Fruit Hill Day Services for the Elderly announces closure

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NORTH PROVIDENCE — The Franciscan Missionaries of Mary have announced that they would be closing the Fruit Hill Day Services for the Elderly in North Providence for financial reasons.

The closure takes effect on July 31 this summer. The center stopped accepting new participants as of May 5.

“We’ve done as much as we could for as long as we could,” Sister Aline Giroux, FMM, the executive director, told the Rhode Island Catholic.

At the time of the closure, Giroux was one of two sisters who worked at the nonprofit organization, which also had 10 staff members, some of whom were part-time. As of the end of May, the program had 48 elderly members, with a typical daily attendance of 25 to 31 individuals, according to Giroux. Most have some form of dementia or other serious health issues requiring constant supervision and care, according to a pamphlet explaining the program.

“For those already in our care we are offering assistance in finding other adult day care centers or other alternatives,” Giroux said in the statement announcing the closure. She told the Rhode Island Catholic that employees were also being given time off to search for other jobs.

Fruit Hill Day Services for the Elderly was founded 45 years ago by Sister Ruth Crawley. At the time it was the “first operative adult day care” in Rhode Island, according to an informational pamphlet on the organization.

The center provided case management and a wide range of health care services to participants. Fruit Hill also met their spiritual needs. “Our participants take part in daily Eucharist. Their presence in the Chapel speaks of attentiveness, of prayer, of God’s love for us and for each other. The mystery becomes alive as we witness their presence to this tremendous action of God’s saving and unending love for us,” the pamphlet states.

The Fruit Hill center was licensed by the Rhode Island Department of Health. In 2013, the chairman of its board of directors, David Amaral, received a Lumen Gentium Award for his service from Bishop Thomas J. Tobin.