Tidewell made a commitment to the Lakewood Ranch community with the purchase of land on Rangeland Parkway for an eighth hospice house. Ground will be broken in 2017 on the site near the intersection of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and Rangeland Parkway.
The 12-bed, 14,810-square-foot facility offers convenience for Lakewood Ranch patients and families who currently must travel 12 miles or more for in-patient services.
Tidewell volunteer Carole Zoellner knows firsthand what a hospice house will mean to the residents of the Lakewood Ranch area. Her mother, Shirley Bergamini, died in 2006 at the Ellenton Hospice House. Shirley had suffered a broken hip during a serious fall while living with Carole and her husband, Dieter, in their East Manatee County home.
Carole and Dieter hoped to be at Shirley’s bedside when she died, but they were unable to make it back to Ellenton in time after taking a quick trip home for dinner. Fortunately, Carole’s daughter was with Shirley when she passed.
“I could have been there quicker,” said Carole, who volunteers at the Ellenton Hospice House in appreciation of the care her mother received. “If she was at Lakewood Ranch, it would have been a lot better for my husband and myself.”
The tranquil setting and a staff expert in palliative care eases the fear and anxiety of dying patients and those who love them.
“She was so happy in the last part of her life,” Zoellner said of her mother. “Whenever I went to see her, she said, ‘No matter what I want, they bring it to me. … If you push the buzzer, they are here so quickly it’s unbelievable. They’ve made me every kind of food I’ve asked for, and I’m sorry I can’t eat it.’”
To fully fund the Lakewood Ranch Hospice House project, Tidewell is undertaking a $7 million capital campaign. Specifically, funds raised through this campaign will be used to support:
- Purchase and develop 2.45 acres in the heart of Lakewood Ranch, near the intersection of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and State Road 70 — $ 1 million
- Construction of the hospice house, landscaping, medical equipment, furnishings, service implementation — $4 million
- Endowment to help fund charity care and family support services, along with future operation of the hospice house — $2 million
To donate, visit tidewellatlwr.org.