She's an independent woman who'd rather be riding a horse, but instead she's battling a serious health issue.
"My spine is collapsing. I've gone from 5-foot-3 to 4-foot-11," she said.
But Louise doesn't want to go into a nursing home. That's why she's a participant in PACE-- a program that helps seniors in Rutland and Colchester maintain their independence. PACE provides everything from housekeeping and personal care to medical services at people's homes or in its day facilities.
"It's a capitated program, so we're paid by Medicaid and Medicare and it's a per member, per month payment," said Jeanne Hutchins, a PACE board member.
PACE has 88 successful programs in 29 states, but no longer in Vermont. On March 31 it will close both its Rutland and Colchester facilities. That means 140 participants will need to find other care and 80 employees will be laid off.
"I just feel like I'm sad. I'm very sad," Louise said.
"Is PACE needed in Vermont? Yes. Is the model financially viable? It seems not so," Hutchins said.
PACE says it has been struggling financially for years. That's because it says Vermont's Medicaid reimbursement rate is lower than other states. And the majority of participants signing on to the program lately are sicker and need more costly services.
"When people choose to go to PACE, they were choosing to go when they were very sick and we used a lot of resources. We didn't have that spread that you need to keep a capitated program running," Hutchins said.
"I was shocked," Susan Bresee said.
Bresee's 82-year-old dad, Ralph, was one of PACE's first participants after he suffered a stroke and needed a variety of services. He was able to live more independently with the support PACE provided.
"They've kept him healthy. He's never been back to the hospital or emergency room, never went to a nursing home," Bresee said.
But now Ralph is in a nursing home due to PACE's impending closure. Cowgirl Louise hopes to find a program similar to PACE, so she can keep her independence and remain at home.
"If I can, I want to maintain as much independence as possible. I think everybody wants that," she said.
PACE says it's working to link its participants up with other services and suspects many people will partner with the VNA.
Thursday, December 5 2013 1:13 AM EST2013-12-05 06:13:43 GMT
One Georgia man is going all-out to light up his home for Christmas this year. For J.R. Adams, decorating his home elaborately with lights, music, and Santa Claus on a motorcycle is a childhood dream come true. "IMore >>
One Georgia man is going all-out to light up his home for Christmas this year.More >>
Thursday, December 5 2013 1:13 AM EST2013-12-05 06:13:06 GMT
Vermont State Police need your help to find a hit and run driver. They say Wednesday afternoon an older model red Subaru wagon driving north on Route 14 in Williamstown crossed into oncoming traffic, enteredMore >>
Vermont State Police need your help to find a hit and run driver.More >>
Thursday, December 5 2013 1:12 AM EST2013-12-05 06:12:17 GMT
Santa is looking for a few helpers to brighten the holidays for senior citizens across our region. Home Instead Senior Care is collecting gifts as part of its "Be a Santa to a Senior Program." The group'sMore >>
Santa is looking for a few helpers to brighten the holidays for senior citizens across our region.More >>
Thursday, December 5 2013 1:11 AM EST2013-12-05 06:11:32 GMT
The battle over a new methadone clinic in South Burlington continues. Wednesday night the South Burlington School board voted to pursue an appeal with the state supreme court to keep the clinic away fromMore >>
The battle over a new methadone clinic in South Burlington continues.More >>
Wednesday, December 4 2013 8:05 PM EST2013-12-05 01:05:10 GMT
Burlington's deputy police chief is off the hook on drunk driving charges after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors Wednesday.More >>
Burlington's deputy police chief took a plea deal Wednesday, and then announced his retirement. The plea gets Andi Higbee off the hook for drunk driving, but the resolution of the case also ends his 24-year career with the BPD.More >>
Wednesday, December 4 2013 9:45 AM EST2013-12-04 14:45:58 GMT
Police are looking for two Massachusetts men in connection with an assault and robbery in Burlington's South End. It happened Tuesday afternoon on Marble Ave. Investigators say Bryan Frazier, 30, and Rashad Sabree,More >>
Police are looking for two Massachusetts men in connection with an assault and robbery in Burlington's South End.More >>
Wednesday, December 4 2013 9:31 AM EST2013-12-04 14:31:50 GMT
An accused murderer has fired his investigator. Dennis Tribble was convicted of murder twice. The 63-year-old Vermont man was convicted of shooting and killing Michael Borello in 2000. But the VermontMore >>
An accused murderer has fired his investigator.More >>
Wednesday, December 4 2013 6:24 PM EST2013-12-04 23:24:21 GMT
He's already in jail accused of burglaries, now a Lamoille County man is facing more charges. Police say Joshua Loura is now linked to three break-ins in Wolcott and Johnson. He was already accused ofMore >>
He's already in jail accused of burglaries, now a Lamoille County man is facing more charges.More >>