Archive | December, 2013

Staying Connected

Residents Ruth (left) and Ebba enjoy each others company in the sun room.

Staying connected and engaged with others is an important part of growing older. Not only is this important for older adults’ psychological and emotional well being but also it is important for their physical health. Older adults who socialize with friends and stay connected to family members are in better physical health than those who report social isolation. Sometimes older adulthood can be a lonely time, leaving people feeling sad and depressed. If you’re a senior, read below for a few ideas on how to stay engaged as you age.

If you’re home bound and don’t have many visitors, consider adopting a pet. There are many shelters where you can take a pet home for free. Surely, you will feel the benefits of being a pet owner every day. If you want to learn about the joys of being a pet owner, contact your local animal shelter. They will have all of the necessary information about the steps to becoming a pet owner. They might even allow you to call recent customers who have adopted pets and learn about their experiences.

Some ways to connect with people are through jobs, volunteer opportunities, and continuing education. Part-time jobs and volunteer opportunities are available in most towns and all cities. Many older adults seek out work with children or the elderly. Opportunities can include reading aloud to hospital patients, accompanying children/seniors on outings, and facilitating games with children. If working and volunteering are not up your alley, consider continuing your education. Local colleges and adult enrichment programs often offer courses in creative writing, literature, woodworking, knitting, and others that are open to the public.

Local senior centers or coalition on aging councils are a great way to get out of the house and meet others. Many towns and cities have senior centers, some even with transportation available, so that older adults can come together, play games, exercise, eat lunch, attend information sessions on health and more. The directors of these centers are often well-versed in outreach programs for seniors and keep their center bustling with engaging activities.

At Doolittle Home, there is an activity to engage the residents everyday, thanks to Roz Champagne, Activities Director.

Stan with Roz, Doolittle Home's Activities Director

Roz is adored by the residents. Starting as a volunteer in 2001 before being employed as a Dietary Aide for Doolittle Home, a natural fit was realized when the Director of Activities position became open in January 2004. Roz spends the morning in the nursing unit, followed by various activities, such as a morning stretch program, music appreciation, puzzles, games, poetry, and current events. In the afternoon, Roz can be found in the main house, entertaining the residents with bingo, spelling bees, trivia, amongst other enjoyable activities. Roz books all the entertainment for Doolittle Home with visitors ranging from Crossroads Children Center singing their little hearts out for residents to various community groups and musicians. Doolittle Home’s van provides transportation for trips within the region for out of the home services, such as doctor and dentist appointments, local shopping, and trips to Norton Public Library. Roz is coordinator of Doolittle Home’s volunteer program. Volunteer activities include therapy dog visits, a woman’s discussion group, poetry hour, card making and crafts, as well as a one-on-one program, where volunteers are paired with residents. On Wednesdays each week, bowling is a featured activity, with the mornings focusing on competition and afternoons featuring an assisted bowling program designed for those needing extra care from Doolittle Home’s physical therapist, Marge Howard. Roz is a native North Attleboro resident with 8 children, 14 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren and one very tired husband. Roz always brings her sense of humor and passion for helping others




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Santa’s Helpers Deliver Gifts on Christmas Eve

Allyson, Riley(back row left to right) and Parker Champagne with Abby and Brady Fernandes (front row left to right).

Allyson Champagne began the holiday tradition of being Santa’s helper in 2002. Every Christmas Eve for the last eleven years, Allyson arrives at The Doolittle Home to distribute gifts to each and every resident. An anonymous donor finances the cost of the gifts which are then personally selected and gift wrapped for each resident.

Allyson now brings her younger siblings, Riley and Parker and her fiance’s siblings, twins Abby and Brady Fernandes to help her. The children bring joy to the residents and the magic of the season is spread throughout The Doolittle Home. Delicious treats including cookies, chocolates and punch are served by the children to the residents.

The Doolittle Home is a special place and we are thankful for the many volunteers that make it a part of their tradition to visit and entertain our residents, especially during the holidays. We believe they enjoy it as much as our residents do and that’s why they keep coming back every year.

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The Doolittle Home Welcomes Many Holiday Visitors

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The Doolittle Home is a popular place during the holidays! The residents of the home were entertained with a variety of programs and events, including a few four-legged friends. Activities Director, Roz Champagne books all of the groups and is present for every performance, greeting the visitors and taking photographs.

The month began with a wonderful performance by the Silver Chimers from the Mansfield Coalition on Aging. Led by Mary Hourigan, the musicians used the unique chimes to fill the home with festive music. During the hour-long visit, the residents viewed a collection of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ books from around the world dating back to the 1940’s. A group reading of Robert Frost’s poem, ‘Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening’ was a highlight.

The Smith and Sewell families entertained the residents with songs played on the piano and sung by all. Their children danced happily around the sun room engaging the residents.

The Boy Scouts of Pack 116 made their 8th annual visit to The Doolittle Home, singing songs of the season and distributing handmade containers of candy as part of their service projects. The boys interacted with the residents bringing joy to everyone’s day.

