JUNE 7, 1956
NEW YORK—The Montefiore Home, a home for the aged in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, has started a new service which I think might be useful in other parts of the country.
It found that many aged parents really did not have to be placed in an institution so long as they could be provided with care and companionship during the day while their children were at work.
Many of the problems that arise in families with whom an aged parent is living seem to come from the fact that the elderly person is left alone for the whole day. Loneliness, created by a feeling of being rejected, and unhappiness is the result. These bring a conflict between the elderly persons and their children, and sometimes their grandchildren.
So the aged parents usually are placed in an institution.
Instead, the Montefiore Home instituted a "day care" service for aged men and women in its community. Aged parents living within a radius of 14 to 18 miles are picked up in the morning and taken to the home. There, they share all of the institution's workshop facilities, join in the recreational program and benefit from the medical and nursing supervision and case work service offered by the home.
Then, in the evening, they are taken back to their families.
The Montefiore Home feels that this service has improved relationships between the elderly people, their children and their grandchildren. Added to this is the advantage that they are able to continue living with their children, thereby keeping the institution's much-needed bed space available for those whose mental and physical needs cannot be met in a private home.
This day care means that the elderly people have the advantage of companionship with others of their own age and interests. At the same time, they often make things that their children can use in their home, giving pleasure to the children and grandchildren. For a great many elderly people without much money, this brings untold satisfaction.
I tell this story here of the successful experiment being carried on at the Montefiore Home because I think other homes for the aged with the same type of facilities might find this service helpful in their communities.
I went to Toronto, Canada, Monday to speak at a Hadassah luncheon. I enjoyed my day very much but was delayed somewhat on the return trip because of bad weather.
On the way up, I read a little book of poems called "From Scarlet to Gold," by Dorothy Tolonen and published by Bruce Humphries, Inc., of Boston. They are very charming poems, revealing Mrs. Tolonen's gift of feeling and expression.