality nursing care for PACE participants and who has contributed significantly to PACE by developing, promoting and ensuring quality, evidence-based nursing services while embracing and promoting the ideals of PACE, including person-centered care and empowerment of participants, families and staff.

For the past 5 years, Coleen has led the education department for Community LIFE.  As a result of her leadership, the department has thrived and plays an important role in the success of our organization.  Her contributions have resulted in improved quality of care for participants and improved staff satisfaction. Some of her accomplishments include developing and leading the Mentor Program, implementation of Black Board training and development of Care Coordination Curriculum for the nurse case managers. Coleen is wound care certified by The National Alliance of Wound Care & Ostomy.