When Helen Porter was born in 1918, Woodrow Wilson was President, World War I was raging in Europe and the Spanish Flu officially became a global pandemic.
Porter, a lifelong resident of Revere and Winthrop East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC) PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) participant, celebrated her 100th birthday last Wednesday at EBNHC’s PACE site.
Porter is a lifelong resident of Revere who worked for many years for Forbes Lithograph in Chelsea and has two children and several grandchildren. She graduated from high school and in the 1970’s attended Tufts at night to earn a certificate in special education. She has worked as an aide, a substitute teacher in the public schools and also as a Eucharist Minister for her church.
Before recently moving to the Prospect House in Revere, she was a volunteer at the Lighthouse Nursing Home in Revere where she enjoyed helping others.
On Wednesday the PACE program staff, along with local elected officials, helped Porter celebrate her 100th birthday. Sen. Joseph Boncore (D-Winthrop), State Representative RoseLee Vincent (D-Revere) and Councilor Ira Novoselsky (D-Revere) along with Barbara Bishop of Speaker Robert DeLeo’s office (D-Winthrop) all helped Porter celebrate her milestone.
Her daughter Marie Carenza said her mom moved to the Prospect House ten years ago and immediately became an enrollee in the the PACE program in Winthrop.
“She loves it,” said her daughter. “For me I can easily communicate with nurses and social workers who respond quickly to her needs. She is happy, which is the most important thing. She lived at home until she was 89 but was isolated. Now she has numerous friends and activities through the Prospect House and the PACE program.”
EBNHC’s PACE program is one of 121 PACE programs across the nation and was the first in Massachusetts when it was founded in 1990. The program has locations in Eastie and Winthrop and serves residents age 55 and over who meet the program’s clinical and financial eligibility criteria.
There is a tremendous demand for the PACE program, which is to ensure that older adults have ready access to the medical care and services they need to continue to live safely in the community they feel most comfortable in.
PACE is designed to assist older adults who have complex medical conditions and require some help to live safely in the place they call home, by providing both health and social services. These services include primary and specialty medical care, home nursing and personal care, rehabilitation therapy, social interaction and programming, medications without co-pays, and medical transportation.
For more information visit www.neighborhoodpace.org.