by Rick Winterson


   Marian Manor is in transition.

The Manor is one of South Boston’s best-known landmarks – for its location and imposing structure on Dorchester Street below Thomas Park, but mostly for the excellent nursing care that it has offered for decades.  You are probably aware that the Manor was once the Carney Hospital, some 50+ years ago.  Changes in all medical care, including the Manor’s nursing care for the elderly and for swift recovery from acute medical problems, continue as well.

One change that affects Marian Manor is the progress being made in effective at-home care for the elderly.  The Manor’s current clientele number 226, a significant drop from their capacity of 376.

Please make no mistake.  This is a positive change – a federally supported “keep people at home” trend.  But, the Manor must respond to changing needs.  And, the Manor is definitely “in business” to stay.  It admits new patients seven days a week.  It offers now, and will continue to offer, skilled professional ‘round-the- clock nursing care, on a 24/7 basis.  Note that visiting hours can also be arranged on that basis, when necessary.   Overall, the Order of Carmelites has opened 11 nursing homes and two facilities best termed as “assisted living” residences.

South Boston Online met on Monday with Mother Mark Lewis Randall, O. Carm. from Germantown, N.Y.  She is currently the Prioress General, Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm, and was in charge of the Manor ten years ago.   Sister Stephen Pereira, O. Carm., the CEO of Marian Manor, and Kahoney Anderson, the Manor’s Administrator, took part in the meeting.  Greg Turner from Ball Consulting (communications consultants) was also on hand.

In addition to the changing mix of patients, the Manor’s facilities are ageing and in need of repairs, upgrades, and modernizing.  This will be expensive – no one has to be told about the high cost of renovations in the Boston area.  Selecting a unique approach, the Carmelites have decided to partner with a developer.  They are presently in discussions with Colliers International, a real estate consulting firm, which they believe could result in two different options.  First, the Manor could possibly continue its operations at 130 Dorchester Street, using only a part of that property because of the reduced patient load.  Or, second, the Manor could relocate to a nearby location that is owned by the developer, who would then take over the entire Dorchester Street property in a kind of swap bargain.  In either case, the financing for the Manor’s upgrades would come from payments to the Carmelites by the developer.  It’s still early days, but Mother Mark Louis confirmed there was much interest in the project – property near Thomas Park is extremely valuable.  Sister Stephen stated she was spending the majority of her time on planning this project; meanwhile, Administrator Kahoney Anderson sees to the day-to-day operating challenges at the Manor.

This entire project will take several years to complete.  South Boston Online will keep you posted on its progress.  In the meantime, please be assured that Marian Manor is continuing to provide 24/7 nursing care for acute elderly medical needs, certain sub-acute care programs, and skilled rehabilitation – which the Manor will continue to offer, when its new facilities are completed.  They’ll also continue to offer, as they do now, the new Marian Manor as a sort of home where one can go to seek wellness.