In 2000, Dr. Antonio Cassó, Sr., along with members of Patronato Pro Ayuda Hogar de Ancianos, representatives of the Catholic Church, and the International Lions Club of Cotuí, founded the nursing home to provide the homeless and disadvantaged elderly a loving and clean place to spend the last years of their lives. They provide free shelter, food and medicines. As the only nursing home in the province of Cibao, it provides an essential service for the community.
Before the nursing home existed, families would often abandon their loved ones at the public hospitals, which often lack the resources to care for them properly. El Hogar, as the locals refer to the nursing home as well as the neighboring health center, is run by the sisters of Hermanas Misionera Del Padre Fantino. In order to continue the quality of care the nuns provide, Dr. Cassó Sr. wrote a charter that stated that the nursing home must always be run by nuns.
As of December 2014, El Hogar houses 40 residents with a wide range of medical needs. Many of the patients have conditions that require them to take expensive medications and sometimes undergo procedures that they must receive from outside medical facilities. The residents are allowed to stay free of charge because, for the most part, their families can’t afford to pay anything. The residents at El Hogar are very well taken care of by the staff, but are always appreciative of love and attention from community sources.
Las Hermanas Religiosas del Padre Fantino administer and supervise the Nursing Home along with doctors, nurses, and support staff. Current staff includes:
- Mother Superior Dionicia Antigua
- Sister Miguelina Mariano
- Sister Patria Inoa
Las Hermanas Religiosas del Padre Fantino joined the Nursing Home in 2013 under the direction of Sister Dionicia Antigua. She is a native of the province and has accumulated vast experience in managing nursing homes. The residents and staff alike attest to the love and care that Mother Superior and the other Sisters bestow upon every resident. The elderly in the community want to come to the nursing home because of its reputation of being clean and hospitable. In addition to running the nursing home, the nuns often go out into the community to ask for donations.
The nursing home depends on the profits from the health center, donations from the community which are managed by Patronato Pro Ayuda Hogar de Ancianos, and a monthly government stipend. However, with the increased cost of living in the country, contributions received currently limit the quality of our services and the ability of the elderly to stay in the home. Per patient, it costs 10,000 pesos (approximately $250 US) per month to maintain the nursing home. This money is used towards food, amenities, medicine, and care, and this amount is just the bare minimum.
Even with government aid and other donations, it is still not enough to cover all of the expenses to continue providing care for the 40 current residents. This money is needed for 24 hour a day personalized care for the residents and to pay the dedicated staff. Money is just one way to assist. Please take a look at the “What We Need” section to find out what items are needed most.