Thursday, 13 September 2018 12:43

Home Care.... Sweet!

The August Issue of Furniture, Lighting and Decor Magazine features Home Care Suites cottages, which it calls, "The Suite Solution”.

The article talks about how there is a new housing alternative that many retiring boomers find appealing: granny flats or accessory dwelling units (ADUs). These backyard cottages, also sometimes referred to as tiny homes, or granny pods, offer an answer to two pressing challenges.

Alison Martin of Lighting and Decor Magazine wrote that ADUs “stand poised to solve two major housing crises in cities across the country: the struggle for more affordable housing and the eventual wave of retired and aged Baby Boomers who cannot physically live or afford to live by themselves.”

Henry Moseley Jr., founder and president of Home Care Suites started making these ADUs when his friend asked him to transform a cabana into a livable space for an aging family member. From this experience, Moseley created the custom cottage building company “designed for elderly living with a focus on accessibility.”

By 2035, one in five Americans will be over the age of 65, as well as one in three heads of house, says the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. As housing and healthcare costs continue to rise, ADUs may provide a win-win-win: affordable housing in major cities, comfortable living for aging Boomers and caregiving assistance for adult children.”

While ADUs are a great option for some boomers, they are not a perfect fit for everyone. The cottages are a significant investment.   According to Carrie Shores of San Francisco Bay Area-based Larson Shores Architecture and Interiors explains, “Little houses have all the same expensive parts as a big house but don’t have the extra square feet to bring down the cost.”

“In Florida, the ADU’s cost about $200 per square foot to build. Moseley’s most popular design — a 400-square-foot ADU with a 65- to 85-square-foot porch — costs about $85,000.00"

However, compared to the cost of assisted living facilities (ALF), ADUs are more cost-effective in the long run. According to research the average cost of a one-bedroom in an ALF in the United States is between $3,500 and $4,000 per month.

Building a Home Care Suite pays for itself in just over two years of paying for a one-bedroom in an Alternative Living Facility.

There are a few ways to recoup the investment. In Florida taxpayers are able to get a waiver on their taxes if there is an elderly person living in a space on their property.

“If people think they’re building these cottages just for a parent,” Moseley says, “they’re mistaken.”   Home Care Suites residents enjoy multiple benefits from multi-generation living. Grandparents are able to spend more time with the grandkids, parents spend less time driving across town to visit mom or dad, and the cottage can be used for multiple purposes after their loved one has passed away.  

In a 2016 AARP report, it estimates that that family caregivers focused on the elderly spend about 20 percent of their annual income on costs related to caregiving. And that doesn’t even take into consideration the emotional toll.

Alison Martin said it best in her piece in Lighting and Decor Magazine:  “Greater access to affordable housing and ADUs could potentially benefit people of all ages no matter where they’re living. The tools are out there. Now it will be up to cities and communities to help future generations realize their American Dreams and let others finish theirs in dignity.”

To read the piece by Martin, click here:

To take a virtual tour of our most popular Home Care Suite model, The Floridian, click here.

Published in Home Care Suites Blog
Thursday, 21 September 2017 07:43

Clearwater Cottage - The Floridian Model

DeSanto Exterior Pool Screen Medium Distance

Home Care Suites recently completed a cottage in Clearwater for a lovely family.  Our client, Sheila, had been a successful real estate agent for many years and had a nice condo in downtown Clearwater, but she had gotten to a point where she preferred to be close to her family. She sold her condo and built a cottage in her son's backyard, which had a smaller footprint than her condo, and would be easier to maintain with lower utility bills.   

Sheila had taken care of her own father and went through the process of him aging and passing away, so she had a first-hand experience of taking care of parents.  Sheila decided that a Home Care Suite was a much better option for her. Sheila wanted to be close to her family, but she also wanted to maintain her independence and have her own private space.   

Having spent dozens of years as a real estate agent, Sheila knew the value and appeal of having a guest house on a property.  Sheila's cottage was completed in early August 2017 and she is living comfortably there now.  

