SAN MARCOS–Nonprofit West PACE will host their inaugural collection campaign, “Everyday Necessities Drive for North County Seniors” on November 30.
Organizers of the campaign encourage San Diego county businesses, community groups, and individuals to donate new and unused toiletries, games, puzzles, socks, masks and other care items that will be assembled into holiday gift packages and new year bundles.
Their goal is to collect hundreds of items to create 200 bundles which will be gifted to vulnerable North County seniors with chronic care needs who rely on West PACE for high-quality, comprehensive, and coordinated healthcare, social services which help them successfully age in place rather than in a nursing home.
This week, San Diego county was elevated once again to the restrictive Purple Tier in California’s color-coded system of COVID-related tiers. It is more important than ever to ensure North County seniors have the essentials they need to get through this challenging time.
“Seniors often need to make difficult decisions between buying food or personal care items, and now we are in the Purple Tier, it will be difficult for seniors to shop for the essentials,” says Renata Smith, executive director, West PACE. “The holiday packages are a tangible link to the community and acknowledge that they matter, reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness which are so prevalent during the holidays. They will be provided to many North County seniors who otherwise would not receive a gift from anyone significant in their lives.”
In addition to distributing items during the holiday season, items will also be used to stock the center’s “Care Closet,” where West PACE team members can provide these extras to seniors in need or by request from caregivers throughout the year. The wish list includes: warm clothing accessories like scarves, mittens, gloves, socks; fleece blankets; large print books; games and puzzles; crossword books; masks; hand sanitizer; Kleenex; shampoo; conditioner; lip gloss; hand soap; body wash; women’s lotion; men’s razors; women’s razors; shaving cream; men’s undershirts; toothpaste and toothbrushes; denture kits; toilet paper; and senior-friendly manicure kits. A complete wish list of gift ideas is available on westpace.org.
Items can be dropped off at the West PACE center, located at 1706 Descanso Avenue in San Marcos during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., through Dec. 31. Organizers also plan to host contactless drive-thru collection events at West PACE on Tuesday, Dec. 1 (Giving Tuesday) and Tuesday, Dec. 22 from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. All donors who drive-in to drop-off items at West PACE will receive a coffee and a holiday treat.
If people cannot physically drop off items but want to help with a financial donation, they can visit https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/gary-and-mary-west-pace-everyday-necessities-drive-for-north-county-seniors
Local companies and groups have already come on board to support the inaugural Everyday Necessities Drive for North County seniors hosted by West PACE. They include the San Diego North Economic Development Council and West Health.
The program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly, or PACE, is a model of person-centered care that has been shown to reduce rates of emergency room visits, unnecessary hospital admissions, long-term nursing home placements, and reduce the cost of care and the strain on family caregivers. Over 90 percent of PACE participants are able to successfully remain in their homes and communities, many live longer, are more socially engaged, and have a better quality of life than those in nursing homes or other institutional settings.
West PACE provides a wide range of services including adult day programs, medical care, social services, dentistry, home care, and physical, occupational and speech therapy. Transportation to and from the center and outside medical appointments is provided, as well as social activities, meals, pharmacy, long-term services and supports, and caregiver training and support groups. All services are managed by an interdisciplinary care team to ensure the coordination of care and clear communication to participants and their families. They use a community digital story telling app with all of the participants.
Medicare and Medi-Cal reimburse PACE for care. If participants are enrolled in Medicare and Medi-Cal, they will pay nothing, or they will pay their Medi-Cal “share of cost.” The program also accepts people enrolled only in Medi-Cal and people who want to pay privately. There are thousands of seniors in the area that may be eligible for enrollment in West PACE. To apply or learn more about eligibility, contact West PACE at (760) 280-2230.