Together Forever

Couples separated by medical needs can enjoy life together.

Hawthorne Village of Brandon residents John Brooke and Gary Manack have more than a few things in common. They both love baseball; they both remain married; and they both live independently at The Estates at Hawthorne Village of Brandon.

John Brooke and Gary Manack live separately from their wives at Hawthorne Village, but that doesn’t mean they live apart.

Gary and Patricia Manack

Because of their spouses’ specific medical needs, however, John and Gary both live separately from their wives.

There’s a difference between living separately and being apart, though, because if you were to watch each of them go through their daily routines, you’d see that John and his wife, Eileen, and Gary and his wife, Patricia, spend most of their days and evenings together.

“I go to see my wife at least twice a day, seven days a week,” John, 87, says of Eileen, who lives in Hawthorne Village of Brandon’s Garden Court, a community designed specifically for the care of residents with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

“I’m always over there first thing in the morning, and we have our breakfast and read the paper together for a couple of hours. Then I’m back before six, and we watch the news and a couple of our favorite TV shows together before I leave, usually about eight o’clock.

“They keep her very busy during the day with a lot of activities, so I don’t bother her during that time. They also schedule a lot of trips to museums and things like that for the residents there, and whenever she goes on one, I’m always right there with her.”

Gary, 80, has a daily schedule similar to John’s. His wife is a stroke victim who has lost the use of most of the right side of her body and now lives in the long term skilled nursing center of Hawthorne Village of Brandon. Gary is a regular
visitor there.

“I walk over to Patricia’s place three times every day – in the morning, again at noon and then again at night,” Gary says. “And even though she’s in a wheelchair, she’s still mentally sharp, so I make sure to get her out as often as possible.

“Every day that it’s not raining, I’ll wheel her all around the campus, and sometimes, we’ll go to lunch at one of the nearby restaurants. I also cook dinner for her at my place here at The Estates twice a week, on Wednesdays
and Sundays.”

Gary’s daily routine has been in place since December of 2015. That’s when he finally succeeded in getting Patricia moved to Hawthorne Village of Brandon after she had spent the previous 14 months recovering from her stroke in area hospitals and rehab centers.

“After Patricia had her stroke, I didn’t want to live alone, so I sold our house and moved to Hawthorne Village,” Gary says. “One of the reasons I moved here was because it would help me get Patricia here. This is where I wanted her to be.

John Brooke and Gary Manack live separately from their wives at Hawthorne Village, but that doesn’t mean they live apart.

Hawthorne Village of Brandon

“I knew she was going to need a lot of assistance, and I know there are a lot of other assisted living communities around, but none are like this. This is the best there is, and one of the best things they do is help people like Patricia.”

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.

For seniors such as John and Gary 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 setting.

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 finally, for seniors, such as Eileen, who require specialized memory care, Hawthorne Village offers the 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® program, which is designed to help seniors recovering from major illness or trauma regain function and mobility.

The Best There Is

Eileen moved into the Garden Court about a year ago after she and John, a retired engineer, made the decision to sell their home in the nearby Bloomingdale community and move to Hawthorne Village.

John Brooke and Gary Manack live separately from their wives at Hawthorne Village, but that doesn’t mean they live apart.

Eileen and John Brooke

“Eileen had a stroke about five years ago, and after that, I became her full-time caregiver,” John explains. “I was with her twenty-four seven, and after about four years, it just got to the point where I couldn’t handle taking care of her and the house.

“The biggest problem was the dementia and the fact that Eileen had started to roam away from the house. At first, I put bells on the doors so I would know when she left the house, but one day, she got out and was gone for five hours before we found her.

“After that, I got her a SafetyNet® bracelet, and that’s when my family started pushing me to sell the house and move to Hawthorne Village. They had already checked it out, and they thought it would be the best place for both of us.”

John and Eileen initially moved into an apartment in The Estates. During their first night there, however, Eileen wandered out of the room three times. During their second night there, Eileen wandered out two more times.

“That’s when we decided to move her to the Garden Court,” John says. “And it was the best thing we could have done. It’s allowed her to be in a place where she gets the specific care she needs, and it’s freed me up from having to watch her twenty-four seven.

“The day after she moved there is the day I started the routine I’ve kept with her for almost five years, and it’s worked out very well for us. That’s why I would recommend Hawthorne Village of Brandon for anyone with a situation like ours.

“It’s the best place you’ll find, and the staff and everybody here is so friendly and helpful. They’ll do anything for you. Even if you just have a light bulb out in your apartment, you let them know and they’re right there to take care of it for you.”

Gary highly recommends Hawthorne Village of Brandon as well. His is a recommendation that comes after months of experience with at least one other assisted living community in the area.

“Everything here is excellent,” Gary enthuses. “No matter which part of the community you live in, the care and attention is exceptional. This is one of the most highly rated retirement communities you’ll find, and they’ve earned that rating because it’s the best.”

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