The Community Family (TCF) was founded in Everett, MA in 1978 with a $20,000 grant and borrowed space. It was founded by a group of local families and professionals who were concerned about the few community options available at that time. The Everett center was one of Massachusetts’ first adult day health centers and quickly demonstrated the effectiveness and affordability of community-based long term care services – a novel approach at the time. Several years later, guided by the belief that adult day health services could successfully care for those with dementia, The Community Family opened one of the nation’s first Alzheimer’s-specific adult day health programs in Medford in 1981. This center remains the only Alzheimer’s-specific center in Medford and the neighboring geographic areas we serve.
The success of the Medford center attracted the attention of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, who provided seed money for TCF’s second Alzheimer’s center in Lowell. This center opened in 1989. The Lowell center soon proved the effectiveness and financial viability of Alzheimer’s adult day health services and, along with the Medford center, was designated a national demonstration model of care by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
In March 2019, The Community Family assumed ownership of the Robert Dutton, MD Adult Day Health Center in Wakefield from MelroseWakefield Healthcare, formerly Hallmark Health System. The Dutton Center’s roots, like The Community Family, go back more than four decades, including the past 20 years under MelroseWakefield/Hallmark Health. Despite TCF not having expanded in 30 years, the unique opportunity to take over the Dutton Center was appealing. Its contiguous geographic region to TCF’s existing centers and the fact both are mission- and community-based organizations were large parts of the appeal. With the addition of the Dutton Center, The Community Family brought 60 new clients into our ‘family’.
Today, TCF is a fiscally stable organization with centers in Everett, Medford, Wakefield and Lowell. With the exception of the newly owned Dutton Center, each program has moved from their original modest physical space into new or completely renovated buildings in recent years. TCF provides quality, cost-effective care for 325+ individuals and their families and caregivers at our four locations. Since our founding, our approach has prevented the unnecessary nursing home placement of thousands of frail elders, adults with disabilities and those with Alzheimer’s disease.
TCF draws its participants from the cities in which its four centers are located and from surrounding communities. All TCF participants have a chronic health condition that requires expert health monitoring from our skilled nursing staff. Participants attend according to an individualized weekly schedule. The centers create warm, home-like atmospheres where participants feel like they are spending their days at the “club”. Our care and services have kept our participants safe, healthy and in the homes and communities in which they live.
TCF is proud to have provided care at high standards established more than four decades ago. Over that time, exceptional leadership and progressive thinking have allowed us to attain notable achievements. In addition to constructing and/or renovating four beautiful, modern centers, TCF has in recent years:
• Opened the first green adult day health center in Massachusetts in Everett;
• Developed our own transportation service for greater quality control and increased flexibility to meet the needs of our families;
• Initiated innovative programming like a thriving music therapy program, an engaging art therapy program, intergenerational Wii-based exercises, Laughing Yoga and an interactive computer system entitled It’s Never 2 Late;
• Broadened the range of services offered in Lowell to include not just those with Alzheimer's disease but those with other health conditions as well.
TCF’s comprehensive services in a home-like environment are a distinguishing characteristic that gives us a unique role in the continuum of long-term care services. Through 40 years of service, TCF has maintained its “family feel” and tradition of individualized and compassionate care . . . above and beyond for participants and their families. We look forward to continuing to serve these same people and communities for many more years to come.