Arbor Terrace of Citrus Park Provides Home-Like High-Quality Senior Living
Deborah Bostock-Kelley (author)
Location(s): Arbor Terrace of Citrus Park
There are some people who are perfectly suited to their profession. Michelle Lauletta, the Engagement Director at Arbor Terrace at Citrus Park, is one such person. This gregarious woman with a contagious big laugh and even bigger heart is doing her “dream job” with her “dream team.” Her face lights up when she talks about the people she works with and preparing activities for the senior citizens who call this newly opened assisted living and memory care facility home.
Conveniently located in the heart of the Citrus Park and Westchase areas, Arbor Terrace at Citrus Park opened just a month ago at 13810 Sheldon Road, and unlike a sterile hospital environment, this fabulous state-of-the-art community evokes the feel of a luxury hotel or resort. “We are not at all clinical,” said Michelle. “We try very hard to be as home-like as possible with the normal activities of daily living.”
Three types of apartments are available for rent – studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom companion suites with a shared bathroom and kitchenette. Small pets are welcome, but the resident has to be able to care for the animal.
The benefits of an assisted living facility are plentiful. “Right away, they have the social interaction they wouldn’t have if they were just sitting at home watching TV. They have friends who are going through the same things they are,” said Lauletta. “We keep them physically and mentally active. We do exercises every morning. Their health is monitored. We have nurses on site working here 24 hours a day. Families have that piece of mind that their loved ones are safe. We try to keep their lives as normal as possible.”
Arbor Terrace at Citrus Park provides different levels of assistance, based up on the individual needs of each resident. The first floor offers a secured memory care for residents that require round-the-clock specialized care. The second floor offers the Bridges program and includes a higher acuity level of care provided by their ECC license (Extended Congregate Care) which also allows the residents to age in place. The third floor is for Senior Assisted Living.
“Bridges is for early onset dementia and Alzheimer’s. It’s where the same question is repeated throughout the day. They’re not needing a secure community, but needing a little more attention,” explained Lauletta. “Part of our training is how to deal with this. Some people need redirection, some people need distraction, some people just need you to sit and listen to them and that’s what Bridges is all about.” Lauletta said that so often the Bridges group of residents gets lost in assisted living communities because they are not yet in memory care where that is addressed one-on-one, but not able to live anymore in assisted living. “We try to reach out to them and to gear our activities for their needs,” she said. “We set them for success and want them to feel good about themselves.”
When visiting the nurses’ station, several students from Rasmussen College were beginning their first day interning at the facility. When asked about their first impression, they responded, “It’s a great facility with a great staff. The residents are very pleasant. We love it!”
Arbor Terrace at Citrus Park showcases rooms themed to the Tampa Bay area. The “Tampa Theatre” features a media room with comfortable seating and a big screen TV. “We will do popcorn and a movie,” Lauletta said. The “Siesta Key Salon & Spa” provides a place where the residents can get pampered in the salon every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. The Multi Purpose Room offers a kitchen, couches, TV and tables for the residents to play games with staff and a state-of-the-art computer lab connects seniors to the Internet. At Arbor Terrace’s Ybor City Bistro and Café guests can enjoy a Friday afternoon happy hour and a cappuccino machine.
The Longboat Key dining area is reminiscent of dining in a five-star restaurant. Cream fabric tablecloths cover each table, napkins are balanced in a perfect erect column on the center of each placemat, and a single beautiful rose and baby’s breath sit in the center of the table. The dining room also boasts a private dining area with a wide-screen TV for guests to bring family to share a private meal.
Arbor Terrace at Citrus Park also offers a special dining program called Dining with Dignity that enables those that have lost their ability to handle utensils or chew food to enjoy the same five-star meal other residents enjoy. “It’s gourmet dining made in a way that guests can eat with dignity,” said Lauletta.
In 2014, Arbor Terrace’s Dining With Dignity dining program received National recognition, becoming the newest winner of the Best of the Best Awards at the annual Assisted Living Federation of America conference.
Besides many planned activities within the facility, like indoor bowling, baking and cooking, residents can participate in many diverse types of outings, from luncheons called the Lunch Bunch to Mystery Rides. “We have mystery rides where it’s not a planned excursion,” said Lauletta. “We’ll go to the Causeway and watch the dolphins. We try to keep our residents busy – physically and mentally.
“The emphasis here is on the resident, not on the marketing aspect of filling the community. Other communities will spend hundreds of dollars to get someone in and then ten dollars to keep them in,” explained Lauletta. “Our philosophy is let’s take care of the residents that are here. This is their home. They don’t live where we work, we work where they live.”
Arbor Terrace of Citrus Park is located south of Sickles High School at 13810 Sheldon Road in Tampa. For more information or to reserve a suite please call (813) 333-9996 or visit www.at-citruspark.com.