Mass Senior Care is pleased to share positive stories which have been included in local and statewide coverage of dedicated caregivers and the incredible stories of recovery from patients. We encourage members to share their positive posts or stories of recovery on social media with us by tagging @MASeniorCare or using hashtag #NursingHomeHeroes. Please visit Mass Senior Care’s Facebook and Twitter.
Audrey Mazzola will be holding her wedding at her grandfather Gilbert Wahlberg's nursing home, Oakdale Rehabilitation & Skilled Nursing Center in West Boylston. "I’m excited to get married here. We worked everything out. We’ve got the decorations. We got the OK’s from everyone. It’ll be really nice." Read the full article in The Boston Globe.
David, 83, and Lynne, 81, wouldn't let the coronavirus pandemic interfere with their celebrating their 60th anniversary, at Craneville Place in Dalton. The staff of the senior living facility helped stage a mask-wearing, social distancing party outside the facility where David has been a resident for the past year. "We find we are celebrating our anniversary in a way that we had not imagined, but still, we are together, and we are happy in our love and have come to peace with the 'new normal,'" Lynne said. "The staff at Craneville have been instrumental in helping us to make the drastic change, and we continue to be happy and try to take joy in every day." Read the full article in The Berkshire Eagle.
- Revolution at Charwell in Norwood thanked first responders and the community for their assistance in keeping the nursing facility free of the coronavirus since May 2. Police, fire and EMTs and other town personnel were invited to pick up a grab-and-go barbecue lunch in front of the facility. Read the full article in Wicked Local.
- Luisa Antonio, 92, returns home after recovering from COVID-19 at Brockton Health Center. After a week in the hospital followed by two months in a rehabilitation facility to recover from the coronavirus, she is finally back in her own apartment. ‘I am very happy. It’s a big difference from the hospital,’ Antonio said Thursday, the day she was discharged. ‘I am happy to be home.’” Read the full article in The Enterprise News.
- Thomas Lavallee, Chief Operating Officer of Alliance Health Management Services, LLC and the Chair of Mass Senior Care Association, authored an op-ed, Mass. Nursing Homes Need a Permanent Fix, which was published in Commonwealth Magazine calling for a new model for long-term care, one which prioritizes high quality and high standards for nursing home residents and caregivers. Read the full op-ed in Commonwealth Magazine.
Western Mass News highlighted a local nursing facility, Chestnut Hill of East Longmeadow, for being among the few in the state without COVID-19 cases. Jeff Heinze, Administrator, discussed the preventative measures his facility and staff took to protect residents. Watch the video here.
The State House News Service published an article, Data Shows Virus Spread In Nursing Homes Down Sharply In Mass. "That gap is closing and is getting very close to being closed," Katherine Fillo, the Department of Public Health's director of clinical quality improvement said. "I think [that is] positive news and speaks to some of the work that's gone on and speaks to some of the proactive testing efforts. Read the full article in The State House News and WBUR.
The Lowell Sun published an op-ed, Heroes in the hall of nursing homes by Naomi Prendergast, President and CEO of D’Youville Life & Wellness Community in Lowell and Past-Chair of the Mass Senior Care Association. “The truth is that our incredible frontline workers are the very definition of essential not just during catastrophic events, but rather every day. If it weren’t for them, caring for our loved ones would be that much more difficult.”
Column: Increased government funding for nursing homes is needed published in The MetroWest Daily News, authored by Sister Jacquelyn M. McCarthy, CSJ R.N., CEO/Administrator at Bethany Health Care Center in Framingham and a Board Member of the Mass Senior Care Association. “It’s National Nursing Assistants Appreciation week right now and what better way to show our nursing teams our gratitude than to recognize their worth.”
- William C. Jones, President of Berkshire Healthcare Systems and Past-Chair of the Mass Senior Care Association wrote an op-ed, COVID stats don't measure courage, compassion. “The COVID-19 story is mostly being told with numbers, but you cannot put a number on the lives that were saved or the importance of the emotional comfort that our caregivers provided to a resident in the final hours of their life. You cannot measure courage or the healing power of compassion, but we know those intangible qualities are the essential characteristics of our caregivers, who were already doing the hardest job there is before the coronavirus arrived and attacked us with everything it had." Read the full op-ed in The Berkshire Eagle.
- State Representative Michael Day visits Life Care Center of Stoneham, "I also understand the toll this has taken on those front-line workers who have continuously put their own health in jeopardy by working around the clock to provide care and comfort to these residents. Their commitment to these residents is remarkable.” Read the full article in Wicked Local Stoneham.
- Henry Sullivan, 98, chats with his children, Peter and Terry Sullivan, during a reunion at the Ledgewood Rehab and Nursing Center in Beverly. Read the full article in The Salem News.
- “Nursing home workers have always been the unsung heroes,” said Dr. Larissa Lucas, of North Shore Physicians Group, who serves as medical director for several facilities of Alliance Health and Human Services. “But Covid has really brought their dedication to the forefront." Read the full article in The Boston Globe.
- Chris Hannon, Chief Operating Officer of Pointe Group Care and Mass Senior Care Board Member, shares an op-ed on the heroic efforts of nursing facility caregivers and staff. "Heroes work in nursing homes, too, and it is time to recognize them." Read the full op-ed in The Commonwealth Magazine.
