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Geisinger LIFE program to open in fall

Healthcare program to help older adults remain in their home

LEWISTOWN — A new service is coming to the area to provide healthcare to older adults to help them maintain quality of life while living in their own homes.

Geisinger’s new program called LIFE, Living Independence for the Elderly, will be opening this fall to service residents in Mifflin, Juniata and Snyder counties.

During Tuesday’s Lewistown Rotary Club meeting, Robert McQuillan, associate vice president of LIFE, explained the program that has been serving other parts of the state for several years. The program goes beyond traditional methods to provide healthcare services. The all-inclusive program includes preventive care, medical care, social services and long-term care, when necessary.

To be eligible for the program, residents must be 55 years of age or older, live in the designated service area, meet eligibility criteria for nursing facility level of care (as determined by the Area Agency on Aging) and have the ability to live safely in the community with services from LIFE.

To participate in the program, a person must be referred to the LIFE program by requesting information through the website, a physician referral or by calling.

Once enrolled, he or she must agree to receive all healthcare needs through LIFE Geisinger.

“We like to surround the person with services,” McQuillan explained as she showed the various services including, dietitians, nurses, occupational, recreational, speech and physical therapists, home care, social workers, physicians, transporters, chaplains and personal care aides.

By letting Geisinger provide all healthcare needs, McQuillan said this will allow for the most effective and efficient service.

For anyone on Medicare or Medicaid, LIFE receives capitated payments from those programs.

If an enrollee prefers to keep his or her current physician, LIFE will work to keep that provider. Residents may enroll or disenroll on the first of the month anytime.

Anyone interested in enrolling, can start the process now. He said the paperwork takes from 30 to 45 days to process and will begin when the local program starts.

When opened, LIFE will be located locally in the new Primary Health Network building off the Burnham exit in Derry Heights. LIFE will be renting the 14,000 square foot second floor where a day center will be located for enrollees.

For more information, call (800) 395-8759, or visit www.lifegeisinger.com.

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