We are very happy to report that Sheila's cottage stood up to Hurricane Irma with no damage, and she and her family were safe through the storm.   

The cottage is attached to the main home through a connected breezeway, and a screened in lanai that surrounds the family's backyard pool.  Sheila and her family love gathering together on their back patio in the evenings and on weekends.   In Clearwater, building code requires that an accessory dwelling unit must be attached to the main home, so we were able to create a lovely compound for this family by attaching the cottage through a small roof tie-in and breezeway.  


Published in Home Care Suites Blog

This is Part 2 of Home Care Suites interview with Ranyouri Hines, owner of Behind the Wheel Rehab about safe driving.

This interview is in Question and Answer format.


How can I help my mom or dad drive safely?

One thing we encourage our clients to do is to take an exercise class – or find an activity that helps improve range of motion. Even a gentle exercise class can help improve overall ability.

In Florida are there any laws that relate to age and driving – for example, require a test to be done after a certain age?

In Florida, testing is done to ensure a adequate vision. There is no specific requirement to reexamine driving skills at a certain age. In fact, I had a client who was 95 years old, and they automatically renewed his license for 10 years. It is possible that the DMV may randomly test people, but overall no, there is no age-specific retesting. These days you can renew your license online, so you do not need to physically go into the DMV.


Talk about the emotional factor that is involved when we talk about "taking the keys away."

Many of us have had the experience of not being able to drive. Perhaps you had a surgery, and you were recovering, or you were on medications that inhibited your driving. I had Lasik eyes surgery once, resulting in blurry vision, and I could not drive. Even though it wasn't a long time, I was miserable.

Imagine how they are feeling – put yourself in their shows. They thin kwe are out to "get them." Without the ability to drive and get out of the house, a person can become isolated, depressed, and very lonely. We try to make sure our clients who retire from driving have opportunities to get out. We want people to be active, and happy, and to be able to socialize, in a safer way.


How far in advance to people need to start thinking about this issue, and planning ahead?

Believe it or not, it's once you hit retirement age – or age 55. That seems young, but remember a 55-year-old can have a stroke, and their cognition might not be the same. That is a good time to start talking about driving alternatives. Better to have a plan than not.

What does the planning process entail?

Sit down with family and friends and have everyone discuss the problems and solutions. Make sure that the driver has input – the driver will have a majority say, and everyone gets on the same page. Create a written statement so that everyone knows, IF... Then....
Another reason why it's good to start planning early is because when someone has dementia, it is difficult to reason about safety.

Some clients – only agree to drive – to doctors office and back – beauty salon – there are some elder drivers who do a great job of identifying their issues, and they are able to limit some of the things they do – reports show that accidents happen within a mile radius


Is there a way for me to anonymously report a suspicious driver?

Yes, on the Florida Medical Review Board Web site – you can report concerns anonymously with Form 72190 and the FMRB will investigate. You can read more about medical and vision issues on the Florida Department of Motor Vehicle's Web site at:

How can I find a driver rehab specialist in my area?

I work in the Sun City area, and I can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling 813-455-9173.
You can also check out the Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists  or the American Occupational Therapy Association


Adaptive driving equipment for elderly driver rehabilitation



Age alone does not determine a person's driving ability.



Published in Home Care Suites Blog

Interview with a Driving Rehab Specialist

Are you worried about your aging parent's driving ability?
Have you thought about approaching them, but you are concerned you will offend them, or that the conversation may not go well?

Home Care Suites interviews Ranyouri Hines, owner of Behind the Wheel Rehab about safe driving.

This interview is in Question and Answer format.


What's your name and what do you do?

Ranyouri Hines Driver RehabMy name is Ranyouri Hines, but I go by Rani (pronounced Rainy). I am the owner of Behind the Wheel Rehab. I provide driver rehabilitation services to seniors or anyone with a disability in the Tampa Bay area.

How do your clients come to you?

