The beginnings of Alder Terrace Adult Care Center came from a long association with Meals on Wheels, a war hero and the belief in something better.

Michael Hay, prior to moving to Florida, had never given much thought to seniors or senior living until he volunteered for Meal on Wheels in 2016. The experience was moving for him, as he soon realized that for many seniors, his delivery of the meal was the only contact and conversation they would have the entire day. Friendships were forged, and Hay developed a deeper understanding of how seniors strive, and often struggle each day, to live independently in the manner they desire.

The impetus for founding Alder Terrace Adult Care Center came from a single event that occurred on a particularly challenging Thursday, in 2017. Hay had for a couple of years delivered meals every week to a proud and decorated Korean War veteran, and on this particular day there was no answer at the door, or the familiar greeting that Hay had come to expect. This was completely out of character and with grave concern Hay circled the house, removed a screen from an open window, climbed in and found a proud Korean war veteran crumpled up on the floor. He was unable to get up and remained lying where he had been all night. It was in that moment and after deadlifting the war veteran onto the sofa, that Hay, deeply humbled, realized that he could and should do more.

For this same veteran, 67 years earlier and in 1950, was then a 17-year-old combat medic, posted on the Korean front lines to witness the worst of the wartime events. He braved enemy fire and cared for wounded soldiers at the battle fronts. And among the countless injured and killed was the captain of the 1950’s Army football team, who died in his arms after being struck multiple times by machine gun fire. Hay could not escape the thought that this same man, who gave all the help he could muster as a 17-year-old in 1950, perhaps needed his help now.

Fast forward to March 1, 2019, and Hay and his three partners: Romi Barr, Brian Pollard and Morgan Powell became the proud owners of an assisted living facility with a difference: Alder Terrace Adult Care Center. This collaboration is dedicated to creating a residential community for assisted, yet independent living individuals to enjoy daily life in a supportive environment. And as for our proud Korean War veteran who provided the spark for the project, Hay is getting set to polish the many war medals and hang them on the wall of his future home.

Alder Terrace Adult Care Center is located at 26563 Sandhill Blvd., Punta Gorda. For more information, call 941-916-1440.

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