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The Western Massachusetts Pioneer in Senior Living

Community Outreach

Link to Annual Outreach Report

Dementia Friendly Communities Coalition

The Loomis Communities, O’Connell Care at Home, and town of South Hadley Departments and Organizations are collaborating on a “Dementia Friendly Communities” initiative. “The responsibility of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia can be both rewarding and overwhelming,” said Constant. “We want the community to know that there are services available to them to ease the stress of providing care.”

Components of the Dementia Friendly Communities project will include training for fire, police, town officials, businesses and family members for communicating with someone with dementia. Educational programs for individuals affected with dementia and their families will also be offered. The collaborative will provide resources for support and education and enrollment in the “Town of South Hadley Assist Persons at Risk Registry” to help emergency responders appropriate assistance to individuals in need.

“It’s important for the public safety agencies in South Hadley to come together with organizations like Loomis and O’Connell Care at Home, as well as town departments like the Council on Aging to ensure the safety and security of our elderly residents with dementia,” said South Hadley Fire District 2 Chief, David Keefe. “Under Carol’s leadership, we’re trying to create a ‘Dementia Friendly Community’ to provide resources and information to families caring for loved ones with dementia.”

Of particular interest to Keefe is the ability for all of the town’s public safety personnel to efficiently and compassionately interact with dementia patients and their families, especially when there is no immediate medical emergency.

According to South Hadley Police Chief, David J. LaBrie, first responders are “dealing more and more with people that have Alzheimer’s or other dementias,” in the home and out in the community. The Dementia Friendly Communities initiative will provide law enforcement and emergency medical personnel with the tools to effectively interact with them and will provide their families with resources to assist those with dementia.

Sheila Pennell, RN Care Manager at O’Connell Care at Home has spearheaded the company’s involvement with the “Dementia Friendly Communities” initiative. “Our goal is to help educate not only families of dementia patients, but the police and fire departments who may be called to provide medical assistance,” said Pennell. “We strive to create a community in which those living with dementia are safe.”

For a schedule of events and more information visit:


Additional Information

About O’Connell Care at Home

For more than two decades, O'Connell Care at Home has taken the words "I am more" to heart. O’Connell considers the needs of every individual and family they work with—physical, social, and emotional—and delivers the most complete home health care and staffing services in the Pioneer Valley. Services range from personal care and homemaking, to transportation, geriatric health care management, and advocacy for the elderly. All are performed by some of the most highly trained and fully accredited personnel in the state. O’Connell Care at Home is based in Holyoke with a secondary office in South Deerfield and a Workforce Training and Professional Development Center in Springfield, providing care and services to all surrounding towns including Easthampton, Northampton, South Hadley, Holyoke, Agawam, Wilbraham and Springfield, as well as all of Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin Counties. For more information, log onto www.opns.com or call 413-533-1030.

About The Loomis Communities

With a mission of enriching the lives of older adults, The Loomis Communities offers independent living apartments and cottages, assisted living, skilled nursing care on four campuses in the Pioneer Valley: Applewood in Amherst, Loomis House in Holyoke, Loomis Lakeside at Reeds Landing in Springfield, and Loomis Village in South Hadley. The Loomis House Nursing Center provides residential dementia special care and a monthly care givers support group. For more information, call 413-538-7551.

Other collaborators on the project include:

  • Town of South Hadley
    • Board of Health
    • Council on Aging
    • Fire District 1
    • Fire District 2
    • Housing Authority
    • Police Department
    • Public Library
    • Selectboard Office
  • Community Organizations
    • Alzheimer’s Association
    • Holyoke Medical Center
    • Members of South Hadley Faith Communities
    • South Hadley and Granby Chamber of Commerce
    • South Hadley Drug and Alcohol Prevention Coalition
    • WestMass ElderCare
2016 Walk to End Alzheimer's

2016 Walk to End Alzheimer's


Outreach Committee 2016 Report

With the goal of having The Loomis Communities be an integral part of life in the Pioneer Valley, a Community Outreach Committee comprised of staff and residents, is delighted to report the following activities during 2016:

