The Sunshine Garden Senior Community story gets its start over 70 years ago. My Grandma Gley was an RN who opened up Mary Jane’s Boarding Home in Mystic, Connecticut in 1946. She was one of the first assisted living homes in the United States, which at that time was called a Boarding Home. She went on to open Mary Jane’s Boarding Home in Allwood, New Jersey. I first visited that home in 1958, when I was 19 years old. It was a beautiful home, and Grandma Gley was great!
In 1950, my parents Nick and Elsie Hilger built the Hilger Apartments in Largo, Florida. In the early years, these were the home to “Canadian Seniors” from October through May.
My first 62 bed assisted living was built in 1991 in Marion County, Florida. This was our first Sunshine Gardens Community! In 1995, we visited Durango, Colorado and bought a 6.5 acre scrap metal yard which I took through PUD Development, creating 8 condos for Sunshine Gardens Independent Living. In 1996 we expanded to add a 70 bed assisted living home, which is the Sunshine Gardens West that our community knows and loves today. In 2001 we bought a small assisted living home on Highway 172, which is now a flourishing 16 bed memory care home called Sunshine Gardens Country Home. In 2002 we built a 4-condo complex to add to our Independent Living options.
Since then, we’ve added a 24 bed community in Crystal River, Florida and another two independent living condos to our inventory.
With an eye to offering a complete continuum of care from independence to assistance to memory care, we decided to expand once again in 2017 to introduce Sunshine Stay At Home Care. Our latest service for Durango area seniors, this branch of the Sunshine Gardens Senior Community takes our skill and experience out into the community. Sunshine Gardens Stay At Home Care gives seniors the option of staying in their own homes while still receiving the expert care of Sunshine Gardens caregivers.
Plans for 2019 are to build another 4 condominiums on the Sunshine Gardens Durango campus.
We make it all work with my wonderful staff.