Resident Artist


IMG_1262      Vinnie is the resident artist at the Odd Fellows Home. He generously donated a number of pieces of his artwork to auction off  at our recent Harvest Moon Auction in order to raise money for the improvement of our facility. The painting that Vinnie donated to the Odd Fellows home to auction off is called Perseus and Pegasus, which is Vinnie’s own interpretation of the greek mythical characters.  He has also donated two modern sketches  –  a school kid and an African woman and several framed photographs of his paintings.

    Vinnie is from Fornia, a small town between Naples and Rome in Italy. His family came to Worcester in 1961 in search of job opportunities and to improve their financial situation. He went to high school at the North High School and took Premed Biology in The College of the Holy cross and even completed 3 years of medical school in the University of Rome before deciding that it was not the right profession for him. He discovered his true passion as a Soccer coach to school and college kids. He coached Soccer for 20 years in Florida. He also ran a small construction company in Tampa after learning the trade from his brother.

Vinnie came to the Odd Fellows Home in 2008 after a serious auto accident which caused him to loose function of his limbs. Vinnie says his greatest inspiration in life are his parents; Vinnie also respects and admires Charles Krauthammer, an American Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist, political commentator, and physician. Charles Krauthammer completed his medical studies and graduated with his class after being paralyzed from a diving accident. Krauthammer is also one of the most influential political analyst, commentator and columnist in America.

IMG_1263Vinnie draws his artistic inspiration from the Italian artist Giorgio de Chirico.  Vinnie is the happiest when he is painting or sketching. He says it is a very therapeutic experience for him and he feels absolutely no pain from the neuropathy in his foot while painting. Vinnie is grateful to Bea Fontaine, the Activities Director at The Odd Fellows Home and the art teacher, Elaine for introducing him to art. He initially started with oil painting on small canvases and has now moved on to explore and experiment with other medium. He also enjoys sketching now. Vinnie loves spending time with his family and going out with them to dinner and the movies. He says his sister and his brother in law have been his strongest pillars of support and have encouraged him throughout. Vinnie recently had his art displayed for the first time in a gallery in Tampa, FL. He has plans to display his artwork on his own website with help from his brother in law.  He also hopes to write a fictionalized account of his life. When he is not painting or sketching, Vinnie likes to read books, he particularly enjoys Shakespeare, philosophy and the classics. He also loves reading poetry by the Italian poet, Dante Alighieri and the modern Spanish, Italian or French literature.

Giving Thanks!

We are grateful to all of you for your kindness, love and support over all these years. We would like to wish you a Warm and Happy Thanksgiving with your loved ones. This is a perfect time to share a sweet letter we received from our resident’s daughter.

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As always we are touched by the kindness showered on us and the support we receive from our residents and their family members. We received a lovely letter addressed to Bea Fontaine, Activities Director from our resident’s daughter thanking her and the activities staff for the birthday party they organized for her father’s 100th birthday. It is kind words like these that truly encourage and motivate us to continue to provide excellent care to our residents.

Here is what she had to say:

“Dear Bea,Thank you for making my dad’s 100th birthday so special! When I mentioned to you that I wanted to bring in a cake for my dad’s birthday. you told me that it would be a good idea to have it at lunchtime. It was a great idea!While I was decorating the  dining room, you brought down an enormous Happy 100th Birthday balloon. There was even a piano player at the party. It was sweet of you and your team to read our my dad’s biography and his “Words of Wisdom”. My husband and I were treated to a delicious lunch. The cake was brought out all lit up and everyone sang a Happy Birthday to my dad, the party turned out more perfect that I had imagined it.
Thanks for making it such a memorable day for my family and especially for my dad. I really appreciated it and so did my dad. I could tell that he was very happy when he actually stood up and made a speech. It was very sweet to see all the residents wish him a Happy Birthday on their way out of the dining room. Sincerely,Eileen”

Odd Fellows Home is Deficiency Free!

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Odd Fellows Home is proud to announce that we were declared Deficiency Free during the recent Department of Public Health Survey.  The state surveyors look for several indicators of quality care in a nursing facility such as medication management, pain management, medical records, therapy, wound care, food service, recreational activities, etc. They tour the facility to assess the environment, cleanliness and resident safety measures. The residents and family members are interviewed by the surveyors to see if the residents’ needs are met and if they are being treated with dignity. To achieve a deficiency free survey under such stringent conditions is indeed a great achievement.  Congratulations to all the staff for their hard work and team effort.