  • With the goal of having The Loomis Communities residents and staff an integral part of life in the Pioneer Valley, the Community Outreach Committee is delighted to report the following activities in support of people and non-profit organizations in 2016.
  • Valentine’s cookie saleswere held in conjunction with food drives that raised $2,421 and 912 pounds of food for area food pantries: the Amherst Survival Center, Margaret’s Pantry, Holyoke, Neighbors Helping Neighbors, South Hadley, and Open Pantry in Springfield.
  • Contributions, a wine tasting, blueberry muffins, candy, cookies, hot dog lunches, and quilt raffle raised $7,633 for the Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk.
  • Events, raffles and payroll contributions brought $2,793 to the United Way of Pioneer Valley.
  • The Five College Learning in Retirement and Springfield Learning in Later Life held courses at three of our communities during the year.
  • The Springfield Women’s Club, Springfield Photo Club, the Garden Club of Amherst, Friends of the Orchard Arboretum, Upper Orchard and Hampshire Village Associations, Hampshire College, Amherst Shade & Tree Initiative, the League of Women Voters, and University of Massachusetts held meetings at our communities during the year.
  • Partnerships with area colleges for student learning include the University of Massachusetts, Springfield College, Springfield Technical Community College, Holyoke Community College, Greenfield Community College, American Red Cross and Pioneer Valley CNA students.
  • 31 talks and performances at our communities were open to the public for free.
  • 282 pairs of new socks were collected and contributed to Highland Valley Elder Services and the Holyoke Soldier’s Home.
  • Twenty units of blood were collected at the Loomis House blood drive for the American Red Cross.
  • Used chairs were donated to the United Congregational Church, Holyoke.
  • Applewood residents stuffed packets and mailings for Amherst Survival Center.
  • Loomis Village residents knitted 128 hats for area children, 64 blankets for premature babies, and 31 lap robes for older adults.
  • Hundreds of pounds of gently used clothing, blankets and household items were donated to Amherst’s Bangs Community Center, Amherst Survival Center, Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Goodwill Industries, and Hospice Shop of the Hospice Fisher Home, League of Women Voters, Providence Ministries for the Needy, and The Salvation Army.
  • Residents and staff members wrapped gifts at the Holyoke Mall for a full day to benefit the Holyoke Hospice Life Care and VNA.
  • Loomis House residents made 294 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on two school vacation days for Kate’s Kitchen.
  • The Dementia Friendly Communities Coalition initiative continued in South Hadley and was launched in Holyoke in partnership with Councils on Aging, fire, police and town departments, the Alzheimer’s Association and WestMass Eldercare, UMass College of Nursing, River Valley Counseling Center, Holyoke VNA and Hospice, Soldier’s Home at Holyoke, State Representative Aaron Vega, Center Church, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Bethlehem Baptist Church, St. Patrick’s Church and other area faith communities. The project was co-sponsored by O’Connell Care at Home, PeoplesBank and The Loomis Communities

In addition, The Loomis Communities Marketing Department provided $35,000 in sponsorships for numerous events offered by cultural and nonprofit organizations, in the region:

Alzheimer’s Association of MA/NH, Amherst Senior Center, Arcadia Players, BayState Children’s Hospital Golf Tournament, Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA), Festival of Lights, Tower Square, Fountain Park Concert Series, Hampshire Choral Society, Holyoke Council on Aging, Holyoke High School Musical, Holyoke VNA and Hospice, Jazz Ensemble of Mount Holyoke College, Jones Library, Learning in Later Life, Majestic Theater, Massachusetts Senior Games, Music and Arts South Hadley, Music in Deerfield, New Century Theatre, Old Post Orchestra, Pines Theatre Concerts, Pioneer Valley Friends of the Alzheimer’s Association, St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee, Senior Games, South Hadley Chorale, South Hadley Council on Aging, Springfield Public Forum, Springfield Symphony Orchestra, UMass Fine Arts Center, UMass Sports, and Young at Heart Chorus.

In all, over $50,000 in cash and hundreds of volunteer hours by The Loomis Communities’ staff and residents are dedicated to supporting people and non-profit organizations in the Pioneer Valley and beyond!

Committee Members:


Jean Fusini (Applewood), Betty Odell (Loomis Village),
Charlotte Rockland (Applewood),
Elwin Sanborn (Loomis Village), Rachel Tierney (Loomis Village)


Louise Bevan-Cole, Tina Ferri, Norman Grandbois,
Jill Jensen, Kelley Murphy, and Christine Westerholm
Community Outreach Committee Co-Chairs
Rob Claflin and Carol Constant


Download report