Aviv Centers for Living is a nonprofit, community based organization that has its roots in the Jewish Convalescent Home that opened in Lynn, Massachusetts, on October 7, 1945. The Home was "established to alleviate the suffering of the poor and needy regardless of race, color or creed." It quickly earned a reputation as one of the finest, most caring facilities of its type on the North Shore.
By 1951, responding to the growing number of older people who were without family, the Home became less of a convalescent facility and more of a permanent residence for the elderly. In recognition of this transformation, a second dedication was held and the name was officially changed to the Jewish Home for the Aged. For many years, the Jewish Home for the Aged provided its elderly residents with nursing services and loving care. Making financial ends meet in the days before Medicaid and Medicare, however, was difficult. Private fundraising, social security checks, and public assistance programs helped alleviate the financial problems.
In 1964, a study by the National Council of Aging and the Jewish Federation of the North Shore recommended the construction of a nursing home facility with 80 beds with a potential to expand to 120 beds. By June 1966, the committee had engaged its first professional director, and in July, they received state approval to change the facility's name to the Jewish Rehabilitation Center for Aged of the North Shore (JRC). In November 1970, JRC completed a successful fundraising campaign, and broke ground on a new six-acre site in Swampscott, which opened in March 1972. Just two years later, JRC proceeded with the second phase of the building program, the erection of a 90-bed addition on the second floor, again funded by philanthropists in the community, which opened in October 1977. Three years later, the Shapiro-Rudolph Adult Day Center was dedicated, and in 1992, the day center was enlarged to double the number of participants. During this time the census of the JRC itself grew to its current total of 180 beds.
In 1994 the Center began an extensive three-year renovation project to expand and modernize the facility. Additional programs were added, including an onsite dental suite, monthly optometry clinics, a short term, post-hospitalization rehabilitation program, and a meals on wheels program for homebound elders. In 1995, JRC's 50th year, a 15 acre site was purchased in Peabody upon which 82 assisted living housing units were built. The Woodbridge Assisted Living building housed its first residents in October 1997. In 2006, an additional 48 units were opened at the Peabody site, of which 32 comprise the Legacy Program, dedicated to the care of residents with Alzheimer's disease.
In 2010 the nonprofit organization was renamed Aviv Centers for Living to reflect its evolution as an integrated system of care including assisted living, skilled nursing, adult day health, short-and long-term rehabilitation, homecare and geriatric care management. In 2011 Aviv Centers for Living broke ground on a $35 million expansion project to centralize operations on its Peabody campus and expand programs and services and launched a fundraising campaign to raise a portion of the funds needed for the project.
For over six decades, Aviv Centers for Living has grown and evolved. Yet tomorrow as yesterday, we remain committed to our primary goal of ensuring the dignity and well-being of our community's elderly. Aviv Centers for Living stands as a symbol of concern and compassion for those who can no longer independently care for themselves.