April 8, 2021

Adventist Retirement Home in Italy Expands Even as the Pandemic Rages On

Hopemedia Italia, Inter-European Division, and Adventist Review

A retirement home managed by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Italy is expanding even as the pandemic rages on. Casa Mia, located in Forlì, Emilia-Romagna, Italy, will add two novel services to its offerings during 2021, Hopemedia Italia recently announced.

The first improvement includes adding green spaces around the institution. The second is to adapt some spaces inside the facility to provide care to those with Alzheimer's and dementia.

Exclusive Green Spaces

Thanks to an agreement with local city officials, 2,000 square meters (about 21,500 square feet) of the Parco delle Stagioni (Seasons Park) will be temporarily allocated to the retirement home residents. It is expected the green area adjacent to the facilities will be fenced off by mid-April, so it can be used free of charge by the residents. Gazebos and benches in the site will now be exclusively assigned to Casa Mia.

“During the pandemic, residents lost access to the park [to protect their health],” said Fabian Nikolaus, Casa Mia general coordinator. “Together with the municipal administration, we decided to dedicate a green area for the exclusive use of our residents until the end of the current year.”

Alzheimer’s Ward

A more encompassing project is expected to be ready by October 2021. Some spaces inside the retirement home are being adapted for exclusive use by residents with dementia and Alzheimer’s. The goal is to provide them with specialized care.

“Currently, [dementia and Alzheimer’s] affect about half of our 82 residents,” Nikolaus said. “The challenge is now to create something original and innovative. Our goal is to take people’s habits into account and customize our services according to the needs of each patient.”

Casa Mia aims to reduce physical and pharmacological risks to protect the safety of each resident, Nikolaus explained. “It means we must eliminate barriers such as bed rails, tables in wheelchairs, and access to medication,” he said. “We will try to recreate environments, activities that recall memories, to channel the residents’ moments of agitation into pleasant events.”

About Casa Mia

Retirement home Casa Mia is a social outreach initiative of the Adventist Church in Italy, part of the worldwide network of Adventist health-care institutions. Casa Mia looks to take care of the elderly in an appropriate environment, caring for each person’s needs and habits, church leaders in Italy said.

The institution is also a member of the European-based Advent-Care Network, which seeks to provide support and expertise to health organizations and services in line with the Adventist health message. According to its stated goal, its aim is “to share God’s love through the example of the ministry of Jesus Christ, by providing physical, mental, social and spiritual healing and well-being.”

The original version of this story was posted on the Inter-European Division news site.