LIFE Program Opens in Armstrong County
Responding to a need in the community and an appeal from some pastors of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America in Armstrong County for an alternative to nursing home care for aging adults, Lutheran SeniorLife has partnered with ACMH Hospital to open LIFE Armstrong County. The new facility, located next to the hospital, officially opened its doors on April 1.
LIFE (Living Independence for the Elderly) Programs help eligible older adults by providing comprehensive, coordinated services and adult day services at the LIFE Center, and can also offer supportive services in the participant’s home.
LIFE Armstrong County center director Karen Paul explained that Armstrong County has a large population of older adults who wish to remain living independently in their own homes. “But in a rural county like Armstrong, healthcare can be very fragmented, and it can be very difficult to coordinate care, and receive the socialization that all seniors need,” she said. “The LIFE Programs take the whole coordinating process away from the participant and their caregiver. And the fact that we are partnering with ACMH Hospital is comforting because many people are already part of that system.”
Participants in LIFE Armstrong County will receive individualized care from an interdisciplinary team including a physician, nurses, social worker, dietitian, recreational coordinator and rehabilitation therapists. They will have access to transportation to and from the LIFE Center where they can see a doctor, receive medications, have lunch with friends, and enjoy recreational, social and exercise programming.
“Part of being all-inclusive means that we can also help our participants at home,” Paul said. “That’s another advantage of the LIFE Program. Home care, housekeeping, shopping…those are all part of a person’s life – and we can help with that. It’s a comfort for the adult children of our participants to know that someone is taking care of those things.”
Paul said that she, and most of the staff, are long-time residents of Armstrong County, have emotional ties to their communities, and recognize the need for LIFE services for their aging neighbors. “We understand, both personally and professionally, how these services can help people live a more Abundant Life®. We look forward to reaching out and helping everyone we can.”
LIFE Armstrong County joins LIFE Butler County, a partnership with Butler Health System, and LIFE Beaver County and LIFE Lawrence County, partnerships with Heritage Valley Health System.
Photo at right: The LIFE Armstrong County staff welcomed its first participants, William Mauger and Joanne Pintell.