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 Stoneham Selectwoman Colarusso Addresses Issues Facing Elderly Minimize

 Money Raised for 'Wounded Warrior Project' Minimize

The Resident Council at Bear Hill Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Stoneham, Mass. held a raffle to raise money for The Wounded Warrior Project which benefits American veterans and their families. The prizes were a variety of spectacular baskets created by the staff of Bear Hill. Pictured above are (left to right) Bear Hill Activities Director Marie White, Resident Council President Nina Raia, resident Elinor Roden, and Director of Nursing Peg Archidiacono, RN.

 Valentine's Day Fundraiser Benefits Hallmark Hospice Minimize

Valentine's Day Raffle — The residents at Bear Hill Rehabilitation and Nursing Center held a "Buy a Sweet Treat" fundraiser on Valentine’s Day along with a raffle which was a great success. Proceeds of the event were donated to Hallmark Hospice. Top left to right: William Ring (Administrator), Marie White (Activities Director), Jan Gregory (Hospice Nurse), and Jean Bruno (Hospice Chaplain). Bottom left to right; Bear Hill residents Elinor Roden and Nina Raia (published in the Stoneham Independent newspaper)

 Bear Hill Rehab In The News Minimize


By Rich Tenorio for The Stoneham Sun
Aug. 26, 2015

STONEHAM, Ma. — Three years ago this October, when Everett resident Doreen Odian's mother, Bette Dudley, began suffering from dementia, Odian made the tough decision to place her mother in a nursing home. After a brief stay in that facility, though, Dudley was unhappy.

"She cried for a week," Odian said. "She hated it. They put her in a severe Alzheimers unit."

Odian learned about the Bear Hill Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Stoneham.

"I researched and researched Bear Hill," she said. "I had to work. I had three kids in college. My husband must work. She wasn't reading my notes. She wasn't eating good... Wearing the same clothes. She needed people to oversee her."

She arranged a speedy transfer with Peg Archidiacono, the facilty director of nursing services. She called Archidiacono on a Monday afternoon at 4:30-4:45 p.m.

"They had one bed open," Odian said. "I asked to look at it. I said I would be there at 10 a.m. on Tuesday. She called the other facility said 'I would like to transfer her. Her daughter is goiong to bring her.'"

The move took place at 1:00 p.m. that afternoon. Since that time, Odian has nothing but praise for the facility.

"She has not cried nor asked once to go home," said Odian, a medical secretary for North Suburban Orthopedics in Malden.

With her daugher getting married in two months, Odian took a moment to reflect on the time her mother has been at Bear Hill and the difference the staff has made in the lives of their family.

"A nurse offered to take her to the wedding," Odian said. "I can't say enough good things."

Dudley lives on the first floor of the facility in the long-term care unit. She will turn 82 in September. She used to work in a school cafeteria. Her roommate is actually someone she knew years before from their hometown of Everett. The roommates each have their own TV, and Dudley has been placed by a window. Odian decorated her room with flowers. Odian and her husband, Jim Odian, take Dudley out once or twice a week.

"Part of our policy is to embrace family involvement," said administrator William E. Ring Jr. "The families know more about patients in residency than we'll ever know. We welcome family involvement. At a lot of functions, we invite families in."

Doreen Odian has gotten invited to Thanksgiving dinner at Bear Hill.

"They try to do a lot of activities," she said.

That includes group activities once a month, a New Year's singalong and a Christmas trip to a shrine.

At Bear Hill itself, there is a dining room with a pub and grill, featuring entertainment such as accordionists, country line dancing and bingo and movie nights. The Stoneham Coin Club makes monthly visits.

The facility straddles the Stoneham-Wakefield line and, Ring said, "if you have a good arm and you throw a golf ball north, it'll land in Reading."

He also said, "We try to prioritize the needs of folks from local communities, Stoneham, Wakefield."

The privately-owned facility is not part of a chain. Management admits about 500 people a year and sends about 80 percent of people home after short-term stays.

