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“Spoiled Rotten” at the Haven of Our Lady of Peace

“The Haven has provided all the care that I could not get anyplace else,” says Capt. Don Applegate, DDS, who retired after 28 years serving his country as a dentist in the U.S. Navy. “The care is always from good to outstanding; I’m spoiled rotten here.”

Many in Pensacola know Capt. Applegate from his service on the Pensacola Historical Society Board of Directors and as President of the Pensacola Camellia Club. Propagating camellias was his main hobby, and he won several national awards for “Peggy’s Blush,” a camellia he named in honor of his wife, Peggy Joy.

After his wife passed away in 2014, Capt. Applegate was living alone in his home. Eleven months later, he fell at home and required surgery at Sacred Heart Hospital Pensacola. After undergoing “very demanding and efficient” short-term rehabilitation therapy at the Haven of Our Lady of Peace, he liked it so much there that he decided to stay!

A CNA keeps him walking on a daily basis, and staff even trained his personal caregiver, Pam Vanden Bos, on chair exercises, lifting weights and other physical activities to help keep him enjoying a high quality of life. He revels in the personal attention he receives from the staff, and is relieved he no longer needs to worry about the details of life, such as going to the grocery store. His concerns about meeting his nutrition requirements are handled by the Haven’s Dietary team, who also make sure he gets his favorite desserts and Coke floats.

He enjoys the social interaction he has discovered at the Haven, as well as an occasional Bing game. “And,” Don exclaims, “my daughters claim I’ve never looked better!”