Nursing home goes extra mile to keep family together for woman’s 100th birthday
AMHERST, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - The Center for Extended Care in Amherst held a special birthday for one resident, who celebrated her 100th birthday on Saturday.
It was a celebration of the century for Claire Vermette as she and 3 generations of her family threw a party to mark down another year on the books.
Vermette’s daughter Jean Watts told Western Mass News that over Claire’s 100 years on earth, she has spread a lot of wisdom to her kids.
“She’s a good, old-fashioned pioneer woman,” Watts said. “We’ve learned a lot from her. She’s always been there for us, and the fact that we still have her, we feel very blessed.”
Vermette’s granddaughter Yvette D’Amore told Western Mass News that this is the first full family gathering they have had since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. She added that having Claire’s great-grandkids in attendance and having family from out of town call in via Zoom made this birthday even more special.
“I haven’t seen most of my family in so long unless it’s like one here, one there,” D’Amore told us. “We’re never, ever all together. There is still some family in Colorado that couldn’t make it, and in Minnesota. Later on, we’re going to be Zooming them so everyone can say hello.”
Watts told us that this 100-year birthday bash could have had a different venue. Before being housed at the Center for Extended Care in Amherst, Vermette was in one of the 4 nursing homes that announced closures in western Massachusetts.
Watts added that the extended care in Amherst not only took in Claire among many other elderly folks, but also took on 2 other elderly members of their family, even putting them on the same floor, helping Claire’s family celebrate 100 years and many more together.
“They went above and beyond and opened this wing early so we could take care of them,” Watts said. “They have been very accommodating. They didn’t even know us for 2 months and they’re letting us have a party here, which is great.”
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