The Heart of the Matter

Family-like atmosphere makes retirement community special.

Photo courtesy of Hibiscus Court.

Kathy Kearcher (center) with residents Fred Stay (left) and Artis France

Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family, but sometimes it is the family you choose that can mean the most on a holiday.

Kathy Kearcher, the associate executive director and director of resident care at Hibiscus Court Assisted Living and Memory Care Community, chose to spend Thanksgiving with her “extended family” – the 78 residents who call Hibiscus Court home.

“I have three sons scattered across the country. I was fortunate to spend the holiday working because I feel like this is my family,” Kathy says. “I love the people who live here, and I care for them with all my heart.”

A licensed practical nurse, Kathy is very proud of her team and the many services it provides.

“We’re an assisted living facility, and while we have residents who are fairly independent, for those who might need some help, we offer bathing, grooming and medication management,” Kathy says. “We also provide laundry and housekeeping services.”

In addition to assisted living, Hibiscus Court also provides senior day care services, short-term respite stays for seniors recovering from illness or surgery and a secure memory support community called The Garden. And with approximately 30 staff members to serve them, its residents receive a level of personalized attention they would not get elsewhere.

“Places that are large can be overwhelming, and residents can sometimes get lost in the shuffle,” Kathy shares. “One thing I love about having seventy-eight residents is that I know every one of them by name and needs. That’s how it is with our entire staff. We know all the little nuances. That helps us provide the best care possible for them.”

Photo courtesy of Hibiscus Court.

Paige Blossom (center) with residents Brenda Daugherty (left) and Pat Towers

That care includes a series of daily, weekly and seasonal activities that, thanks to resident program director Paige Blossom, incorporates regular interaction with the community outside Hibiscus Court.

“I have partnerships with schools in our area, and sometimes, we go to those schools and have our residents read to the younger children or play games or do crafts with them,” Paige explains. “And sometimes, the children come to us.

“There’s one school that sends a different grade every month. I have teenagers that come to visit or volunteer. We have residents who are retired servicemen, teachers or worked for NASA. There’s so much they can share with young people, even just be a friend to them, so we are excited about our new mentoring partnership with another school.

Kathy says Paige’s desire to keep residents active in unique and meaningful ways is typical of the attitude shared by all of Hibiscus Court’s staff members. She says that attitude is a big part of what makes life at Hibiscus Court special.

“We all feel as if this is someone’s home, not just a place to work each day,” Kathy notes. “And we have been invited in to help them. That’s the attitude that permeates throughout the staff, and it’s what makes us different.

“To do this job right, you have to love it. Every day our actions must be driven by caring with compassion and understanding. We have to show respect by being ethical and honest.  We have to find the balance of providing support that respects needs and preferences.

“You can’t do this job if you’re only looking for a paycheck. When we are hiring a new team member, we look for someone who wants to care for others, someone who tells us, I have a heart for this.

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    • Hibiscus Court

      Hibiscus Court, offering luxurious senior living in Melbourne Florida, is an elegant yet affordable assisted living and memory care community in Brevard County.... Read More