Big Nana On Campus

Engaging resident embraces special role at senior community.

Your eyes are not something you want to take chances with. Years ago, however, Glenda Stafford took a calculated risk with her eyes when she became one of the first people to undergo LASIK surgery. The gamble continues to pay dividends.

Glenda Stafford sitting with her hands crossed in a wicker rocking chair on the patio of Savannah Court of Orange City

Glenda Stafford

“Yes, I was a little concerned at first, but there was nothing to it at all, and it was one of the best things I ever did for myself,” Glenda shares. “Even after all these years, I still don’t need to wear glasses. Not for reading or for anything.”

While Glenda, 74, still has the vision of her youth, her health has declined in other areas. A few years ago, after a number of bad falls, she and her family decided it would be best if she moved into an assisted living facility.

“When we started looking around for places, my 15-year-old grandson went with us,” Glenda remembers. “With the first three or four we visited, my grandson said, Nope, Nana’s not living here. And I agreed with him. I didn’t like any of them.

Then they visited Savannah Court of Orange City.

“As soon as we walked into the lobby, my grandson said, This is where my nana’s going to live. And I felt the same way,” Glenda recollects. “I could tell right away there was something very warm and welcoming that I really liked.”

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

The amenities, provided by an experienced staff that specializes in personalized care and hospitality, 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 Angel Jackson, executive director of Savannah 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. This allows us to make sure they are cared for in the best way possible. We ensure they are as independent and active as they want to be with the various programs and activities we offer.”

Those programs and activities include arts, crafts, music and games. Savannah Court also offers exercise programs to suit residents’ needs and tastes as well as community events designed to promote camaraderie.

Glenda didn’t need a community event to develop camaraderie. An engaging sort, she started making close friends the day she arrived. She now serves as something of a resident ambassador, helping newcomers adjust to life at Savannah Court.

“Glenda is very socially involved with the residents and the staff,” says Angel. “She’s a very outgoing, upbeat and positive person, so when new residents arrive or someone is visiting, she often greets them and shows them around.

Glenda also keeps an eye out for her neighbors.

“She is very close with our residents,” Angel shares. If someone is having a bad day, she’ll let the staff know to check in on that person. She looks out for everyone here, and everyone appreciates that.”

Glenda has called Savannah Court “home” for almost four years, and it truly is home to her. Since moving from the house she shared with her daughter, Glenda has developed a bond she has no interest in breaking.

“Whenever I go to visit my daughter, by nighttime I’m usually ready to come home,” Glenda maintains. “This is home. When I walk in the door, I feel very comfortable. Everyone is so nice, and the entire staff is committed to taking care of all the residents’ needs. I love it here.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. Photo by Jordan Pysz. mkb
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