Royal Palm provides full gamut of senior care
Royal Palm Retirement Centre, 2500 Aaron St. in Port Charlotte, provides independent living, assisted living, personal care as well as respite and short-term stays in a relaxing, stress-free environment. Residents live in comfortable private or companion apartments. The amount of assistance the center offers is based on a resident's individual needs.
The facility's mission is to provide residents with the best care possible by maintaining their health, safety and happiness. Its commitment is to protect privacy, preserve dignity and encourage independence in a home-like environment.
Royal Palm has a beauty and barber shop, ice cream/café, library, computer and internet access, small country store, exercise programs, housekeeping and laundry services, and a wide variety of social programs. Three chef-prepared meals are served daily in the restaurant-style dining room. Transportation is available for local medical appointments, shopping and entertainment. The dedicated staff includes a resident care nurse, an activities director and resident assistants.
"Royal Palm is very multi-generational. Many adult children, who liked our facility when their family members were residents, are now happily living here," said Mark Ackerman, executive director.
Royal Palm meets the requirements of the Veterans Administration Aid and Attendance (A&A) program that provides benefits for seniors who served their country. The VA offers this program for a single veteran, married veteran with one dependent, or surviving spouse of a veteran who requires regular aid or assistance with activities of daily living. Care received in an assisted living community qualifies for monetary benefits. Most veterans who are in need of assistance qualify for this program.
Eligibility in the A&A program requires that veterans served active duty during war time; are at least 65 years old or disabled; meet the VA asset limit; have limited income and/or have extensive unreimbursed medical expenses; and were honorably discharged.
A veteran is eligible for up to $1,644 per month, while a surviving spouse is eligible for up to $1,056 per month. A couple is eligible for up to $1,949 per month.
Royal Palm holds informational seminars on the A&A program every three months. Ackerman explained, "Many of our residents couldn't afford to live here if they didn't receive these benefits. We want to (dissolve) the myths and misunderstandings with regard to whether veterans qualify. If in doubt, please call 941-627-6762, and we'll help you to navigate."
Kathleen Ballantine, leasing coordinator, said "The A&A program is protected. There is never any fear of losing the benefits."
Robert Morfoot, 78, is a veteran of the Korean Conflict. He applied for the A&A program seven months ago when he moved to Royal Palm. Since it takes about that amount of time to process the application, his benefits should start in August.
The other good news for Morfoot is that the A&A program is retroactive; he will receive a lump sum for the months since the day he applied.
"The staff is marvelous. I feel fortunate I'm able to come and go as I please in this beautiful community," said Morfoot, whose daughter and friend live in Port Charlotte.
"We're family here, residents and staff," said Cindy Callier, resident care supervisor. "The staff works well together, and the residents help each other." Callier's philosophy: humor is the best medicine. She said Royal Palm has a high profile in the community as a fun place to live.
Callier explained that the staff's goal is to avoid intrusion in the residents' lives and keep them as independent as possible. "We listen to our residents and respond to their suggestions, and we concentrate on having fun and going places," she said.
The monthly calendar is filled with activities and events for every day. There are card and board games, bingo, Wii bowling, chair exercises, movies and crochet classes. Excursions to the Cultural Center of Charlotte County and area supermarkets are frequent.
The Hard Rock Casino in Tampa and Seminole Casino in Immokalee also are popular destinations. Holidays are celebrated with parties and live entertainment.
"We encourage physical and intellectual stimulation for our residents, as well as being socially renewed, and spiritually connected," Ackerman said.
Royal Palm offers a complimentary lunch with a free personal tour of the facility.
For more information, call 941-627-6762 or visit the facility's website: www.RoyalPalmSeniorLiving.com.