Accreditation is an official “approval” given by an independent governing body to a senior living community and/or their staff, showing that they provide senior care to very high standards.
We are thrilled to announce the winner of our Company-wide Father of the Year Mark Overmyer, a resident at Inspired Living Ocoee!!
His daughter Karly’s submission is below. Mark will receive a $1,000 rent credit off of his JULY 2021 rent!
Father of the Year Winner 2021
Inspired Living Ocoee
Submitted by daughter Karly Furtado
I am nominating my father, Mark Overmyer, as Father of the Year, because he is the most kind, giving, and selfless man I know. Growing up, I always looked up to my dad. He was intelligent, determined, strong,
could fix about anything, and most importantly so giving. If anyone ever needed anything or to borrow money, if my dad had it, he would gladly give it even knowing he may never get it back.
He grew up on a farm in Indiana, so I know that’s where he learned the value of hard work and fixing things just like his father. I was the youngest and only daughter with two older brothers, Chris and Brandon. My parents risked everything to open up a freight forwarding business, Marcair Inc., a month after I was born in 1988. He had this successful business for over 30 years before it fell victim to Covid-19 in 2020, and we had to close the doors late last year.
He always worked such long hours, but even still my dad always made time for me. I can still remember on the weekends, in the morning when I was about eight years old, he always had to do the “magic stir” on my little cup of cocoa. He and I had many movie nights together. He would stay up late after soccer practice and always found time to help me with my math and science homework, even when he was exhausted from a late day at work. Sure he worked a lot, but he always made time for all of our sporting events, especially all of our soccer games and was our biggest fan, alongside our mother. In high school, my dad was known as the Girl’s Varsity Soccer announcer. Everyone loved his voice, even though occasionally, he would forget that he wasn’t just cheering on his own daughter.
Growing up, both of my parents worked so hard to make sure we could always have the most epic family vacations to Colorado, Washington State, Georgia, and Boca Grande, FL. The biggest reason our dad deserves Father of the Year is for what he did for our mother, Candy. On Mother’s Day weekend in 2005, our mom was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia with a white count of over 460,000. The doctor’s said she wouldn’t have made it if we didn’t get her to the hospital early that weekend. She was given less than a 10% chance to live, due to her case, and the local doctors told her she wouldn’t get through it and would die of leukemia. The Orlando Transplant Clinic refused to consider my mom as a candidate for a transplant. My dad researched and spoke to everyone he could, and was able to get the best insurance and found out exactly where he needed to take her for her best chance of survival. My dad flew her all
the way across country to Seattle, Washington to the Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center, where after much pushback, her local doctor finally persuaded them to move forward with a mismatched bone marrow transplant. This was her only chance to live. After her initial heavy regimen of chemo and radiation, which got her into remission, we all flew out to Seattle during my senior year of high school. My dad dropped everything, including stepping away from his business and worked remotely, while we lived there for six months in an apartment. Despite all odds, she received her unmatched transplant. Every year they had to fly out to Seattle for several check ups. After a never ending battle with Graft vs. Host Disease and a multitude of other complications, we were lucky enough to have her for 14 more years with us.
My dad and I were her caregivers over that period of time. I watched my dad sacrifice so much just to make sure we still had her here. It was not an easy 14 years by any means, but it was precious time we all got to have with our mother. Sadly, my mom passed away in March of 2020, after a yearlong battle following her stroke. The love our father had for our mother was beautiful and one of a kind. They had been married for 41 years when she passed away. My dad took care of my mom for so long and tried to give her such a good life, despite everything she had to go through. The last year with her, my dad would go and sit with her all day, everyday, no matter if she was at the hospital or physical therapy rehab center. He just didn’t want her to ever be alone. I watched him over those years, and he never once complained. Dad just kept fighting to keep her with us. He knew we all needed our mom and wasn’t going to let her go without a fight.
