"I took a job as an orderly in the 1980s and soon
realized I loved to provide care for patients, so I went
to school and became a nurse," said Darren. "I
was working in California and met Monique, who is also a
registered nurse, there."
The two decided they wanted to get their own assisted living
facility and Darren's mother, who lives on the Island, helped
make it happen.
"She was walking around this neighborhood when she
saw that this business was for sale," he said. "She
talked to the owner, Peggy Baron, who said she wanted to
sell it to someone who would keep it an ALF. My mother set
up a meeting where Peggy basically interviewed us. She finally
agreed to sell it, and I was able to return home on the
It was a good move for Monique, who always said she wanted
to live on a tropical Island.
They have three children: one is in high school, one is
a first-grader at Anna Maria Elementary School and the third
attends the School for Constructive Play, in Anna Maria.
They all live at Anna Maria Care.
The facility is licensed for five residents and they still
have some openings. Darren said as they fill those spaces,
they will move into a home of their own.
Anna Maria Care is located in a large house two blocks from
the beach in a residential neighborhood in Bradenton Beach.
Shaded by trees and away from the heavy traffic of Gulf
Drive, residents have their own rooms and some spectacular
common area, such as a fenced deck, a shaded front yard,
an enclosed back porch and a spacious living room. They
also have a licensed staff for their every need.
"We were trained in hospitals, so we make sure we do
things properly," said Darren. "We have a dietician
who makes sure we prepare correct meals, and we make sure
all our employees are licensed and update themselves with
Monique said they can provide services for people needing
assistance in many different situations.
"We have seniors who need assisted care for their daily
living and can no longer live in their homes," she
said. "They don't have to be permanent residents. We
can provide care for people who are living with relatives
when their caretakers go on a vacation. They can stay for
a weekend or just during the day, when their caretakers
need time to go shopping and just get away for a few hours."
They can also provide hospice care.
"We had one patient who was here for hospice care,
but her condition improved so much they took away the hospice
classification," Darren said. "We have daily activities
for our residents, depending on their individual health.
"We can also provide services like a hair stylist or
take them to church," he added. "What we're trying
to provide is the type of service they deserve at this time
of their lives."
Each bedroom has a cable hookup and patients can individualize
them and even bring in some familiar furnishings for their
comfort. All meals are provided on-site and patients can
have as many visitors as they want. Darren also said they
can provide this personalized service on the Island for
less cost than larger facilities.
For more information, call 779-0322 for an appointment.