Sesquicentennial Corner—January


St. Francis Home, although in a new building in 1961, was a “home for the aged” rather than a “nursing” home just as it had been from its founding.  The original requirement for entrance into the Home, in fact, was being able to walk into the building.  Here, just as in the old, the men and women had their own sections.  An “L-1,” for Ladies 1, on one door on a stairwell is an almost 60-year-old remnant of the type of designation given to all floors.  The residents on the first and third floors of the new Home were independent or required only light assistance.  In the old building, the dispensary / infirmary was one room with two beds.  A nurse could be called when needed.  In the new building the second floor was known as the infirmary floor.

In the new building, as in their old residence, the Sister in charge of caring for the residents on that floor, the floor supervisor, lived on the floor, always available for them.  During the day, she had a helper.  For the first few years at the new Home, a night nurse, with one aide, was on duty for the whole house.  Among their duties was to check every resident in the building every two hours.

The Sisters were very much a part of the life at St. Francis Home from its foundation.  That continued in the new building.  The wing now used for offices, was the convent for the Sisters who worked there.  In their off hours the Sisters were often with the residents, having fun visiting with them, baking cookies with them, going out for ice cream treats or other activities, helping individuals with ordinary tasks they needed help having done.  They joined the residents in special activities too — the dances with live music that residents and their family members had regularly, Super Bowl and other parties that all enjoyed.  In general, they helped St. Francis Home be a “home” for all in the “family.”