Specialized Elder Care to Be Expanded in Gloucester

Cape Ann Savings Bank Donates $150,000 to Addison Gilbert Hospital

More elderly patients will be able to get specialized care at Addison Gilbert Hospital, thanks to a generous donation from Cape Ann Savings Bank in January. The $150,000 gift will be used to expand the hospital’s renowned Senior Adult Unit (SAU), which provides comprehensive specialty care for seniors experiencing concurrent physical and behavioral health challenges, including acute depression, dementia and failure to thrive. The bank’s gift, along with many others, will help modernize the SAU, allowing its capacity to increase from 12 to 20 beds.

There is a burgeoning elderly population on Cape Ann and the SAU consistently operates at 100 percent of capacity, said Cindy Cafasso Donaldson, Vice President of Addison Gilbert Hospital. “Our projections show an increasing need for these services because the population of people over 65 is growing, and the hospitalizations of people in that age group are also increasing.”

The SAU provides a “unique model of care” that features clinicians who specialize in both medical and behavioral health care. A regular psychiatric unit at another hospital might not be able to take care of a patient’s physical infirmities and a general medical unit might not be able to offer the behavioral health care a patient needs. The team at Addison Gilbert is able to treat patients holistically and is one of only two in Massachusetts that have been awarded “Exemplar” status in recognition of excellence in geriatric care.

A History of Partnership

The relationship between the hospital and Cape Ann Savings Bank goes back more than 100 years to the 1880s, when hospital founder Addison Gilbert was the president of Cape Ann Savings Bank.

Giving back to the community and the health of people who live on Cape Ann is a priority for the bank, according to bank President Bob Gillis, who has used the hospital’s services himself. “A good part of Cape Ann, Gloucester and Rockport are on an island,” Gillis explained. “We’re sort of isolated. For that reason, the community hospital is all the more important, especially for emergencies. With the isolation factor, 15 minutes can make a huge difference.”

The Senior Adult Unit isn’t the first major care initiative Cape Ann Savings Bank has helped with its generosity. In 2008, the bank donated more than $60,000 toward the renovation of Addison Gilbert’s Lundberg Medical Arts Floor, home of the Gorton’s Specialty & Cancer Care Center.

“We’re a community bank. Our community is Cape Ann,” Gillis said. “Those are the people and organizations that we’re going to support.”