For nearly 40 years, Adult Day Center of Westerly has served as a welcoming daytime home for the community’s older adults that offers not only health care and social services but also engagement for participants and peace of mind for their caretakers and loved ones.
Like many, we were saddened to learn the creative force behind this longstanding institution — Florence (Saunders) Madison — passed away last month.
Described as a visionary and a mentor by colleagues, Florence’s inspiration for the Day Center came from a friend’s struggle to care for her aging husband, who suffered from dementia. Realizing her friend’s predicament mirrored others in the community, Florence took action, starting the center as a means to meet the needs of aging seniors and their caregivers alike. Under her leadership and direction, the center has blossomed from a few participants based out of Dunn’s Corner Community Church to a space of its own with 35 daily clients, obtaining licensure and grant funding along the way to ensure sustainability into the future.
Now under the supervision of PACE-RI, a nonprofit health insurer and care provider for seniors, the Adult Day Center of Westerly serves as a lasting tribute to Florence, whose can-do attitude remains “embedded in the floorboards,” according to Day Center Director Jennifer Young.
We thank Florence for showing us the way to a better future for aging loved ones and are honored to continue her vision.
Joan Kwiatkowski, Barrington
Kelly Lee, Coventry