The Jaycees packed the home with over 100 visitors on December 19th. The dining room sparkled with the array of brass instruments to the delight of all. Carols were sung by the accompanying visitors including Clara, Karen and Emma Kierce with their dog, Pearl and Ed, AJ, Julianna and Allyson Butler with their cousin Hunter. Past President of The Doolittle Home’s Trustees, Jack Authelet was joined by his wife Marge and friend Margaret Gallo. Jack and Marge have been caroling at The Doolittle Home for 60 consecutive years! They brought their daughter as an infant in 1953, and have not missed a year. Margaret Gallo has not missed a  year since 1962. They consider it a meaningful part of the holiday season.

A special sign language version of the ‘Christmas Love Song’ was performed by 4th and 5th graders from Church of Emmanuel with their leader, Krista Richardson. The sign for love was displayed many times throughout the performance and enjoyed by the audience.

The piano students of Julie Law-Linck performed “An Afternoon of Holiday and Pops Piano Music” on Sunday, December 22nd. The students were Molly McElhinney, Macy Quinn, Elliot Linck,  Mary Mitchell, Jalen Coffin, Erin McLaughlin, Connor McNamara, Antonia Carbone, Hannah Blake, Jake Ferguson, Kendall Melinder, Mabel Linck, and Samantha Conley. Julie ended the program with a sing-a-long as she played the piano.

The month began with the Annual Holiday Party hosted by The Doolittle Home Board of Trustees for the residents and volunteers. The home is decorated with 3 beautiful Christmas trees inside and white lights decorating the outdoor landscape. The Doolittle Home thanks all who have made time in their busy schedules to entertain and visit us. The home is bursting with the spirit of the season!

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Adjusting to a New Home

Ruth (left) and Ebba are adjusting well to their new home.

Adjusting to assisted living is a challenging transition both for seniors and for their loved ones. One of the most difficult aspects of the change is the older adult living in a different place with new people. Often, a motivating factor for the transition to assisted living is concerns about older adults’ safety living alone. Also, many seniors require more consistent monitoring and increased social engagement, which families are unable to provide without assistance. Although the benefits of assisted living are fruitful, there are also difficult moments in the initial transition phase. Read below for some tips to an smoother transition from independent to assisted living.

Planning visits with friends and loved ones prior to the move is helpful. If you’re a caregiver or family member, facilitating the move is likely one of your roles. Seniors can enter their new home with plans that they can look forward to in the near and distant future. Visits do not have to be elaborate. A short shopping trip or chat at a local café often does the trick. Holidays such as Christmas and New Years can include more substantive plans like a home visit or a short trip away.

Click Here To View Our Activity Scrapbook Of Holiday Celebration Photos

If you’re a senior transitioning to a new home, keeping an open mind is very important. No one is denying the difficulty of leaving all that was familiar and moving to a new environment. There are certain choices you can make to help yourself transition more easily. Socializing with other residents and staff members is one way to feel connected to your new home. Attend events hosted by the assisted living facility and bond with your neighbors.

Consider Respite Care at Doolittle Home

Doolittle Home offers respite care for stays of seven days or more. This allows an older adult to get a taste of Doolittle Home and engage in the daily activities and events while the caregiver takes a vacation or prepares for the holidays. With three hot meals a day, social interaction with the staff and residents in a bed and breakfast atmosphere, it is a wonderful experience for the older adult. The caregiver can be at ease knowing all needs, including nursing care and medication management is handled by our dedicated professional staff.

To schedule a tour call Deanna Willis 508.543.2694.
Click Here To Watch What Others Have To Say About Us




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The Interact Club’s 3rd Annual Visit Is Fun for All

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On Saturday, November 30th, The Foxboro Interact Club entertained and socialized with the residents of Doolittle Home. The afternoon included crafts and games, tea and refreshments. The group brought an array of baked goods along with china plates, china tea cups and damask napkins to make the event extra special for the residents. One of the highlights of the program was a very competitive rendition of the Wheel of Fortune game with holiday prizes for the winners. The puzzle that stumped the residents was “Double Stuffed Oreos” which is a fairly new entry into the cookie world.

The Foxboro Interact Club is a community-based club that is open to any Foxboro student in grades 8 – 12. The Foxboro Interact Club is sponsored by The Foxboro Rotary Club, which provides support and guidance, but the teen club is self-governing and self-supporting.  Each year, Interact Clubs need to complete at least two community service projects and through these efforts, Interactors develop a network of friendships, learn the importance of developing leadership skills and personal integrity, as well as demonstrate helpfulness and respect for others.

Lew Gordon is the leader of the group and Nancy Sepe is the parent organizer.

Doolittle Home is a very popular destination for local groups, especially during the holidays. Activities Director Roz Champagne has more than ten visits scheduled for the month of December. The holiday performances are greatly enjoyed by the residents and staff of the home which is elaborately decorated inside and out for the season.

To view photos of other activities at Doolittle Home, please click here.

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