Shoreline architect now thrives as result of senior program

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Fred Chen 
By Cynthia Flash

Fred Chen is so devoted to his architecture career that he’s still working on projects – despite health issues that have significantly slowed him down.

“I still have my dreams,” he says of the 30-unit Beacon Hill apartment building he is working on at the drafting table in his room at 1st Ammanuel, the Shoreline adult family home where he moved after his health declined to a point where he could no longer live independently.

Last December, Chen was down to only 95 pounds. He’s put on 45 pounds since then, having joined an innovative program of healthcare and social services for older adults that is part of the national Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).

Ten months ago Chen moved to Shoreline and joined Providence ElderPlace, which works with adult family homes and other senior living facilities to care for seniors who want to continue to live in the community, despite qualifying to live in a nursing home.

Chen, a 72-year-old architect and urban planner who was born in China in 1947 and came to the United States at age 13, has had some minor strokes and is battling lung cancer. But his health is improving. In addition to seeing his doctors regularly at Providence ElderPlace, he benefits from weekly physical therapy and other exercise therapy to help him regain his strength and balance.

“They pay a lot of attention to the individual, giving you care,” he says. “From the physical therapists to the nurses, the medical program is well done. It’s helped with my getting stronger. I hope to regain my ability to walk on my own.”

The non-profit Providence ElderPlace keeps older adults as healthy as possible in the community by providing comprehensive healthcare and social services including: primary and specialty medical care, a day health program, social work services, rehabilitation, housing (if necessary) and more.

Participants attend the Providence ElderPlace centers on a regular basis and transportation is provided. The Providence ElderPlace team of health care and social service professionals and affiliates provide comprehensive integrated care to participants.

The program includes four stand-alone centers – in Seattle’s Rainier Valley, West Seattle, Kent and Redmond - in addition to two centers inside assisted living facilities. It plans to expand to Spokane and further into South King County next year.

September is National PACE Month, a time to raise awareness of this program that keeps seniors healthy and in their homes.

Chen hopes more people learn about Providence ElderPlace so they too can enjoy a renewed joy for life. “I’m relearning how to do different functions,” he says.

Providence ElderPlace accepts individuals age 55 and older who qualify under the state’s Community Options Program Entry System (COPES) – or Medicaid - program. COPES is designed to allow individuals who qualify for and require long-term care to receive the necessary care while living in their homes or other community living environments, such as assisted living facilities or adult family homes.

Anyone who is interested in finding out if they qualify to be enrolled in Providence ElderPlace should contact Jenny Kentta at 206-320-5325 or


Anonymous,  November 14, 2019 at 9:40 AM  

Community homes for elders are such a wonderful option instead of the traditional "nursing" homes - whatever we can do to support and increase the availability of such homes should be a priority as there are only going to be more elders in need of support.

Anonymous,  November 21, 2019 at 6:32 AM  

PACE programs and their teams of wonderful nurse case managers, social workers, therapists, aides, support staff, and physicians are a huge blessing to the senior population! With the baby boomer generation coming of age, PACE programs will be more important than ever. Thanks to all who work for PACE and assist our seniors who need, and benefit so much, from this program!

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