Elder Care Section: Living It Up in Assisted Living

Joseph and Anna ALP 003
 Joseph Walcott (93) and Anna Cotignola (77) sing the praises of the Assisted Living Program at Jennings Hall

Through the eyes of Anna Cotignola and Joseph Walcott

Joseph Walcott is the President of the ALP Resident Council at Jennings Hall (260 Powers St., Brooklyn), and he has held this role for two years. He is 93 and has been in the Assisted Living Program (ALP) since 2013. Joseph has been married twice and has six kids (“Three boys and three girls.” His daughters live in Boston, two sons live in Florida, and the other son lives in England). “And I have more grandkids than I can count.”

Anna Cotignola is 77; she is new on the ALP block, having arrived at Jennings Hall in November 2016. However, she and the Williamsburg neighborhood go way back. She grew up here and went to St. Nicholas’ and St. Cecelia’s schools. She has a nephew and she never married: “I get to be my own boss. No one tells me what to do,” She says with a sweet laugh.

What has the Assisted Living given you that most benefits your life?

Anna Cotignola: They cook your three meals a day, and take care of your medication: they administer it. I like it because I have privacy. There are activities: rooms to play cards, bingo, and ping pong, a TV room, and a laundry room. They will do your laundry for you, or they will give you the quarters if you want to do your own laundry. (She does her laundry. Joseph has his done.)


What sort of activities do you participate in?

Anna: I play bingo every Monday. (She also plays ping pong and watches movies in the TV room.)

Joseph Walcott: I like to play dominoes and bingo, and have visits with my family.


 How is the food?

Anna: The chef is great. (Lasagna is Anna’s favorite meal.)

Joseph: The menu has a variety and is balanced. The meals are very good. (His favorite dish is Coconut Fish.)


 How did you decided to go into Assisted Living?

Anna: My nephew got me in here. (She was living in her parents’ house and she had to sell it, as it was too much to take care of.)

Joseph: I was in the hospital after my wife passed away.


What do you think of the staff?

Joseph: Myrna is great! Myrna is like Muhammad Ali – She’s the greatest! (Myrna Shrouder-Yen is the Administrator of Assisted Living at Jennings Hall)

Anna: Myrna is a doll. She is so nice. I had a fall, and she heard about it and asked how I was doing.

Joseph: Also the PCAs are great! (Personal Care Attendant)

Anna:  The staff is very courteous. It is a caring homey place. I love it here the people are very nice!


What is a typical day like?

Anna: I get up and come down to eat breakfast. I’m given my medication. Then I go [back to her apartment] to watch TV.  I come down for lunch. I visit with a good friend who comes to see me, she lives on Metropolitan Avenue.

Joseph: As President I conduct the monthly Resident Meetings, which last an hour. I listen to what everyone says. They discuss trips, like going to see a Broadway show, [shopping trips], transportation, and upcoming events.

Author: Lori Ann Doyon

Managing editor, head writer, and lead photographer of Greenline | North Brooklyn News since October 2014. Resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn since 1990.

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