We came to America in 2001 to help Annie, Julian's mom, who had retired to Florida and was about to open her second small A.L.F.
Annie was a nurse for 40 years, looking after geriatrics as a well qualified SRN, (state registered nurse).
After coming to Florida for a vacation Annie found and fell in love with a house on Anna Maria Island that used to be a small facility. It was grandfathered in with the right to reopen, and that's exactly what Annie did. Here's Annie with a brief history.
"I had visited Anna Maria on Vacation in 1996 and I fell in love with the place. On my return to the UK I started to dream of living here. I did some research and found out there was a house for sale that had once been an A.L.F, licensed for five people.At that time I was unsure what an A.L.F was, so I asked around. When I found out everything started to fall into place. I was already caring for 35 elderly people back in England, so five in such a perfect setting really got me motivated.
I finally bought the house on Anna Maria City in June of 1996 and began the mountainous task of acquiring a license to operate. Whilst I was buried in paperwork and becoming familiar with State rules and regulations, I found out I was able to take in two residents as an unlicensed facility. My first resident came to me in June 1996 through friends I had met at church. This lady was a daycare resident who was joined in the same month by my first full time lady.
Word began to spread and I soon had a waiting list of people wanting to come, so I applied for a license to operate a family care home, which seemed easier to acquire. When I realized I wouldn't be able to grow my business with that particular license, I withdrew my application and applied for a Standard License to Operate an Assisted Living Facility. This would allow my six residents, a number that Anna Maria City would allow. Whilst I was doing this I also sat The Florida Nursing Boards exam to obtain my nursing license.
I was granted my first license to operate an A.L.F in Florida in 1998 and things have gone from strength to strength. We have seen many wonderful people in need of help with their activities of daily living, I have loved them and they loved me right back. I am still in contact with the families of some of my early residents and the recommendations and references I receive make this business even more worth while!"
Annie passed away in December 2019. The cancer she dealt with fourteen years earlier came back and took her life, she was 79.
Annie's drive and determination led to one facility becoming two and a call for help to her son and daughter-in-law. Annie's legacy continues as Maria and Julian, now operate Sunny Bower Assisted Living and Senior Day Center in Northwest Bradenton. This 16 bed facility in a quiet residential part of NW Bradenton is loved, has a strong following, is busy and has some of the best staff in the industry. All because a retired nurse fell in love with an island and had the passion to create something special.