Senior citizen praises Mount Alverno Center's free Caring Caller program

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:47

    WARWICK-When Warwick resident Howard Werany was born in Brooklyn, Teddy Roosevelt was President, the airplane had just been invented and the automobile was still a novelty. Werany celebrated his 100th birthday last December but anyone watching him race around the Village of Warwick on his electric scooter would never believe it. "I started riding these when I was 91 because they made me turn in my driver's license," he said. The scooter is helpful when Werany, who lives alone at home, wants to go shopping or visit a friend. But he can still get around on his own two feet. "My doctor told me to keep walking and don't forget to breathe," he laughed. Werany spent his early life delivering milk in vehicles that ranged from a horse drawn wagon to an electric van and finally to a modern day truck. After retiring from that job, he worked another 10 years in a retail department store. He and his wife Lorena, who passed away in 1989, raised four children. Werany now boasts about his 10 grandchildren and 32 great grandchildren. "And there's a good chance I'll become a great-great grandfather," he smiled. As independent as he may be, Werany appreciates his daily telephone call from Mount Alverno Center, a nearby adult home with an assisted living program. Each day a volunteer calls just to ask him how he's feeling and if everything is O.K. "I really appreciate that call," said Werany, "unless ... I'm in the shower." With the cooperation of the Town of Warwick and local police departments, Mount Alverno Center recently instituted its Caring Caller Program for the elderly, the disabled, the chronically ill or any at-risk individual who would benefit from a daily phone call to check on their well-being. People who enroll in the new program are asked to supply the names and telephone numbers of emergency contacts, especially those who live nearby, and the name and phone number of the individual's primary care physician. "If someone like Howard happens to be in the shower or not immediately available," said Hayley Cresseveur, case manager for Mount Alverno Center, "our staff member will make another call a short while later. In the event there is no response to a daily call, one or more of the emergency contacts or, if necessary, the local police, will be asked to investigate and report back." The Caring Caller Program is one of many free community outreach programs offered by the Warwick Campus of the Bon Secours Charity Healthcare System. "We are grateful to our dedicated staff, the Town of Warwick and our local police who are cooperating to help insure the safety of those who live alone and have little contact with other people," said Mount Alverno Administrator Kathie Deak. "We saw the need for this program and we are happy to offer it free as a service to our community." Applications for the Caring Caller Program are available at public locations throughout the Town of Warwick including senior centers. To recommend a participant or for information on the Caring Caller Program, call (845) 987-5632. Mount Alverno Center, 20 Grand Ave., Warwick, is an adult residence and assisted living program located on the Warwick Campus of the Bon Secours Health Care System. Additional information about Mount Alverno Center, Schervier Pavilion, Day-At-A-Time and St. Anthony Community Hospital is available on the Web at