Resident turns 100!

Our dear long term resident, Maurice Shapiro celebrated his 100th birthday on Wednesday July 10th.  We enjoyed celebrating his birthday with him and his family. He sportingly wore an emperor’s crown for the party and thoroughly enjoyed the festivities. All the residents came down to join in the lunch party and wish Maurice a Happy 100! Our activities team thoughtfully compiled Maurice’s life story and presented it to him. Maurice graciously thanked everyone for being a part of his big day!

Here are some pictures from the party:

Laptop Donation

We would like to thank United Healthcare for their generous donation of two laptops that will be placed in common areas for use by our residents.

United Health Care


Yoga for our residents

Our residents enjoy participating in the yoga class conducted here every week.  The style of yoga conducted is the Chair Yoga which is performed while sitting on  a stable chair for most of the exercises.  Some of the postures can also be performed standing up for a little added challenge.   Chair yoga provides a gentle workout and helps relieve the aches and pains of arthritis which seems to be a condition many senior members suffer from. The moving and stretching to the rhythm of the music is another reason why our residents enjoy this activity so much.

Here are some pictures from a yoga session:

Arthritis and Yoga

There are several benefits to routine practice of yoga such as blood pressure management, combating allergies, healthy back, improved mental health, etc. just to name a few. Many studies have also linked the benefits of yoga to relieve symptoms of Arthritis. Below is an article from Arthritis Today that talks about the different styles of yoga and those that are best suited for someone suffering from Arthritis.

Yoga That’s Right for You

Pick the yoga practice that’s best for your joints.

By Camille Noe Pagán
Looking for a way to feel better that doesn’t involve popping another pill? Try yoga.Science supports this mind-body activity as good medicine for arthritis. Among the most recent evidence: Yoga reduced disability and eased swollen joints and pain without causing adverse effects in thousands of study participants, according to a review of clinical trials conducted between 1980 and 2010. The study, funded in part by the Arthritis Foundation, was published in Rheumatic Disease Clinics of North America.“Most importantly, we found that yoga does not exacerbate disease symptoms for persons with arthritis. With proper instruction, it is a safe way for people to stay active and mindful, both of which are associated with a variety of health benefits,” says lead author Steffany Moonaz, PhD, a health behaviorist and yoga research consultant in Baltimore, Md., and founder of Yoga for Arthritis.Here’s the scoop on a variety of types – and whether they’re safe for you.Viniyoga

Viniyoga is typically practiced in private, one-on-one sessions with a yoga instructor who modifies various yoga poses to match your skill level, health status and fitness goals.

OK with arthritis: Yes, with a qualified instructor. Look for someone who has experience with arthritis and/or other joint conditions.

Keep in mind: “Because Viniyoga poses are highly adapted, they may appear quite different than they would in other yoga traditions,” says Moonaz.


The goal of restorative yoga is to relax, rest and restore. Poses, which are held for between five and 15 minutes at a time, are done using lots of props, such as ropes and foam blocks. “So the body is completely supported and minimal or no muscular effort is necessary to maintain the posture,” says Moonaz.

Okay with arthritis? Yes.

Keep in mind: Unlike almost all other forms of yoga, Restorative yoga doesn’t build physical fitness—but it’s particularly beneficial for individuals with arthritis who are seeking to relieve stress as a way to reduce disease activity, notes Moonaz.

Power Yoga

As its name suggests, power yoga is a vigorous and fast-paced practice that modifies poses from various practices, such as Ashtanga and Bikram, and provides a cardio workout in addition to strengthening and stretching.

OK with arthritis: Not typically.

Keep in mind: Says Moonaz, “Very fit individuals with mild arthritis might be okay with power yoga, but most instructors will gear classes toward a very active population who is aiming to get an intense workout.”


With Vinyasa yoga, a series of poses is done in a row; each pose transitions into the next.

OK with arthritis? In some cases.

Keep in mind: “Many Vinyasa classes are complex and involve a lot of weight-bearing through the hands. Look for ‘Gentle Vinyasa,’ which tends to be slower and are less likely to require you to support your body weight through your hands,” advises Jane Foody, a New York City-based physical therapist and certified yoga instructor who works with individuals with arthritis. Adds Moonaz, “Unless you have very mild arthritis, I wouldn’t recommend Viyasa unless it’s a private lesson or a small class with a well qualified instructor who can take the time to offer proper individualized instruction.”


