Opinion: Elderly San Diegans require all-inclusive care. PACE programs show how it can be done.

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June 20, 2023
This article was written by Ross Colt and published in The San Diego Union-Tribune on June 20, 2023.

Ross Colt, M.D., is the medical director of Gary and Mary West PACE in San Marcos, which provides services for seniors in north San Diego County.

The pandemic highlighted how important it was to be able to bring mobile healthcare services to seniors in the comfort of their own homes.

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed how our fragmented, reactive healthcare infrastructure fails older adults. For seniors with physical or cognitive difficulties, there is a difficult choice between an isolated, homebound life or costly congregate group living settings.

We know what doesn’t work. But what does work? And how can we do more of it? The state of California’s Master Plan for Aging outlines five bold goals that will help ensure every Californian over the age of 60 has the healthcare and support they need as they grow older. And in San Diego County, we have a care model that truly provides the comprehensive social and medical support that older adults need to have longer, healthier and more independent lives: Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly, or PACE.