Lisa Jones knows a lot about assisted living facilities.
As a nurse for 25 years, the last 15 of which were spent placing patients in such facilities, she has seen her fair share of shoddy treatment, mismanagement and unfavorable conditions for ALF residents.
So when she applied to be the director of Safety Harbor Senior Living center, she knew what her No. 1 goal would be if she got the job: quality patient care.
“I’ve been in this environment for the last 15 years,” Jones said. “I’d see residents all day long that shouldn’t be in a particular facility because it was unable to serve the patient’s needs.”
Fortunately for Jones, the owners of the new downtown center were looking for a leader who shared the same vision as they did, namely to treat the residents like you would treat a member of your family.
“I knew the administrator of the facility would be the critical piece, somebody with the right combination of mentality, vision and heart,” said Tim Muscaro, a dentist who previously owned two ALFs in Tampa.
“As soon as I interviewed Lisa, I knew she was the perfect person for the position.”
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The match has proven to be a perfect one for everyone involved; as the center celebrates its one-year anniversary this week, it is starting to become recognized as one of the premier ALFs in the Tampa Bay area.
“We’ve got a great reputation already,” Jones said. “We have referrals from doctors, medical facilities, and hospice says we’re their favorite facility in the area.”
“Make the Residents … Feel Like This is Their Home”
According to Muscaro, patient care should be the top priority of any assisted living facility.
While he acknowledges running a center is a business, he said you can’t treat people who are in need of assisted care like products or inanimate objects.
“Other places are bottom line businesses. We don’t run our facility that way,” he said. “I don’t look at the bottom line. Treat your residents the best you can — that’s the bottom line.”
To be eligible to stay at the facility, residents must be able assist with their care, from being mobile to feeding or bathing themselves, unless they qualify for hospice care.
In addition to providing end-of-life care, the facility features a secure memory care floor for patients with Alzheimer’s and other cognitive impairments.
“That’s a big deal. Not every facility has that kind of feature,” Jones said.
But the fact that Safety Harbor Senior Living is not a medical facility should not be considered a detriment to the residents.
On the contrary, Muscaro and his staff have turned it into a positive.
“We’re not a medical facility. This is like a house,” he said. “We give our residents great care, great love, and we make them and their families feel like this is their home.”
Peace of Mind for Family Members
It’s one thing to hear owners and employees brag about their workplace. But it’s another thing when actual clients speak highly of a facility.
Safety Harbor resident Bill Hoth said his mother has been staying at Safety Harbor Senior Living since October following a short stint at another facility, and he says moving her here was the best thing he could’ve done.
“She was in another facility for a month and we got her out of there,” he said as he was finishing a visit with his mom Betty. “We looked a many other facilities and this was by far the nicest, with the best staff, the best rooms and the best care.”
Hoth said he travels a lot for his job, so making sure mom is well taken care of is of upmost importance to him.
After placing his mom here, he said he is worry-free.
“I travel 250 nights a year and I never worry about my mom. I think about her, but I don’t worry about her.”
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