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West Orange Times & Observer Wednesday, Jul. 11, 2018 4 days ago

Senior experts collaborate in new venture: Winter Garden Senior Home Care

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Jennifer Talbot and Rebecca Lanterman have combined their experiences to serve the elderly population and their families with the new Winter Garden Senior Home Care.
by: Amy Quesinberry Community Editor

Two Winter Garden women with decades of combined experience in the field of senior-citizen care have partnered to open Winter Garden Senior Home Care.

Jennifer Talbot and Rebecca Lanterman are the owners of the company, a private-duty, in-home health care agency in West Orange County. The business was formerly called Age Advantage, but when Talbot’s franchise contract ended, she rebranded it and brought in Lanterman as co-owner.

The pair met eight years ago when Lanterman was working at Health Central Park and their paths crossed frequently because many of Talbot’s clients came from there.

Talbot owned and operated Age Advantage for 11 years. Lanterman has five years of hospice experience and 10 years of long-term care and hospice experience.

At Winter Garden Senior Home Care, the team creates a care plan personalized to each individual so he or she can remain at home. A variety of services are available, including preparing meals; doing light housekeeping and laundry; assisting with daily grooming, exercises and activities; escorting on errands and to doctor appointments; and providing complete care for those who are bedridden.

Clients are matched with their ideal caregiver, which allows them to live the rest of their lives at home — what Talbot and Lanterman call “aging in place.”

“We’ve read so many articles about people who just want to stay home, but so many people don’t know it’s an option to keep their loved ones at home,” Lanterman said.

Too many people wait until they are in the hospital emergency room or another dire situation and then are forced to make an immediate decision regarding health care, she said.

“You see the toll it takes on families,” Lanterman said. “It hurts the harmony of the family when no one knows what to do with Mom. It causes unnecessary conflict. And people aren’t talking about it. People aren’t having the conversation.”

The business partners are available to speak to families who are searching for answers to their questions about in-home care. It can be overwhelming, especially for families who don’t know all of the options.

As more people learn about the choices that are available for their loved ones regarding senior care, Talbot said, they can expect to get even busier.

“The biggest challenge for our industry is hiring and retaining caregivers, and there’s more of a need than there are caregivers, and that’s keeping us on our toes,” she said.

As Lanterman slips into the operations aspect of the business, Talbot will focus on addressing some of the needs of seniors in West Orange County. She wants to start a Brain Fitness Club, a place for people in the beginning stage of memory loss to keep their brain active. She hopes to bring more Seniors First Meals on Wheels delivery routes to this area.

She would like to start a program similar to Seniors Helping Seniors — which pairs volunteer drivers with senior citizens needing transportation to medical appointments.

Talbot said the office manager recently became certified in CPR so they can offer classes to the public.

WGSHC will participate in community programs six times a year, serving on a panel with Vitas Hospice, Encompass, Health Central Park and Golden Pond Communities to provide guest speakers who discuss topics of interest to the elderly.

“We’re excited about that, any time we can hold classes or open discussions,” Talbot said.

This will include fun activities, too, and one of the ways they want to connect with the community is to host another painting program at the SoBo art gallery during the winter holidays.

“Last year, people left a loved one for a few hours with our caregivers and (they) helped them paint,” she said.

Both women stress their compassion for the older generation and a commitment to their well-being.

“We’ve aligned such very similar passions, (and) we both are incredibly committed to this community,” Lanterman said. “Since we’ve known each other, whether it’s in long-term care or hospice or assisted-living or community stuff, we’ve crossed paths. … We bring a wealth of knowledge to the business.

“We have many seniors who are in assisted-living and are happy, but we at Winter Garden Senior Home Care want people to know that there is an option to stay at home,” Lanterman said.

Amy Quesinberry is the community editor of the West Orange Times & Observer and the Windermere Observer. She was born and raised in Winter Garden, grew up reading the community newspaper and has been employed there as a writer, photographer and editor since 1990....

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