A Simple Step Forward

Day program eases transition into assisted living.

A few years ago when her father-in-law began struggling with the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, Rhonda Whitaker took on the task of finding just the right assisted living community for him. After considerable research, she found Hibiscus Court of Melbourne Assisted Living and Memory Care Community.

Rhonda Whitaker chose Hibiscus Court for her father-in-law ååand her mother.

Rhonda (left) says her mom, Brenda, is in the “best place she can be” at Hibiscus Court.

Little did Rhonda know at the time, but she had also found just the right community for her mother, Brenda Daugherty, as well.

“My mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease about ten years ago, but for many years, she functioned very well,” Rhonda says. “A little over two years ago, we started to notice some behavior that was rather odd for her.”

As any daughter would, Rhonda paid close attention to her mom and saw that she was having a hard time getting through the day without support. When she noticed additional changes, she acted on the advice of Brenda’s doctor and began looking for a community that offered senior day care services. She didn’t have to look far.

Having already moved her father-in-law into Hibiscus Court of Melbourne, Rhonda began inquiring about Hibiscus Court’s senior day care services.

“Hibiscus Court was the only place I felt would be a good fit for my father-in-law, and it turned out to be a good fit for my mom, too,” Rhonda says. “She was and still is very active, and she really enjoyed going there. She was always excited about going and made friends very quickly.”

Brenda visited Hibiscus Court three days a week for nearly two years until she wanted to be a full-time
resident at Hibiscus.

“The thing that changed is that my mom, who is diabetic, wouldn’t eat for me,” Rhonda says. “She would always tell me, I’m not hungry. But she needed to eat in order to take her medications, so that was becoming a problem.

“Having her on a more regular schedule was going to be the best thing for her, so we made the move there permanently, and the transition went very smoothly because she was moving to a place she already knew where she had friends.”

Smooth Transition

Making the transition even smoother for Brenda was the fact that she took up residence in an apartment just a few doors down from Rhonda’s father-in-law. That move brought those two closer than they had been before.

“I don’t know if it was planned that way or not, but with those two being so close together now, they’ve became best buddies,” Rhonda relates. “That made the transition even easier for her, and she’s really doing well there.

“One of the best things is that because she’s so active, if she gets tired, she can go to her room and lie down. And she’s eating like clockwork again.

“If I show up to visit at the wrong time, I’ll catch her looking at her watch if it’s getting close to dinnertime because she doesn’t want to be rude and tell me to go away, but she knows her schedule, and that routine is very important to her.”

Rhonda says Brenda especially enjoys the array of activities and outings the residents are able to participate in and adds that she has found a greater purpose since becoming a full-time resident of Hibiscus Court.

“She really feels at home there, and I can understand why,” Rhonda exudes. “The atmosphere and the people are really great. I’ve never been in a place where so many people genuinely care as much as they do about their residents.

“Everybody is always going above and beyond, and they treat my mom the way I would treat her. There’s hugging and interaction, and nobody is just going through the motions. They’re very attentive, which is why I’m confident my mom is in the best place she can be.”

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