- At 103, Jennie Stejna beat the coronavirus. After fully recovering at Life Care Center of Wilbraham, she enjoyed an ice-cold BudLight. “She always had that feisty fighting spirit,” her granddaughter said. “She didn’t give up.” Read the full article in Wicked Local and USA Today.
- “Baseline testing allows us to take a snapshot in time of the virus in our facilities,” says Tara Gregorio, President of the Massachusetts Senior Care Association. “However, baseline testing in and of itself is not enough. What we need is regular surveillance testing so that we can monitor [residents who] test negative and ensure that they continue to test negative.” Read the full article on WBUR.
- Congresswoman Lori Trahan recognizes the heroes at Gardner Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in her Local Heroes Spotlight initiative for their commitment to keeping residents and staff safe from the spread of the coronavirus. Read the full article in The Gardner News.
- Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey partnered with Mass Senior Care to provide over 700 tablets to nursing facilities to keep residents and families connected during the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch the full coverage on Boston Fox 25.
- 93-year old resident at Katzman Family Center for Living in Chelsea recovers from coronavirus. Watch the full coverage on CBS Boston.
- Nursing facility staff at Saint Joseph Manor in Brockton have been finding painted rocks with inspirational messages scattered around their parking lot. Now, they want to thank the young boy who put them there. Read the full story in The Brockton Enterprise.
- Taking "beating COVID" to a new level: 87-year-old artist Jackie Baer made over 40 works of art while recovering at Elizabeth Seton Residence in Wellesley. One work was even donated in gratitude for all they have done for her. Read the full story in The Patch.
- Alden Court Nursing Care & Rehabilitation Center in Fairhaven shared a heartwarming recovery video of resident Harriet Spach and her husband of 58 years James Spach. The video posted to facility’s Facebook page shows hallways lined with dancing and clapping staff, balloons, and signs of support as Harriet, 82, is rolled out in a wheelchair to be reunited with James who is waiting for her with flowers. Read the full story in South Coast Today.
- Jodi Ouimette, Administrator at Williamstown Common Nursing & Rehabilitation Center shared her story of courage and hope from the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Interviewed by Congressman Joe Kennedy III, Jodi discussed how her and the staff came together to protect residents and honor their lives during these challenging times. Williamstown Common has since seen 47 residents recovered from COVID-19 and is currently going on 24 days without a new case of COVID-19 in the facility. Please click here to watch her inspirational interview.
- Nurses and staff at Alliance Health at Marina Bay were celebrated and recognized with a car parade led by Quincy police and firefighters. “We are a family here, we are family to the residents as well, and we will be there to care for and support them,” says Kathy Faherty, nurse at the facility. Read the full story in The Patriot Ledger.
- Jenn Rheault, Assistant Director of Nursing at CareOne at Millbury shares her story of personal sacrifices and having to leave her children in the care of grandparents in order to care for residents at the facility. “I want to be here. I come into work every day and provide the best care possible” said Rheault. Read the full story in The Millbury-Sutton Chronicle.
- St. Joseph Manor Health Care in Brockton shared a video of Patricia Joyce, 84-year-old patient celebrating her recovery from coronavirus with sweet dance moves. Watch the coverage on Boston WCVB/Channel 5.
- Webster Manor Rehabilitation & Health Care Center in Webster shared a special celebration outside their facility over the weekend as Marion May, a patient who fully recovered from COVID-19, returns home in time for Mother’s Day. Watch the coverage on Boston WHDH/Channel 7.
- Christine Reilly, CEO of The Boston Home shares their story of resiliency. “The Boston Home truly is home. It’s warm and loving and the staff are incredible. I’ve been in health care for 30-plus years, and this is a family. We’re going to get through this. And we’ll be stronger on the other end.” Read her full story in Boston.com.
- Martisthill Nursing & Rehab Center in Waltham went to new heights to arrange a special visit for a couple celebrating their 61st wedding anniversary. “He cried tears of joy,” said Chris Avtges, Son of Nursing Home Resident. Watch the full coverage on Boston WCVB/Channel 5.
- Quabbin Valley Healthcare has created a flag to honor their staff during the coronavirus outbreak “In a time like this when essential healthcare workers are showing up for work day in and day out to care for patients and residents, it’s imperative these staff members are recognized and appreciated, not only internally, but publicly as well. They are doing hard work, and they do it with compassion.” -Michael Kachadoorian, Assistant Administrator, Quabbin Valley Healthcare. Read the full article in WWLP.
- Edelyne Bontemps, CNA at Elizabeth Seton Residence Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation shares her story of courage and how she is helping residents cope with the social isolation and fears during this crisis. “Here, [the residents] count on us, like our families count on us too. As a CNA and a mother, I have to really be careful. I have to make sure home is safe and here is safe too. Some of them are very scared so I sit down and talk to them.” Read her full story on Boston.com.
- Broad Reach at Liberty Commons in Chatham is helping residents cope with the social isolation and helping to ease family members by keeping them informed. “It's just very limiting for us all. But it's a sacrifice that a few of us have to make. We're very vulnerable, and certainly don't want the virus to get in here. It would be devastating.” John Shearer, Nursing Home Resident. Read the full article in The Cape Cod Chronicle.