My dad is my hero, my mom was my best friend, and he did everything he could to keep her here with us. She was able to make it to all of our graduations, two weddings, and for the birth of her two granddaughters. I think he deserves to be father of the decade. Unfortunately, the same year she had her stroke in 2019, my dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus after so many months of research. The doctor’s still find his case a mystery and aren’t sure what else may be going on in his brain. He lived with my family and me for almost a year, where he got to enjoy being with my mom initially, and his two granddaughters’, Emma and Abigail, and our yellow lab, Buddy. Dad would always refer to the dog as “Budders”. Sadly, he became too much for us to care for and handle on our own, so we had to find a safer place for him, where he would receive the care he needed. I never wanted to be forced to put him somewhere, and I tried to hold out as long as physically possible.
He has been at Inspired Living in Ocoee, for almost a year now. I’m happy to say, after some adjusting, he calls his little apartment his “home.” Since September, I was listed as an essential caregiver and I’ve been visiting him daily for dinner and helping to get him in bed. However, once my husband got his new job in January, I’ve only been able to go about four to five times a week now. Everyone in there has been so nice and caring. My dad gets weekly visits from my brother and Aunt and Grandfather as well. It makes him so happy to be with family and he still knows all of us. What is happening to him and his body is so unfair; he can no longer walk now and has progressed so rapidly since the loss of our mother. Before he got sick, the cardiologist told him he was one of the healthiest patients he had. He was a runner, and ran the New York City Marathon with our mom in 1996. Together, they accomplished so much. My dad spent so many years caring for someone else, and now has his own illness he has to deal with, without the love of his life by his side. He is truly heartbroken over the loss of our mother. It is so hard to see him this way. What I hope, is that I can show him the same love and care that he gave to our mom all those years. He is an amazing role model for our family and he deserves so much. I wish there was some kind of cure for him, but after many tests and trials, nothing seems to be working. I don’t know what I’ll do without my dad one day, life is precious and you never know how much time you have left.
I’m so grateful I can still see him and visit him. I never imagined losing either one of my parents in my early thirties, but I know everything happens for a reason. I feel we are all stronger from our experiences and I have learned so much from all of this. I am so blessed to have had the time I’ve had with both my parents over the years. Hopefully, I can share the same love and care my dad showed my mom and all of us to my husband and our two little girls.
I love you dad. You’re truly amazing! You were always my rock for all those years mom was sick and I am here for you now and always. Mom is still with us everyday helping you fight and keeping you strong and I know your “Angel Princess” is smiling down upon us from Heaven.
Love Always, Karly aka Kraly
GLOSSARY OF SENIOR LIVING TERMS
If you’re new to the concepts of Assisted Living and Memory Care, trying to understand all the terms related to these types of care can feel a little overwhelming. We understand! That’s why we put together this glossary of key terms related to the senior living industry.
PRIVATE PAY VS. GOVERNMENT ASSISTED
There are a variety of ways to pay for the costs of senior living communities. The two main options are private forms of payment or various government assistance programs. Need help finding the one that’s right for you? Continue reading below to learn more about each program so you can make a more informed decision.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR BUDGET
When considering private pay senior living, budgeting is among one of the most significant things you must consider. In this budgeting guide, we have listed several factors to consider when planning a budget for senior living expenses:
Your Monthly Cost of Living
Whether you are just getting started or have done your research, this guide is here to help you understand your budget and if private pay senior living is the right choice for you.
RIGHTSIZING PERKS & TIPS
Downsizing is a key part of simplifying your life and cutting costs. Explore the tips below for help on making the transition as easy as possible, and learn more about the advantages that proper downsizing can bring to your life.
BENEFITS OF SENIOR LIVING
Most seniors want to live in their own homes as they continue to age, preferring to age in place with in-home care. It’s very understandable, as you are likely more comfortable in a familiar place and don’t want to deal with the difficulty of moving. But there are many advantages to senior living communities. Here’s why living in a senior living community might be the best option for you:
The organizations listed below are good resources:
To better understand and cope with the changes caused by Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, we offer monthly support groups and educational sessions for residents, family members, and friends at each of our communities. These include specialized support groups such as one for men who are unaccustomed to their new role as a caregiver and one for men who are unsure of how to cope with their feelings surrounding a loved one’s loss of memory or end of life.
Memory Care support groups are led by trained professionals and former caregivers at each community. These groups present family members the opportunity to ask questions, express concerns and share their personal experiences.
These sessions are free and open to everyone. Family and friends are always welcome. Please check our calendar for particular sessions.