The Stoneham Independent 10/7/2009
Bear Hill Residents Hold Successful Bakesale Fundraiser for Domenic
JANET SOUSA OF THE BEAR HILL NURSING CENTER lent a hand at the Fall Festival Bake Sale and Raffle in an effort to raise funds for a local youth fighting cancer.
In support of a local boy in his battle with cancer, Barbara Kirk and Nina Rayia, Vice President and President (respectively) of the Residents Council, organized the bake sale event with help from Eleanor Roden, Director of Activities Carolyn Reid, and the late Edna Dorgan.
Nursing Home Residents Honor Administrator for Innovative Program
Residents at the Bear Hill Rehabilitation and Nursing Center awarded their own administrator, Bill Ring, for implementing a new program—"Two's Company"—at the rehabilitation and long term care facility in Stoneham, MA.
Ring conceived and developed the program to give higher-functioning residents a sense of purpose and satisfaction, and to provide less fortunate residents with peer socialization and support. All participants benefit from friendly interaction and caring exchanges of the program, implemented through the perseverance of the Activities Department of Carolyn DiBennedito, Heather Hill and social worker Jenny Ford. Family members and care givers alike praise the program for the positive impact it has made in the residents' lives.
In the foreground are Edith Howe, Grace Rufo and Marcia Hume, who presented the award to administrator Ring (standing).
The Stoneham Independent 5/16/07
Bear Hill rehab is good to my family
Dear Editor: I consider Bear Hill Rehabilitation & Nursing Center to be one of the finest nursing facilities in the area. Both management and the administrative staff are very professional, kind, courteous, caring and compassionate to all of your needs and concerns.
Any situation is always handled with efficiency, diplomacy and their on-going efforts to always assist you with any help you may need. They always show respect and are very dedicated in all they do for the family members, and most importantly, for their loved ones residing at Bear Hill. This facility always maintains a bright, cheery, exceptionally clean and happy atmosphere, that always welcomes you whenever you visit your loved one.
My mom is very well cared for; safe and protected while living at Bear Hill. The nurses have always been extremely kind, professional and helpful in any way they can to care for my mother and her needs, as well as to always listen to any of my concerns and be of help to me.
The staff and the individuals that I have come to know deserve much praise and recognition for all the hard work and dedication they give. “Hats Off!” to all of those who contribute in making Bear Hill the great facility that it is. I am proud to say that Bear Hill is a place to call “Home” for my mother!
-- Linda S.
The Boston Herald
AS YOU WERE SAYING...
By Tom Walsh
Nursing budget back to health should not deprive the elderly
Imagine my surprise when a cute young nurse called my dad her "Clint Eastwood."
Dad was a skinny, bifocal-wearing, dentured, thin-haired 77-year-old living at Bear Hill Nursing Home in Stoneham. He used a cane and a walker but had a heck of a smile. So it caused quite a laugh when, the nurse told us at our father's wake, how she would play cops 'n' robbers with him as she made her rounds. She was the robber, he was Dirty Harry with Polident.
In the seven years he lived there, Bear Hill, like other facilities, placed a heavy emphasis on the "home" part of its name. So it's with no little outrage that I read about Gov. Mitt Romney's plan to change the rules covering a nursing home's ability to hold a bed for a resident who requires a hospital stay. A Romney official told a Herald reporter this week that there are between 3,500 and 4,000 beds held each day for nursing home residents who are in the hospital.
"It's a day of payment in which the facility provides no services to MassHealth," the spokesman said. "We simply shouldn't and can't pay for services we're not receiving."
That's a shortsighted point of view. What if the State House staff jettisoned all the governor's files and computers and furniture every time he was out of town for a few days, forcing him to find a new office when he came back? The notion that the state is not receiving a service from the nursing home on days a person is in the hospital is flat out wrong. The nursing home isn't just holding a bed; it's maintaining a room that has become a person's home.
The trouble is, our mothers, fathers and grandparents who need nursing home care are likely to require a spell in a hospital at some point. In many cases the thought of going back to a familiar environment is what helps elderly patients get through a hospital stay. My dad--no stranger to hospitals--was always comforted in the days after a surgery by the phrase, "Don't worry dad, you'll be going home soon."
Home was his room at Bear Hill, with his blue recliner, the pictures of friends and family on the wall, the Herald delivered to his bed each morning and his plants in the window. More than that, it was the staff, from kitchen helpers to janitors to nurses and administrators, who would stop by his room or talk to him in the library or the hallway that became an extended family, people who took the time to know and love him in the years he lived among them.
Why should an elder who has raised a family, paid his taxes and served his country be forced to adjust to a new setting in a time when he is most vulnerable? What if the room is given away and the home fills to capacity? Should a resident and family be put through the ordeal of finding another home? In January, my dad was forced back into the hospital again. This time, he was slipping away and we knew it was the end. We didn't want him to die in the hospital, so we took him home--back to Bear Hill, where his room was waiting.
From the time he was back inside until he passed away a day later, his nursing home family came by to visit with him and us. They cried with us, laughed with us and prayed with us for this man who wasn't just a patient to them.
The state budget may be a mess, but fixing it without taking into account the needs of vulnerable citizens is poorly thought out.
Tom Walsh is a Boston Herald reporter. As You Were Saying is a regular feature of the Boston Herald. We invite our readers to contribute pieces of no more than 600 words. Mail contributions to the Boston Herald, P.O. Box 2096, Boston, MA 02106-2096, fax them to 617-542-1315 or e-mail to oped@ bostonherald.com. All submissions are subject to editing and become the property of the Boston Herald.
The Stoneham Independent
In praise of Bear Hill Nursing Home
The family of the late Olga Guerrini wishes to acknowledge the excellent care provided to her at the Bear Hill Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Stoneham. Olga had been at the Nursing Center for the past five years until her recent passing in February. Olga enjoyed her stay and made many friends.
She especially enjoyed Saturday nights watching Lawrence Welk together with her friends while having refreshments. The staff of Bear Hill was always attentive and caring and provided a surrounding for Olga that was like home-away-from home. Early in her stay when she was more able, she attended many of the activities regularly planned by the nursing center for their residents.
They also provided space for us to hold parties for Olga. These parties were always a hit with the other residents and staff alike and brought great cheer to her. Over the past few months the staff were very supportive during difficult times and kept Olga as comfortable as possible.
We would like to extend our heartful thanks to all at Bear Hill Nursing Center for their great spirit of commitment and love for their residents.
-- the Family of Olga Guerrini