We recently had the chance to speak with Kathy Hayes, whose mother, Betty Jo Abbott, is a resident at the Azalea Trace Memory Support neighborhood at The Village at Gainesville. We wanted to hear firsthand how memory support at The Village has impacted the lives of Kathy, Betty Jo and the rest of their family. This is what Kathy had to say:
“My mom and dad had been living in Winter Park, Florida, where my sisters and I had grown up. My dad had been diagnosed with an illness, and we knew his timeframe of being with us wasn’t very long. My mom had some memory issues at that point, and they had full-time care in their home.
My dad made the request that my mother wouldn’t have to live at home by herself after his passing. It was important to him to know what our plan was for her, so we started looking for a senior living community in Gainesville. My sister and I live in Gainesville, and my other sister lives near their house in Winter Park. We thought that with two of us here in Gainesville, it might be better to have her closer to us.
We visited The Village and loved it immediately. We looked at another community as well, but The Village just seemed so much more comfortable to her and her needs. The grounds are beautiful. As you drive in, it’s extremely attractive and well kept. My mom had a beautiful home that she was coming from, with a beautiful yard, so even just initially driving in, we felt that our mom would be comfortable here.
When we visited, we toured the different levels of care available and felt that she would fit best into memory support. During our tour, everyone was extremely welcoming, even the residents. A couple ladies said hello, which made me feel like my mom would have friends here. The buildings, the staff, the CNAs—there wasn’t a thing that my family didn’t find comforting during that time.
At that point, we didn’t know our timeframe, so we joined the waiting list so that she could stay at her house until it was time to move. A few months after our initial visit, she was able to move in.
As a resident in memory support, she has someone constantly looking out for her during the day, and there are rounds at night every couple of hours. All of her medications are handled by the nursing staff. The care is extremely good, and we couldn’t say enough good things about the nursing staff. The staff are all very loving and caring and they care for your family members the same as you would.
They very much make it a community. It’s amazing to us, as the time has gone on, how comfortable she is. In memory support, they have a full calendar of daily activities. There are times where we will go and take her places. They are exercising, they do trivia, they have bingo, there’s music, they go on bus rides, and the activities person is always planning celebrations for holidays and birthdays. We also take her to eat on campus quite a bit, in either the Café or the Tower Club, so she can enjoy seeing her grandchildren or whoever else is here to visit.
Before her move to The Village, my sister or I would drive down to her house each week, which would often complicate things. Having her close by is a huge comfort. You can never anticipate memory loss and what that will be like, but she lives a quality of life now that I do not think she would have had if she were to live in our house. It was a heartbreaking situation all around, and there were a lot of tears, but as time has gone on, her quality of life has improved. There’s this sense of peace and comfort for us and for her.”
Choosing memory support at The Village at Gainesville as Betty Jo’s new home helped provide a peace of mind that her daughters couldn’t have had otherwise. Kathy and her sisters could go back to being daughters, knowing that Betty Jo is well cared for just a short drive away.
For older adults managing memory impairment, The Village at Gainesville offers a positive approach to memory support. For more information on memory support services at The Village, give us a call at 352-548-3507, or visit us online to request your free information kit.