Endless Love

Senior living community proves perfect fit for struggling loved one.

Even after they divorced in 1974, James Small and his ex-wife, Helen Bennett, have always remained close. For the sake of their son, they regularly spend holidays together and continue to care for each other in times of poor health.

Photo courtesy of Savannah Court of Orange City.

James Small

Such a time arose late last year. After doctors determined that James, who had previously been diagnosed with dementia, could no longer live on his own, Helen stepped up and offered to take care of him.

Shortly before Christmas, she moved James into a small apartment connected to her home. There she hoped to help James continue his recovery from a recent urinary tract infection. She soon realized, however, that she’d taken on too great of a challenge.

“It was terrifying because I’d go over to the apartment to bring him his breakfast in the morning and he’d be gone,” Helen says. “I would eventually find him at the neighbor’s house or somewhere else, so it was very hard.”

The need to twice rush James to the emergency room for medical care made the situation more difficult. That is what prompted Helen and her son to make the decision to move James to an assisted living community.

Their choice was Savannah Court of Orange City, a senior living community nestled 20 minutes between metro Orlando and Daytona Beach that offers a cozy, small-town ambiance and the amenities necessary for residents to maintain an active lifestyle.

Provided by an experienced staff specializing in personalized care and hospitality, these amenities include assisted living services in private apartments, senior day care services for caregivers needing a day for themselves, and respite care for seniors recovering from illness or surgery.

“We provide the kind of support residents can’t get at home or at a lot of other places,” says Todd Brown, marketing relations director at Savanah Court of Orange City. “We’re a smaller, more intimate community, and that has many advantages.

“Because we’re smaller, we have a direct hands-on approach with our residents. That allows us to make sure they are cared for in the best way possible and are as independent and active as they want to be in the various programs we offer.”

Helen and her son realized during their first tour of Savannah Court that the care James would get would be exceptional. They agreed shortly thereafter to make Savannah Court James’ new home, and they’re certain they could not have made a better choice.

“I never thought we would find a place as nice as Savannah Court for James, so I feel very fortunate that he’s there,” Helen says. “Everyone is so kind and compassionate, and he’s doing much better now than he was before.”

“It has worked out a great deal better for him, and I’m more at ease now knowing he’s getting the proper care and attention, and that he’s no longer alone. The adjustment to Savannah Court has gone very well for him.”

Todd concurs. He says James has quickly integrated himself into the community and become an active member. He adds that the support James receives from Helen and his son is exemplary, noting that, “It’s a beautiful thing to watch.”

“I go over and visit with James as often as I can, so I know he’s being fed well and getting good food, because the food there is great.” Helen says. “And I know that he’s making friends and feeling more and more comfortable there every day.

“It’s not just me who feels good about where he is. My son feels so much better, too. He was constantly worried about his dad, but placing him at Savannah Court has provided him with the greatest relief he could have asked for.”

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