Cheryl Bell credits St. Paul’s Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) for saving her life.
“I had Hepatitis C for about 30 years,” she explained. “I had a blood transfusion in 1987 before they were checking the blood samples for it. I found out I had it in the 90’s and pretty much wrote my health and my life off because it was chronic and not really treatable. I had taken the early treatments, and they didn’t work, and I couldn’t really tolerate the medication.”
During a presentation at the senior building where she lives, Cheryl heard about St. Paul’s PACE and decided right away it was perfect for her. She says she needed support for her physical and mental health issues.
“My health was poor,” Cheryl admitted. “Since joining St. Paul’s PACE my health is great. It is better than it has ever been in my life. I suffered from major depression and bipolar disorder. Those aren’t even issues that bother me anymore. I have a positive attitude.”
Through St. Paul’s PACE Cheryl received the medication to cure her Hepatitis C. She says it involved a rigorous program where she came into the St. Paul’s PACE center five days a week.
“St. Paul’s PACE took care of everything,” she exclaimed. “My doctor was great. I was monitored all the time. My life was saved! I get so much support here, and good nutrition. There’s an emphasis on exercise, mental and physical health. When I was cured, I was so grateful that I decided to improve my life physically.”
Using what she learned at St. Paul’s PACE, Cheryl says she started monitoring her nutrition. She also began walking. She now walks five to seven miles a day. Her lifestyle change has resulted in a thirty plus pound weight loss.
“With the weight loss I have become healthier and able to go off of blood pressure medication,” Cheryl rejoiced.
“So much has improved since I came to St. Paul’s PACE and I attribute it to the support and education I get here.”
Cheryl shares her love for St. Paul’s PACE with people she meets whenever she can. She says the complaint she most often hears from her peers is that with other health care they have problems with finding all the doctors they need.
“I tell them to join St. Paul’s PACE – it’s all under one umbrella here,” Cheryl smiled. “If you need a specialist, they send you out to one. It is really all-inclusive. They hook you up with resources too, like someone to help grocery shop if you aren’t able. There is always someone to go to if I need something, from doctors to social workers to home care nurses. They take care of all my needs. I have never had a quality of life like I have now, thanks to St. Paul’s PACE.”
If you, or someone you know, would benefit from St. Paul’s PACE, please contact us.