Letter to the Editor

Zelma Lacey House to Transition Away from Assisted Living Model

To the Editor,

What a sad surprise to read the article in the April 1 issue of the Patriot-Bridge.

My mom lived at Zelma Lacey for six years. She moved in when she was 86. She was confined to a wheelchair and was fortunate to have her very own wheelchair-equipped studio apartment, which included an eye-level stove and refrigerator she could readily access. Down the hall from her apartment is a chapel, where every Saturday a priest came to say Mass. Billy Boyle did the readings. Then we ate dinner in the dining room. Often during the week, I joined my mom for dinner and then for a Royalty card game at the Country Kitchen outside her apartment. It was pleasant to visit in such a welcoming, loving place where I knew my Mom was being well looked after.

My mother told me after she moved into Zelma Lacey she’d always wanted her own apartment. It seemed fitting that after spending her life raising the seven of us, then helping my dad in his retirement and later in his passing, her dream would come true. It was a challenging adjustment, just the same, and I will always be grateful to the amazing staff at Zelma Lacey and the beautiful facility itself.

My mom and Zelma went to Charlestown High School and Zelma often visited the assisted living.  She saw a need in Charlestown for a place such as this and worked tirelessly to see its fruition. I feel for the families who have family members living there now and I hope they are very well accommodated and cared for, as well as the Life Focus members who added so much joy, youth, and fun to my mom’s life.

Thank you again Zelma Lacey House. My gratitude is long overdue. Thank you Dodie Boyle and all the staff working there during my mom’s time. You helped us so much with everything. 

Helen O’Neil 


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