Helping Area Seniors Maintain Their Independence

“The promise I made to her years ago was that we’ll do everything to keep her at home.” As her mother’s care needs changed, Inez Jones was worried about keeping that promise. Inez and her siblings made many adaptations to their mother’s home to make her as comfortable and safe as possible, but it still wasn’t enough. How could Inez provide her mother with nursing home quality care while remaining in her own home?

Often described as a “nursing home without walls,” Catholic Health LIFE (Living Independently for Elders) is a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), licensed in New York state as a Managed Long-Term Care plan. LIFE provides a variety of medical and support services, including an adult day program, giving families greater peace of mind knowing their elderly loved ones are receiving the care they need to live safely in their own homes.

Based on individual needs, LIFE participants are eligible to receive:

  • Primary and specialty care (including dental, vision, foot, hearing services)
  • Medical screenings, diagnostic tests, and lab services (X-rays, mammography, blood tests)
  • Adult day center services, meals, personal care services, social activities
  • Home-delivered prescriptions
  • Hospitalization, emergency services, and rehabilitative care
  • In-home nursing and home care services
  • Physical, occupational, and speech therapy
  • Roundtrip transportation to and from the LIFE Center and/or medical appointments
  • Social services and spiritual care
  • Medical equipment and supplies

Comprised of primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, social workers, day care aides, physical rehabilitation specialists, home care providers, dietitians, and activity coordinators, the LIFE care team can provide services in the participant’s home, the LIFE clinic or day center, hospital, or even long-term facilities, if needed. Additionally, on-call health care coverage by doctors and nurses is always available, ensuring participants are continually wrapped in a blanket of care.

Catholic Health’s LIFE Centers are located at the OLV Senior Neighborhood in Lackawanna and on the Villa Maria Campus in Cheektowaga. A third location at the D’Youville University campus on Buffalo’s west side is set to open this fall. To become a LIFE program participant, individuals must meet the following criteria:

  • Be age 55+
  • Be a resident of Erie County
  • Have medical needs that qualify for nursing home level care
  • Determined to be capable of safely residing in the community with support from Catholic Health LIFE at time of enrollment
  • Have Medicare and/or Medicaid, or be willing to pay privately

“I have made so many recommendations to the program,” says Inez. “I think families should at least give it a try because it was so worth it in my mom’s case. She’s happier.” If you or a loved one could benefit from the LIFE program, learn more at, or call 716-819-LIFE (5433).