Often described as a “nursing home without walls,” Catholic Health LIFE is a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), licensed in NYS as a Managed Long-Term Care plan. Since 2009, the LIFE Program has grown to fill a vital need in our community for seniors and their families.

An alternative to traditional nursing home care, the program provides a variety of services and supports, such as adult day care services, giving families greater peace of mind knowing their elderly loved ones are receiving the care they need to live safely in their own homes.

What types of services do seniors receive? Our main goal is to provide seniors with the health and social services they need to live safely at home. Based on individual needs, LIFE members can receive:

  • Primary and Specialty Care (Including Dental, Vision, Foot, and Hearing)
  • Diagnostic Tests and Lab Services (X-rays, Mammography, and Blood Draw)
  • Adult Day Center Services, Meals, and Home-Delivered Prescriptions
  • Hospitalization, Emergency Services, and Rehabilitative Care
  • In-Home Nursing and Home Care Services
  • Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy
  • Transportation to and from the LIFE Center and for Medical Appointments
  • Social Services and Spiritual Care
  • Medical Equipment and Supplies
  • Social Activities

The LIFE Centers feature primary care and therapy clinics, plus Day Centers where members can receive Recreational Therapy, participate in activities and exercise, have lunch, and socialize with other members.

Why is socialization important for seniors? Social isolation is often detrimental to physical health, and can have a serious impact on a person’s mental well-being. Loneliness can increase symptoms of anxiety and depression. As people are living longer, we’re seeing a significant increase in Alzheimer’s disease, and that progression accelerates in those experiencing social isolation. The reverse is also true. Elders who engage in social activities have better mental health and may have slower disease progression allowing them to live longer, more fulfilling lives. LIFE program participants spend less time in hospitals and nursing homes, and more time living their remaining years in their own home and community.

Where are the LIFE Centers located? Catholic Health’s LIFE Centers are located at the OLV Senior Neighborhood in Lackawanna and at the newly remodeled Villa Maria Campus in Cheektowaga. Thanks to a generous grant from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, a third location, set to open next summer, is currently in the planning stages on the campus of D’Youville University on the West Side of Buffalo.

Who is a candidate for the LIFE program? Enrollment in PACE programs is voluntary. To enroll, individuals must be at least age 55, an Erie County resident, have medical needs that qualify for nursing home level of care, have the desire to live safely at home with support from Catholic Health LIFE services at time of enrollment, and have Medicare or Medicaid, or be willing to pay privately.

If you have a loved one you think could benefit from the LIFE program, visit chsbuffalo.org/LIFE or call 716-819-LIFE (5433) to find out more.