Dr. Gordon Forbes of Florida Hospital Oceanside hopes to break ground on his 24-bed facility in the next month.
When it was time to choose an assisted living facility for Dr. Gordon Forbes’ mother, he had a hard time finding one that felt right.
He wanted to make sure his mother was comfortable in the facility he chose, but there were aspects of each one he disliked. For example, the physical layouts of the facilities oftentimes had long hallways between his mother’s room and the common areas, making it difficult for her to attend meals or activities.
In the end, his experience with his mother inspired him to build his own assisted living facility—one that met all of his requirements and more.
“My whole thought process and goal in this was to build a facility to the level that I would want for my mother,” Forbes said.
The “For Our Parents” assisted living facility will be a 24-bed home across from the YMCA on the corner of N. Center Street and Sterthaus Drive. All the rooms will be private and have their own bathrooms. Dr. Forbes, who works in the emergency room of the Florida Hospital Oceanside, is currently awaiting permitting and hopes to break ground in a month.
The facility will be all one-floor and have an open floor plan to minimize the distance between rooms and common areas. Due to his experience with his mother, Forbes understands the difficulty of being far away from everything else.
“For people that aren’t close to the common area, it’s a chore,” Forbes said.
He also wants to incorporate day-to-day activities into the facility to make it both comfortable and entertaining for visitors and patients alike.
“Sadly, it’s so hard to get people to go visit their loved ones when they’re in a facility like that,” Forbes said.
In order to remedy that, he plans to have gardens with raised planters to make it easier for the elderly and a retention pond so they may fish. He said he can already picture families bringing their fishing poles to “For Our Parents” when they visit their grandparents.
Forbes worked closely with Kevin Tilley and the group at the local Florida's SBDC network, who provided him the help he needed with the paperwork, business plans and consulting services at no cost.
"That's what the SBDC is here for," Tilley said.
Tilley said Forbes was almost too good to be true when he first walked in, having done a lot of background work himself, just needing a few holes to fix.
Forbes’ mother will be his very first resident, something they are both excited about. If all goes to plan, “For Our Parents” could open as early as next fall.
‘It’s a huge sacrifice to lose so much—giving up your home, your independence, all the things that you do and love in your life,” Forbes said. “So my goal is to try and minimize that as much as possible.”