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Senior Living

Near-Centenarian Makes Friends Quickly in New Home

Juanita Kuhn sitting in a chair

Sisters Alice (left) and Grace Anguria both entered assisted-living facilities together; when Grace died in 2008, Alice found she had great support from her friends there.
Photo: Kathleen Cravedi

Personal Transitions Alice Anguria

By Kathleen Cravedi

When 97-year-old Alice Anguria was asked what she would tell someone who is thinking about transitioning from their own home to an assisted living facility, her answer was quick and thoughtful: "If you can't live in your own home, this is a wonderful place to be."

Alice's transition to a Worcester, Mass., assisted living facility about three years ago was prompted by a desire to continue to live close to her sister Grace. Three years younger than Alice, Grace had suffered a stroke and required care that only a long-term care facility could provide.

Prior to moving into the assisted living facility, Alice and Grace had lived together more than 80 years in the Worcester home in which they were born, before moving into a nearby apartment to simplify their lives. Fortunately, relatives found Alice and Grace a home that included both long-term care and assisted facilities. They were able to stay together, and Alice was able to visit her sister daily until she died in November 2008.

Alice has already made friends at her new home. Frequent luncheon partners and home residents Beatrice Camara and Helen Abounader call Alice a "most remarkable woman." "She doesn't use a walker and has a positive mental attitude," they both echoed.

"I keep busy," says Alice. "We have lots of activities. We are starting a ‘happy hour' next week so residents can meet each other. And every day I exercise, go to Mass, eat meals with my friends, take choir and music classes, and try to read the news daily. And, I never miss the Red Sox, the Patriots, or any other Boston sports event. Everyone tries to help everyone else here."

Asked about the food, Alice weighs her words carefully, "You can't expect it to be like home, but I like the food here. It is pretty good."

Summer 2009 Issue: Volume 4 Number 3 Page 9