Mary has congestive heart failure. According to the American Heart Association, heart failure is one of the most common causes of hospitalization among those 65 years and older. In 2009, Mary had surgery for an infected valve leading to her heart.
“The infection was horrible,” Mary recalls. “It came from my bad teeth. Bad teeth can infect your whole body. I didn’t know that.”
Since Mary joined St. Paul’s Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) her health is well-managed.
She has had four teeth extracted, and her dental health is much better. Cataract surgery on both of her eyes drastically improved her vision. She also received glasses. To care for her heart, she sees a heart specialist.
“St. Paul’s PACE takes care of everything for you,” Mary explained. “If you need something special, they will send you to a specialist. If there is any problem, you just let them know. They handle the problems. They’ve even found people apartments! St. Paul’s PACE does good work.”
Mary lives in a senior citizen complex and St. Paul’s PACE provides a caregiver to help in her home. With Mary’s heart condition, certain household chores are difficult.
“My caregiver goes to the grocery store for me and does my laundry,” Mary smiled. “It’s hard for me to bend and stoop with my heart. I try to do as much as I can by myself, but I get out of breath. My caregiver helps me a lot.”
Mary loves coming into the St. Paul’s PACE day center. She looks forward to her weekly visits.
“We all go to bible study together.”
“My friends are fabulous; we are kidding, talking, and laughing all the time,” Mary says of the relationships she has built through St. Paul’s PACE.
Mary attends bible study through her church but welcomes the opportunity to take part in the weekly classes offered at the day center. She looks forward to them.
“I always enjoy bible study – the more you learn, the better you will become,” Mary believes. “Chaplain Bill Martinez leads bible study in Spanish and English, and he does a great job of explaining the scriptures.”
With her health issues, Mary admits to sometimes feeling overwhelmed. St. Paul’s PACE helps keep her hopeful.
“I pray for my health,” Mary shared. “Some days it is really hard, and I feel weak. Bible study helps give me strength. The Lord keeps me going. I know God is in charge of everything. I don’t lose faith. ”
According to Mary, most of the teachings she learns about through St. Paul’s PACE center around love. Mary says the spiritual care she receives enriches her life.
“St. Paul’s PACE is such a blessing.”
“Love is what helps you be a better person,” Mary announced. “God is love. I always ask for the love that Jesus Christ had. If I have that, I cannot go wrong. I love all the wonderful people here at PACE. St. Paul’s PACE is such a blessing.”
If you, or someone you know, would benefit from St. Paul’s PACE, please contact us.