The 'Adult Day Health Care' Story: Providing a Continuum of Care

As long as four decades ago, Don Orione Home realized the need for rehabilitation and long term care was growing faster than the facility could expand its level of service. The facility began searching in earnest for new ways to meet the vital needs of the communities, rehab patients and long term care residents in the Greater Boston area.

In 1975, the Home became a pioneer in the field of Adult Day Health Care by establishing the Adult Day Health Center on the fourth floor of its building located in the Orient Heights section of East Boston, where the Home delivers "a continuum of care" to members of the community above its commanding view of the Madonna - Queen of the Universe shrine, Boston Harbor and the city's skyline.

The philosophy of the Adult Day Health Program is centered on providing an alternative to institutional care and to delay, for as long as possible, placement of members of the community into a nursing home. In many situations, due to the multi-faceted care provided through the Adult Day Health Program, the need for aging community members to be placed into a nursing home has been forestalled completely.

The initiative of the Don Orione Home in reacting to the need for care with a creative and innovative solution like the Adult Day Health Center speaks volumes about our commitment to the Greater Boston community and our dedication to providing the best level of quality care possible.


Veterans Benefit From Adult Day Health Center Services

WWII veteran Anthony Barrasso celebrated his 100th birthday at Don Orione Home, an event attended by his peers, dignitaries at the local, state and Federal Government levels, and media outlets including The Boston Globe and The Boston Herald.

At Don Orione Home, our trend-setting Adult Day Health Center program caters to the needs of the community's elder population in a way that helps keep them in the community, preserves their independence and promotes a healthy lifestyle to the fullest extent possible.

We are particularly proud of the fact that our Adult Day Health program pays special attention to the aging veterans in our community. For all who served, regardless of when or the role they played in the U.S. Armed Forces, Don Orione Home provides a warm and welcoming environment where their contribution to our country—and to preserving the freedoms we enjoy every day—is recognized, valued and respected.

Caregivers Find New Solutions in Adult Day Health

[Re-printed from The East Boston Times-Free Press]

At right: Ron Kocher with Director of the Don Orione's Adult Day Care Unit Joy Biagiotti, R.N. The Adult Day Care program is one of the oldest in the state and is undergoing renovations to update the facility.

By John Lynds
East Boston Times-Free Press

EAST BOSTON, Ma. — There was a time when Ron Kocher would just stay at home for days on end with no social interaction with the outside world. That all ended two years ago when he began attending the Don Orione's Adult Day Care program in East Boston three days a week.

"I used to just stay home and watch T.V.," said Kocher. "Now I come here and talk to people, play bingo and other games…I really like the people and staff here. They really brought me out of my shell."

Kocher is a lot like the others in the program, many of who have broken out of isolation to become sociable in an environment that allows them to thrive.

"People come for different reasons," said Director of the Adult Day Care Unit Joy Biagiotti, R.N. "Some have caregivers that still need to work, others need more medical monitoring than they would get at home and others, like Ron, come for the socializing."

Biagiotti said the program encourages participation in a whole host of activities throughout the day.

"While it's encouraged we don't force the participants to do anything and they can kind of go at their own pace," said Biagiotti.

Like Frank Puopolo, who suffers from dementia, but enjoys helping the staff with odd jobs.

Puopolo's niece Rachel Cotugno explains her uncle still thinks he's young and working so the staff lets him help out which keeps him busy. The staff up here are angels," said Cotugno. "They have given my uncle in his condition a sense of purpose and he really enjoys coming here. They give him little projects to do like organizing the games and its keeps him busy and happy."

The Don Orione's Adult Day Care program is one of the oldest in the state and was started back in the 1970s.  The program enrolls 37 participants enrolled and there are 20-23 participants on an average day. Families can sign up their loved ones anywhere from 1-5 days per week, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and enrollees are provided with breakfast and    lunch made on the premises each day and a variety of interesting activities.