"We have a very friendly, upbeat, kind and compassionate staff," Ring said. "They're the ones that make it happen."

Odian agrees.

"(From) the janitorial staff, the CNA, the food people, to everbody, they're so pleasant, so sweet," she said. "They always say hello, 'Hi, Bette.'... They have gone above and beyond for her."

She also said, "Every single person in the place is unbelievable."

Odian said that while her mother cannot remember something that happened five minutes ago, she can remember events that took place years ago.

"We talk about the old days, the good times," Odian said.

Odian is her mother's health-care proxy and has power of attorney. She applied for MassHealth to help with caring for her moth. She has one brother, who lives in Ohio. Her father died at age 56.

She said that her children and husband have been "wonderful, and also praised her niece and nephew.

"My family is there to visit her," she said.

She also gave Bear Hill the ultimate compliment, through her mother.

"It's like my mother called it 'my home,'" Odian said. "Her home."



STONEHAM, MA — Bear Hill Rehabilitation and Nursing Center received the 2015 Post-acute Collaborative Participation Award from the Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH). The award recognizes post-acute facilities that participate in the Collaborative and have shown dedication in improving the care stroke patients receive in the post-hospital setting.

Collaborative participants have been collecting data on stroke patients, participating in regional meetings and learning session, and participating in quality improvement activities in their facilities.

“At Bear Hill we strive to provide exceptional care to all our patients. We are proud to be working on improving the post-acute care of stroke patients. Being honored by this award emphasizes the importance of our work,” said Peg Archidiacono, RN, Director of Nursing at Bear Hill.

Stroke is the fourth-leading cause of death in the Commonwealth, and a leading cause of adult disability. Immediate assessment and treatment is critical to help improve outcomes.

Knowing the key signs and symptoms of stroke and calling 9-1-1 immediately can save a life. The F.A.S.T. acronym is an easy way to remember:  

  • Face: Does the face look uneven? Ask the person to smile
  • Arm: Does one arm drift down? Ask the person to raise both arms
  • Speech: Does the speech sound strange? Ask the person to repeat a phrase
  • Time: If you observe these symptoms, call 9-1-1

For more information about the Massachusetts Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Registry, or about FAST and the DPH stroke awareness campaign, please visit:

Bear Hill Rehabilitation and Nursing Center has been providing outstanding health care in the Boston area since 1983. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health designated Bear Hill as a Coverdell Post-Hospital QI Collaborative member in 2014. For more information, please contact Peg Archidiacono, RN, Director of Nursing at 781-438-8515 or via email at



Our facility was the place to be when over 60 people gathered for breakfast and a discussion of senior care issues. Hosted by Bill Ring, Administrator of Bear Hill and a Mass Senior Care ambassador, the event was attended by several area nursing center administrators and associate members, as well as residents and staff of Bear Hill and honored guests Senator Jason Lewis and Chairman of the Stoneham Board of Selectman Paul Rotundi.

The event featured a facility tour, a full breakfast and a program with comments by Senator Lewis, host Bill Ring, and Tara Gregorio, Mass Senior Care Director of Government Relations. Representative Lewis, a frequent visitor to Mass Senior Care facilities in his district, shared his views on Massachusetts health care and his belief that health care is a basic human right.  Tara Gregorio outlined the Commonwealth’s plan to create Accountable Care Organizations and the need for a cooperative effort to reduce costs and improve quality of care by reducing unnecessary hospitalizations,

and also stressed the need for adequate funding for quality nursing home care in Massachusetts.  The Breakfast is one of many events hosted by Mass Senior Care members with a goal of educating and informing the public about critical senior care issues.

Pictured: Enjoying breakfast and conversation at Bear Hill’s political breakfast were Bear Hill resident Katie Jones, Senator Jason Lewis, Administrator Bill Ring, Tara Gregorio of Mass Senior Care, and resident Mary Pothier.



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