Photo credit: Casa Mia

Inter-European

Adventist Retirement Home in Italy Celebrates Its 40th Anniversary

Inaugurated in 1983, Casa Mia looks to take care of the elderly in an appropriate environment, caring for each person’s needs and habits

Italy | Andreas Mazza

On November 13, 2023, managers, employees, and guests gathered together in Forlì, Italy, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Casa Mia Retirement Home. Numerous civil and religious authorities were also present.

The anniversary celebration included numerous speeches, group games with the elderly residents, and an extravagant final banquet.

Casa Mia is a social outreach initiative of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Italy and part of the worldwide network of Adventist healthcare institutions. Casa Mia looks to take care of the elderly in an appropriate environment, caring for each person’s needs and habits.

Fabian Nikolaus, director of Casa Mia, commented, “Surely, Casa Mia represents an important response to the needs of the citizens of Forlì, especially the ‘third age’ group. Thanks to the excellent work of the operators, Casa Mia has always been characterized as a structure of excellence, and we, therefore, have an excellent relationship with the authorities.” He concluded, “We also manage to work to establish strategies together. Casa Mia represents a point of reference for the entire region.”

Giuseppe Cupertino, director of the Adventist Social Service in Italy, explained, “Our mission is to offer, to the elderly person, adequate assistance when they are no longer able to provide for their needs and wants on their own.”

Nikolaus added, “Now, Casa Mia is finishing the last stage of a specialized center for people with neurodegenerative dementia diseases such as Alzheimer's. This is an important nucleus within the facility, [and it will] also be an even more important qualification."

Andrei Cretu, president of the Italian Union, stated, "Our mission as a church goes beyond what happens on Sabbath in church, and what is done in the nursing home is an example of this because our mission is to care for others. Thus, we are here also witnessing a fruit of the gospel that has been ripe for 40 years.”

More About the History of Casa Mia

Casa Mia Onlus (i.e., a non-profit organization) was established in the late 1970s on the initiative of a project designed to accommodate self-sufficient elderly people. Over the years, various transformations have led to the structure being adapted to the increasingly non-self-sufficient conditions of the guests and meet the new, growing needs of the area. The facility has been modified and enlarged, becoming a reference center for users with diversified needs.

Inaugurated in 1983, the facility has undergone profound changes, and today, while maintaining a close link with its founding principles, Casa Mia has reached a new dimension. It has gone through a process of professionalization and staff qualification to guarantee services and interventions tailored to the different needs of its residents.

From a structural point of view, four major renovations were carried out (1992, 1999, 2008, and 2014), with the aim of increasing the accommodation capacity and adapting the rooms to the new regulatory and functional requirements of the service.

A highlight of Casa Mia’s history was when Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, former president of Italy, accepted an invitation from Vincenzo Mazza, former Italian Union president, to attend the opening of a new Casa Mia facility in 1998. Scalfaro’s presence transformed the low-key event into national news. People across Italy who had never heard about the Adventist Church were introduced to the church and the seventh-day Sabbath.

Casa Mia has been affiliated with the Regional Health Service since 1997.

The institution is also a member of the Advent Care Europe network, which seeks to provide support and expertise to health organizations and services in line with the Adventist health message. According to its stated goal, its aim is “to share God’s love through the example of the ministry of Jesus Christ, by providing physical, mental, social, and spiritual healing and well-being.”

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The original version of this story was posted on the Inter-European Division website.

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