Are you prepared for what’s to come if you can’t care for yourself?

March 6, 2020
By Olivia Cameron

BY MARCY SHORTUSE
It’s about various steps. When a person has to transition from living on their own, quite often in a home they thought they would never leave, it’s one of the hardest times of their life. As one ages, though, it’s not always possible to live without professional medical assistance, but being prepared makes that thought a bit less daunting. Many, though, don’t even want to consider the thought.
Bill Munsell, a long-time island resident, and his wife, Cathy, had to make that decision not too long ago. They have recently moved to a community called South Port Square, a senior living facility that includes options from independent living to assisted living. They miss their island home, but it was a necessary move that Cathy was not in favor of in the beginning of discussions. Now, though, she is in her element and loving the social aspects of having like-minded people so close by.
Munsell is a key player in an unusual opportunity to become familiar with specific local services for seniors that has been scheduled at the Boca Grande Community Center on Tuesday, March 17, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Admission is free and everyone is welcome.
 Management speakers from three continuing-care retirement communities, including Glenridge in Sarasota, Shell Point in Fort Myers and South Port Square in Port Charlotte, will be on hand to answer questions.
 “The informational speakers are not fundraisers,” Munsell said. “Generally speaking, the three communities provide for residents’ broad needs, including independent living, assisted living, Alzheimer’s/dementia, rehabilitations, wellness/therapy services and skilled nursing.”
 Topics will include trends in health care, outline of current local structures enhanced with convenience amenities, training trends, prescription drug trends, patient, staff and professional growth, things to review when considering life-care providers, and Medicare counsel.
 Speakers will be Robert Sidlow and Pam Turrell, Glenridge event coordinator/planners; Ronette Icso, Shell Point Vice President;  Brian Hess, South Port Square’s executive director.
Bill said it was very difficult to make the decision to leave their island home, but he knew he had to get going and make a decision in a short period of time. After all, many places have waiting lists that are years long. 
“Whether you like it or not, sometimes you can’t fix the problem,” Bill said. “We went and visited the local places, and came to South Port and got a good gut feeling. Just driving up to the gate felt good. 
“Theres a lot of need, and the need is growing … and the awareness level is pretty poor.”
If you have any questions at all contact Event Director Bill Munsell at 
bilmunsell@aol.com, or call him at (941) 235-8927.