The ability to drive is a sensitive topic. Seniors don't volunteer themselves; it's usually the family members, neighbors, loved ones or a doctor – someone who is concerned.
In some cases my clients have been reported to the Florida Medical Review Board, which is a division of the DMV that evaluates drivers who have a medical background, or vision issues. The Medical Review Board will analyze the driver's ability and determine if that person can keep their driver's license.

What do you look for when you conduct a driving test for a senior?

I perform clinical testing -- which is cognition, reaction time, visual and overall physical abilities. I also get into a special vehicle with the driver to conduct behind-the wheel testing. I'm looking for many different conditions in a driver, including:
• Peripheral vision
• Ability to turn neck from side to side
• Ability to get in and out of the vehicle
• Reaction time,
• Ability to remember how to get from point A to point B.

What happens if someone fails your driving test – then what?

If a client does not pass the test, then I write a report called a "Driving Summary" where I recommend that person retire from driving. A copy of the report is sent to the client's doctor who referred them and to the Florida Medical Review Board.
I work with the family to ensure that the driver has transportation options. We consider getting rides from neighbors, friends, or from church members. It is very important that the individual can retain their independence.

In your opinion, what is the best way for a family to handle this issue?

The best method is to start planning early. Work with your family to develop a plan together. Make sure you include the driver in question in the planning process. Create a written statement or an outline. Sit down together as a family and ask yourself:
- Where are the places that mom or dad wants/needs to go?
- What are some options for alternative transportation? Friends, relatives, church members? What about a coupon booklet for a taxi or driving service?
Don't be afraid to talk about it. If we talk about it now, and the driver feels like they are a part of it – they will be more willing to accept the transition.

What are the signs to watch for? How do I know when it's time to take a closer look at mom or dad's driving?

Simply taking a look at the driver's vehicle will quickly help you identify the main signs. Do you see dents or scratches on the car? Is the car banged up? Another option is to take a ride in the car with the driver. If you aren't willing to ride in the car with them, then you shouldn't trust them to be on the road with other people.

What if you don't live nearby?

If you live far away – talk with their neighbors or close friends, or someone who seems them a lot – and ask them about it. You cannot be sure that if you ask mom or dad directly that they will be forthcoming. They may tell you, "Oh, I just went to the store, and came back," but they don't mention the fact that they took the side view mirror off along the way. Find someone physically close – someone who knows them, who can take a ride with them or address the situation.

What is the age range and factors that contribute to the loss of the ability to drive.

My motto is – Age alone does not determine a person's driving ability.
People of all ages have accidents – it's about health concerns, limitations – overall well-being.

Medically speaking, age 65 and up is when a lot of the decline in our physical ability starts – related to vision, physical, memory, and reaction time. However, drivers of varying ages have varied abilities, and it really depends on the individual.



According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

      • Advancing age can bring impairments that affect driving ability. Drivers age 70 and older have higher crash rates per mile traveled than middle-aged drivers, though not as high as young drivers.
      • The number of drivers age 70 and older is growing. As baby boomers age, older people make up a bigger proportion of the population than they used to. In addition, older drivers are keeping their licenses longer.
      • Despite their growing numbers, older drivers are involved in fewer fatal collisions than in the past. A total of 4,079 people ages 70 and older died in crashes in 2012. That's 31 percent fewer than in 1997.
      • Many older drivers limit their driving. Surveys show that many people drive fewer miles and avoid night driving or other challenging situations as they get older. Some states require in-person license renewal for older drivers to help identify those who shouldn't be driving or should have restricted licenses.


Want to learn more about how to talk to mom or dad about driving safely?  Click here for part 2 of our interview.  

Published in Home Care Suites Blog

Areas Served

Home Care Suites are an affordable alternative to an assisted living facility in the greater Tampa Bay area.
Home Care Suites serves the Central Florida Market including Tampa,  St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Palm Harbor, Largo, Dunedin, Seffner, Lakeland, Land O Lakes, New Port Richey, Riverview, Plant City, Town N Country, Spring Hill, Zephyrhills, Dade City, Clermont, Brooksville, Apopka, St. Cloud, Haines City, Winter Haven, Lake Wales & more.

Contact Us Today

Contact Us