A long-term care and rehabilitation facility in Jamaica concluded its month-long 150th anniversary celebration on May 31 honoring and inducting seven centenarians into its very own ‘Century Club’ with a festive afternoon filled with live music and refreshments.
Chapin Home for the Aging, located at 165-01 Chapin Pkwy., issued certificates to its patients celebrating their 99th and 100th birthday and received a proclamation and citations from Congresswoman Grace Meng’s office and state Senator Leroy Comrie.
“This party hosted in this place of compassionate care, this true home away from home is possible today because of the actions on the first of May, 1869, 150 years ago,” said Jennifer McManaman, Chapin Home administrator. “The articles of incorporation were signed and the noble mission to care for the frail and elderly were established by Mrs. Hannah Chapin and several of her society friends.”
The Chapin Home for the Aging was founded in Manhattan in 1869 by Hannah Chapin, wife of the celebrated orator and pastor, Edwin Chapin, of the church of the Divine Paternity of New York City and 20 other dedicated women. They resolved to provide a home for healthy, elderly men and women — individuals in reduced circumstances, not under 65 years old, and not having reached their 80th year.
Following the growth of the city with its noise, confusion, traffic and subsequent congestion, Chapin relocated to Jamaica in 1910 where its residents could enjoy healthful open-air exercises and activities, without incurring the dangers attending them on the crowded streets of Manhattan.
Since relocating to Jamaica, the center has continued to provide aging men and women a true home, with a commitment of care and passion spanning three centuries. It offers a wide variety of services including skilled nursing, rehabilitation and adult day care.
Frances Cottone, 99, a member of the Chapin Home community since August 2014, served in the U.S. Marines for three years, and often speaks of her experience proudly wearing her red veteran cap on national holidays.
“I showed training films to the pilots in Cherry Point, North Carolina, where I was serving and I met my husband there and got married, and then I was discharged honorably,” Cottone said.
Cottone remains very active in her life at Chapin Home serving as the vice president of the Resident Council. When she’s not involved in groups and social events, she enjoys reading books she receives from the Queens Mail-a-Book program in the local library.
“I very much enjoy here going to play bingo and all of the different shows and things they have here. I’ve enjoyed every minute,” said Cottone.
Meanwhile, Grace Florio, 99, loves to tell the story of how she learned to dance later in life and would go to the Roseland Ballroom in Manhattan every weekend. Florio has been a member of the Chapin Home community since June 2018.
“They have chair yoga here and I like that for exercise and also bingo,” said Florio. “People come here with guitars and they play entertaining the audience.”
Living at the home for almost eight years, George Stack, president of the Chapin Home Resident Council, expressed his happiness and gratitude towards the facility for their love and compassion.
“I can say that what those ladies did way back when, it’s still being carried on today because the care and concern that is being shown to us who live here is a sign of faith and love,” said Stack. “It’s a sign that people believe in us … the needy … those who can’t take care of themselves anymore. They’re doing this because of love. We thank not just those ladies from 1869, but we thank the lovely ladies and wonderful gentlemen who still work here and care for us.”