During half-hour time slots throughout the day at My Second Home—an adult day program in Mount Kisco, New York—seniors have their spirits lifted by visits to the neighboring child-care center. The children visit the seniors, too. They call them Grandma or Grandpa and develop relationships with adults who may be struggling with memory loss or physical disability.
“The kids look up to the adults, and the seniors will take the children under their wings,” says Karen Bianca Bisignano, GSS ’12, the director of My Second Home, a community-based alternative to nursing homes or the high cost of supported living centers. “Bonds are formed.”
The directorship at My Second Home was Bisignano’s breakthrough job in social work, the field she decided to enter in her mid-40s after a successful 25-year career developing visual effects for commercial and feature films.
She studied for her master’s degree at Fordham’s Graduate School of Social Service in a part-time program that convened on Saturdays for four years. After she earned her degree, she lost her job at the production company and her mother became ill. She helped out with her mother’s care and landed a job at Fordham, helping coordinate the online MSW program.
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