RUSKIN — April 30 was a special day at Pacifica Sun City Senior Living, an assisted-living and memory care community built in 1981 and located at 3855 Upper Creek Drive, Ruskin.
A meet-and-greet introducing its new executive director, Dawn Grady, and her management team was the perfect opportunity to show off the newly refurbished memory care unit. The new leader brings more than 22 years of experience as an LPN, educator and executive director.
She and her staff conducted tours of the 145-bed facility, surprising visitors with the elegant new surroundings.
Recessed lighting, new flooring, comfortably plush furniture for the residents, new dining areas and designer artwork now enhance the memory care unit of 40 studio apartments. A grand opening celebration will take place at the end of June, when refurbishment of the assisted-living section is also completed.
Aesthetics aren’t all that has changed at Sun City Senior Living.
Grady’s first line of business was to evaluate procedures to upgrade the level of resident care. Although financial considerations are important, she said, “I am not concerned with the bottom line over the care of our residents.”
With recent changes in management, Grady said her seven support managers “needed a little nurturing and tweaking. It was a matter of bringing the team together. They now have the tools they need (to do their jobs).”
Other changes include an electronic pharmacy that gives the staff a two-hour window to disperse medications and reduce the possibility of human error.
Grady asked the nutritionist to create a more diversified menu, giving residents a selection of six main courses at each meal instead of the previous three.
Peggy Meredith Cochard, 88, a six-year resident and president of the Resident Council, said she likes the changes so far.
“You meet people in all stages of health here, and they are willing to bring up any and all issues to improve our living experience,” she said. “The new director sits on them right away. Every request, comment or complaint is addressed with 24 hours.”
A diverse array of resident activities will continue to be offered and expanded to meet residents’ needs, as will the adult daycare program, available Monday through Friday for the local community, to provide activities for half- or full-day guests from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“I looked at several facilities in the area, and this was the nicest, most affordable place,” said Vinny Trapani, 80, a former resident of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Kings Point. “All I have to do when I feel an itch, is start up my golf cart and take a ride (to Sun City Center).”
For information, call (813) 633-3333.
Dosi Loverro is freelance writer who can be reached at [email protected]