Family Ties

Parent’s positive experiences influence career decisions.

It wasn’t long after she moved her mother into the long-term care community at Hawthorne Village of Brandon that Patti Bramble found her passion for senior care while serving as the marketing director for an assisted-living community.

Patti and Maureen were so moved by the positive experience their parents had while living at Hawthorne Village of Brandon that they became employees there.

Patti (left) and Maureen are part of the fabric at Hawthorne Village.

Three years later, at a time when she was preparing to leave that industry, Hawthorne Village’s plans for expansion and her own positive personal experience with that community lured her back in.

“Hawthorne Village was opening its independent living community, The Estates, and somebody from there saw me one day and said, I’ve been trying to find you,” says Patti, The Estates manager. “When I asked why, they said, we want you to come to work at Hawthorne.

“I told them I was actually moving away from senior housing, but they encouraged me to come and talk to them anyway. After that chat, I thought, you know, I think I’d be interested in helping to open this up. That was in 2000, and I’ve been here ever since.”

It wasn’t just the opportunity to manage its independent living community that drew Patti to Hawthorne Village. It was the warm, friendly feeling she got whenever she visited the community to see her mother, who passed in late 1997.

“There’s a special feeling you get when you walk through the doors, and it’s really that feeling that lured me here,” Patti says. “There’s a very friendly, home-like atmosphere, and it made so much of an imprint on me that I wanted to be a part of it.

“The other thing that I had a strong feeling towards is the value we offer. Having been in the industry, I knew there were similar products. But we offer the same services and with just 69 apartments, we have more of a boutique-like setting.”

More Than Meets the Eye

Located just east of Tampa, Hawthorne Village of Brandon is a not-for-profit, full-service retirement community composed of three separate facilities. Each specializes in its own specific aspect of carefree retirement living and wellness.

For seniors who are looking for maximum independence and privacy, The Estates offers the opportunity to live an active and independent lifestyle in an exquisite apartment home nestled inside a carefree, amenity-filled environment.

For seniors who want to live independently but need assistance during the day or night, Hawthorne Inn provides highly trained professionals who can offer medication assistance as well as aid with basic daily activities such as bathing, dressing and grooming.

And for seniors who require specialized memory care, Hawthorne Village offers its Garden Court, where staff members are trained in activity-based programs designed to minimize the negative effects of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Hawthorne Village of Brandon also offers skilled nursing and rehabilitation therapies on an inpatient and outpatient basis through its Bounce Back Rehab® program, which is designed to help seniors recovering from major illness or trauma regain function and mobility.

Love at First Sight

It’s in Hawthorne Village’s skilled nursing and rehabilitation building that you’ll find Maureen Tornillo, a semi-retired personal trainer who, much like Patti, developed a unique passion for the retirement community after moving her parents there in 2004.

“My parents fell in love with The Estates the very first time I brought them here for a visit,” says Maureen, a semi-retired personal trainer. “And after they moved in they were so happy. They loved the independence and the security of knowing that if they did need help, it was close by.

“I think the years they spent here were probably some of the happiest years of their lives together. I remember my father telling me once, I’m so glad you found this place, because it’s just great, we love it here, and I agreed with him.

“I actually told my dad, one day I’m probably going to come to work here, and I did because when you walk through the door here, you feel like you’re home. That’s the feeling I got whenever I came to see my parents here, and it’s the feeling I get now.

“There’s just a warmth about it, and it doesn’t come from the walls. It comes from the people. You get the feeling that you’re welcome, that you are among family and friends and that you’re cared for and cared about.”

Maureen’s parents lived together in a two-bedroom suite in The Estates for five years. After her father passed away, her mother transitioned into a one-bedroom suite in the assisted-living community.

Patti says the experience she and Maureen gained while moving their parents into the retirement community is one that allows them to better aid others who are bringing their parents to Hawthorne Village.

“I know that when people come and sit down with me here, they’re feeling a lot of emotions,” Patti explains. “And I know  the person or the couple that’s moving into an apartment here aren’t the only ones who have those  feelings.

“It’s everyone in the family; it’s their friends. We are really attuned to what they’re going through and how they’re coping, so we’ve learned to become really good listeners. That’s how you come to understand their real needs and wants.

“Sometimes you need to peel away the onion because they’re hinting at something they need but not really expressing it, and it’s important to understand that need so that they will have the best experience possible.

“We know how stressful and emotional this time can be and having people around who have experienced that time and know what to expect of it the way Maureen and I have, I think that helps us make the transition just a little easier for our residents.”

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