Ashtanga is a type of vigorous yoga that involves moving quickly between poses.OK with arthritis? No.Keep in mind: “Ashtanga probably moves too quickly to be safe for this population, unless it is taught at a very basic level and significantly modified for people with arthritis,” says Moonaz.Chair YogaWith chair yoga, gentle yoga poses are primarily performed while seated.

OK with arthritis? Yes.

Keep in mind: Chair yoga is ideal for seniors and those with limited mobility, says Foody. Listen to your body and communicate with your teacher if anything feels uncomfortable, adds Moonaz.


A blanket term for poses commonly identified with yoga, Hatha involves balancing and stretching in seated, standing and prone positions. Usually performed slowly, it concentrates on strengthening and reducing stress.

OK with arthritis? In some cases.

Keep in mind: Because class intensity varies widely, “It’s always best to ask the instructor what the class involves,” says Foody.


Props such as blocks and ropes are used to ease into poses without causing strain or injury with Iyengar yoga.

OK with arthritis? Yes.

Keep in mind: “Iyengar is well suited for people with arthritis because there is a lot of attention to individual alignment and limitations,” says Moonaz. “A beginner level class is recommended so that you have the time and attention to properly adapt poses to your needs.”

Key tip: Once you’ve found a class that’s right for you, start slow, do only what feels comfortable, and if you feel any joint pain during a pose, stop doing it.

Try Yoga at Home

Face-to-face yoga instruction is invaluable when you’re starting out. But you can start at home, too, with a yoga DVD. Choose one that includes modified poses and step-by-step instructions, such as  Easing Into Yoga with registered yoga instructor Linda Howard. The program is designed for those who are new to yoga, who want to learn at their own pace, or who live with illness or injury.

Joint Commission Accredited

  We are excited to share the news with everyone that Odd Fellows Home has received the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for accreditation by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in long term care.

  The accreditation award recognizes Odd Fellows Home’s dedication to continuous compliance with The Joint Commission’s state of the art standards.

Communication Difficulties and Seniors

There are many different hearing, language, and speech problems that affect the senior community. By understanding the symptoms, seniors can seek the treatment they need and identify the problem as early as possible. At  Odd Fellows Home we provide audiology services which involve an Otoscopic evaluation and a hearing screening. A licensed speech therapist also provides treatments to residents who have speech difficulties. A holistic treatment plan is created involving the physician and different departments like nursing, activities, rehabilitation, etc. has listed below some common communication difficulties experienced by the senior population:

Hearing difficulties affect over 10 million seniors in the United States and the most common cause of this is presbycusis which is age-related hearing loss. This loss of hearing happens slowly, and first results in the difficulty to hear high-frequency sounds as someone talking. As this condition gets worse, lower-frequency sounds can become difficult to hear as well. Some of the symptoms include: difficulty hearing in noisy places, ringing in the ears, and voices sounding slurred or mumbled. It will also be easier to understand a man’s voice than a woman’s. While there is no cure for this condition, there are some treatments available with the most common being hearing aids. Of course any purchase of a hearing aid should be completed by licensed audiologist.

Aphasia is a condition where seniors experience impairment in language ability. Symptoms may include the inability to understand language, inability to form words or pronounce words, and inability to read or write. The major causes of aphasia are strokes and head injuries. And because of the complex nature of aphasia there is no universal treatment method. It presents itself differently in patients and, therefore, requires a team effort in providing a treatment plan. This may include a doctor, social worker, speech pathologist, psychologist, and occupational therapist. Overall treatment has been known to create positive outcomes when learning to adjust to these limitations in communication.

Dysarthria is a disorder that interferes with the normal production of speech. People who have dysarthria often have challenges with vocal quality, range, tone, strength in speech, and timing. Causes of dysarthria include degenerative disease (Parkinson’s, Huntington’s disease, and ALS), embolic stroke, and traumatic brain injury. Treatment is typically done by speech pathologists and includes a variety of techniques.

If you notice a change in speech, memory, organization, or communication in general than it should be reported to your physician or the senior’s physician immediately. These problems can often occur when there is an underlying problem, so it’s important to address this as soon as possible.

Respite Care at The Odd Fellows Home