Closer to Home

Hibiscus Court brings an aging father closer to his daughter.

When Kim Landry’s mother died in 2015, she immediately began to worry how her father, Harold Roaden, would live alone in the couple’s home in Indianapolis.

Kim Landry discusses her father, Harold Roaden, a resident at Hibiscus Court.

Harold loves to take drives in his daughter’s corvette.

“My husband, Curtis, and I went to Indianapolis to care for my mother just before she died,” Kim recalls. “At that time, we realized Dad wasn’t doing very well. He had some memory issues – forgetting where he put things, how to get to church and other places. My parents were always together, so I worried about him suddenly being alone.”

Kim says her parents, married for 62 years, were avid socialites, always the center of attention in any room.    

“Dad is a very social person,” Kim shares. “My parents were a very exuberant couple in the neighborhood. They had people at the house all the time. He was truly never alone.”

Kim and her husband stayed in Indianapolis for a short time after her mother’s death to see how well Harold would do on his own. Kim says they quickly noticed that her dad would get lost driving to church or say random things that made little sense.

“He would drive up to the church on a Tuesday morning and come back and say, there was no one there, so I just came home and of course it was a Tuesday and there wouldn’t be anyone there. He was losing track of days.

“He couldn’t get the microwave to work and he couldn’t find the dishwasher. Things were adding up rapidly. We determined rather quickly that he couldn’t live alone, especially with us being in Florida,” Kim says. “It wasn’t safe. So, I had him look at three assisted living communities in Indianapolis first. Then, we brought him here to Florida, where he looked at a few near our home. The minute he walked into Hibiscus Court, he felt at home. He made the choice, and they made it easy.”

Hibiscus Court, an assisted living and memory care community in Melbourne, offers family members, like Kim, peace of mind that their loved ones are in a professional, secure and loving environment.

“Hibiscus Court is about a lifestyle choice, and we are here to make residents comfortable and give them a place they can feel secure and at home,” shares Executive Director Heidi Kuchenbacker. “Our goal is to make their daily lives easier and more enjoyable.”

An Extended Family

Many who move into assisted living are still quite independent, and the staff at Hibiscus Court works to keep it that way for as long as possible.

“The beauty of assisted living is that we can actually help residents with whatever they need help with on an individual basis,” Heidi shares. “If they experience a change in abilities, or have a small decline that turns into a bigger one, our staff is trained to accommodate their needs.Kim Landry discusses her father, Harold Roaden, a resident at Hibiscus Court.

“Harold has been reborn here with the ability to spend time with his family, and yet continue to do things on his own,” Heidi adds. “He has the best of both worlds.”

Kim agrees that her father takes care of his own daily needs and remains independent, despite some early signs of dementia. If he does require assistance, the staff is right there for him.

“When I have to be away, my mind is at ease. The staff there is like a big, extended family. Heidi recently urged me to go to a caregiver support group there, and it has helped so much because I had a lot of initial guilt. I took away his entire world and moved him here, and that was hard. The support I have received has been tremendous.”

Keeping Busy

As we age, factors such as nutrition, mental and physical activity and social interaction begin to become as important as medical care. The team at Hibiscus  Court places great importance on these areas.

Heidi says the staff at Hibiscus Court works endless hours planning activities for residents to keep them mentally and physically active.

“Our goal is to always have something exciting or interesting to look forward to,” Heidi says. “We go to concerts, play games, provide exercise classes, go on scenic drives – all kinds of things to keep them busy.”

Studies have consistently shown that there is a direct correlation between a fulfilling life and longevity in seniors. Those who have established social networks and who are active, both mentally and physically, are shown to live longer and have more good years.

Kim says her dad enjoys the scenic drives, sing-alongs and card games. He also loves when kids from local schools come to visit.

“He loves to sit and talk with them, and they love to spend time with him,” Kim says. “As teenagers, they come back to see him, and he just loves it. He has a great rapport with them.”

“Our game night with local teens is always a big hit,” observes Heidi. “They keep the residents on their toes.”

Teenagers keep residents entertained in a variety of ways. They come dressed in the latest fashions and bring the latest electronics. Seniors learn about smartphones and social media, take selfies and FaceTime with family. Teachable moments abound for both children and seniors.

Being physically active is also something Harold continues to do in order to stay fit.

Kim Landry discusses her father, Harold Roaden, a resident at Hibiscus Court.

Harold was crowned Prom King at Hibiscus Court.

“Dad and mom always worked out,” Kim recalls. “They went to the gym almost every day.  At Hibiscus Court, it’s not quite the rigorous workout that he did before but they have fitness every day and he goes every day, too. When I talk to him in the phone I ask, Are you going to the gym today?  You’re going to work out?” That’s what I say.  He’ll say, Yeah, I’m going to go and workout.

“He likes to join the other residents when they go out for their walks, too.  And that’s another thing about Hibiscus Court – the grounds are beautiful .  They have a lake and the ducks swim over to the shore all the time. My dad enjoys the beautiful setting and my husband and I are thankful for that.”

Peace of Mind

Kim is relieved that her dad has settled into life at Hibiscus Court and says it has just as much to do with the staff as the facility itself.

“It’s a very comforting atmosphere that feels like home,” Kim describes. “It feels like you’re in somebody’s home and everybody’s always smiling. I rest assured that he is in loving and capable hands.

“They always talk about Dad and how funny and sweet he is,” she continues. “I know it is not just talk or them saying what they think I want to hear. I can feel their compassion. I know they care about his well being and I am really grateful for that. It gives me peace of mind to know he is cared for with such compassion.”

FHCN article by Judy Wade. Photo by Nerissa Johnson. Prom photo courtesy of Hibiscus Court. mkb
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