A Place Like Home

Buford Belles enjoy top quality senior care at Savannah Plantation

BY: Aoife Healy 

There is a purpose and reason behind everything they do at Savannah Plantation, an all-women’s personal care home in Buford, GA. The beautiful white columned, red brick building is home to 15 women, who have become lovingly known within the community as the “Buford Belles.” Each of these women receive top quality care in a comfortable and peaceful setting.

Spending quality time with one of the residentsWhen a person must entrust the care of a loved one to a third party, it can be difficult to find a place that will treat them like a person as opposed to just a number or tenant. Savannah Plantation strives for personalized attention for each resident. Because of this, their total capacity is just 15 residents.

Savannah Plantation has only 15 residents creating a home-like enviornment.

Ed Duda, Owner and Manager of Savannah Plantation founded the home in 1993. “It all started with my mother,” said Duda, “My mother was a widow nearing the age of 70 when I realized that we needed to start thinking about secondary care.” When Ed began his search for personal care homes in the area, he found two things: large, flashy homes with astronomical costs, or a lower priced but run down facility. “I eventually came to the conclusion that if I wanted to give my mother a positive experience in her old age, I would need to create a third option on my own,” he said. Duda purchased the expansive grounds in 1993 and his mother enjoyed a wonderful life in the home from 1995 to 2001.

DeAnna Smith is the Compliance Manager at Savannah Plantation and has worked in nursing homes for over 14 years. She is a licensed Nurse and oversees all care plans while managing the certified nursing assistants on staff. Deanna performs all potential resident assessments to determine if they will be a good fit with the current tenants and to assess their mental/physical capacities. “The difference between nursing homes and personal care homes is the type of care we can provide,” explained Smith, “We provide help with everyday tasks such as dressing, bathing, medication reminders etc. but we do not provide rehabilitation services or around the around the clock medical care.” The potential tenants are assessed according to a 3-tier system. Tier 1: Slight Memory Loss, Tier 2: Moderate Memory Loss, Tier 3: Advanced Memory Loss/ Borderline Alzheimer’s. Each tier has its own price point according to the amount of specialized care needed.

“Our biggest goal is to get our residents up, active and engaged!” said Smith. They have weekly group exercises that are designed specifically to help maintain hand-eye coordination. A musician comes in each Sunday to entertain and get residents dancing. The beautifully manicured grounds allow for plenty of gardening and outdoor activities. Students from the neighboring North Gwinnett High School regularly schedule visits to interact with the residents. “We also have a beauty parlor onsite,” shared Smith, “A beautician comes in twice a month to make sure the Belles are looking fabulous!”

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Residents benefit from the personalized care Savannah Plantation offers

Duda is passionate about making connections with not just the resident but also their families. “At Savannah Plantation, we encourage the families to be as involved as possible,” said Duda, “We enjoy witnessing our residents making new memories with their loved ones.” Family and guests are always welcome at the holiday feasts. Two huge summer picnics are held on the grounds each year with the last one topping out at 160 attendees! People enjoy visiting because it is not a clinical environment- it feels like home.

Over the course of Twenty years, Duda has continually made decisions to improve and better the life of his residents while keeping costs manageable for their families. “Quality of care in personal care homes seems to have become more about money and less about humanity,” exclaimed Duda, “I see my mother in each and every tenant here at Savannah Plantation and that is what drives me to make sure the standard of care received is unparalleled.”


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