A new program in Roanoke is trying to break down the walls of traditional nursing homes and provide an alternative option when it comes to caring for the elderly.

Forget the ribbon cutting, Kissito Pace made a unique entrance on its grand opening with a truck pull.

PACE, which stands for Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, opened its doors for the first time on Concourse Drive on Wednesday.

It's a Medicare program for older adults and people over the age of 55 living with disabilities. It provides community-based care and a service to people who otherwise need nursing home level of care.

However, PACE allows people to stay in their actual homes.

"Ultimately I think everyone would prefer to stay at home,” said PACE Executive Director Sean Pressman. “Not too many people would choose to reside in a nursing facility and those services are necessary as we age and if we can keep a person in the community for as long as possible and ideally forever, until the end that is our ultimate goal."

Enrollment has already started for the program. The facility is scheduled to be up and running by November 1.

You can join PACE if you meet the following conditions:

  • You are 55 years old or older
  • You live in the service area of a PACE organization
  • You are certified by the state in which you live as meeting the need for the nursing home level of care
  • You are able to live safely in the community when you join with the help of PACE services