When I walk through Pelican Garden Assisted Living Facility in Sebastian, I’m always grateful to cross paths with Inez Fielding. Inez, a resident in our community, always wears a smile and offers a genuine hug. Our conversations often go to discussing the fresh tropical fruit she grows and if I hit it right, she’ll pass me a fresh avocado…just off her own tree. When you visit her room, scan the accomplishments displayed on her wall and she’ll get your attention with an interesting story. Her career accomplishments make one envy her passion in the jobs she had and the confidence she brought to them. She’s truly an amazing woman!
When I first met Inez, she told me that she was very familiar with the assisted living business and in fact knew most of the communities from West Palm Beach to Melbourne. As her comments quickly made it to my head, wondering how this person can be so educated on the assisted living business, she immediately informed me that she was a volunteer Ombudsman. Ombudsmen are seniors’ advocates and protect them by investigating complaints when something from their eyes has been handled badly or unfairly. Her territory spanned several counties including Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and southern Brevard. As she explained more about her position as an Ombudsman, I learned that she really was knowledgeable and there is no doubt that she looked out for the residents she investigated. We continued to talk and then she switched gears and began to praise Pelican Garden and its staff. Of course, I was soaking it in…then she gave me a wink and with her friendly smile said, “you see where I choose to live don’t you”? I got what she said, and it certainly made me proud. So, without any further writing from me, from her own words, please get to know Inez…
“Pelican Garden ALF is my home. In reflecting back on my life I have spent several years teaching Elementary school. Most of my career however (sixty years) I travelled as a registered nurse. My travels included working in the Caribbean, England, and across the United States. I was fortunate to vacation and attend conferences in Scotland, Ireland and Spain. As I approached my time to retire I knew I couldn’t just stop, so I began volunteering in the community. I continued to keep busy volunteering as a Faith Community Nurse, Public Health nurse and Ombudsman for the State of Florida, covering West Palm Beach to Melbourne. It’s all been rewarding to me and especially heartwarming to know that my many years of teaching, counseling and challenging work was and is appreciated even to this day. Many of the younger people I was fortunate enough to meet, worked with and had encouraged along the way have taken my advice and are teachers, registered nurses, doctors, physical therapist etc. It makes my day when I meet their parents and they give me a hug and say, “thank you Miss Inez”.
As a widow living alone, I decided it was time to find a place where I am not alone just watching tv and waiting for the phone to ring. I wanted to be somewhere where I can hear voices and make new friends. So, after careful consideration of what I wanted at this stage in my life and combining my Ombudsman experience, I created a list of potential assisted living facilities I might be interested in. I visited and toured several communities and chose Pelican Garden, an ALF in the community where I have lived and worked since 1983. There are several options in assisted living, but this one is nice. I always believe that life is what you make it, and the management and staff at Pelican Garden fit me perfectly. Pelican Garden is clean, has a lovely garden and walking area, activities, transportation for doctor appointments, shopping, etc. Pretty much everything I can ask for, including tasty food! Best of all I can check on my fruit trees! Also, I enjoy the special occasions where all residents are given an individual birthday celebration. Nurses Week (my passionate profession) celebration, May 7-12, is recognized each year and has a special place in my heart. Suggestions here are accepted and worked on as necessary. The employees perform their work very well and show respect to the residents. Everyone truly cares!
Personal achievement awards by Inez include…
Bachelor of Science Degree - Saint Francis College
The University of the State New York 10/12/69 – Registered Professional Nurse
New Cross Hospital Wolverhampton – Certificate of Medical and Surgical Nursing
Healthy Start Coalition of IRC 1996
Special Recognition Awards
American Nurses Association Search for Excellence Recognition
1993 - 1994 Edition Society of Nursing Professionals “Who is Who in American Nursing”
Three-time Award Winner
International Nursing Association “Nurse of the Year”
10 and 15-year Service Award Winner
IRC Health Department
Barbara Lumpkin Political Award – Florida Nurses Association
Mary Cash Award – Cultural Diversity October 1994 – Florida Nurses Association
Recognition of outstanding contribution to cultural diversity in nursing and its impact on healthcare
Woman of the Year Sebastian, FL 2005
Inez currently serves as president of Pelican Garden Resident Council, a position unanimously voted on by the community residents.
If you happen to be in the area of Pelican Garden, consider stopping in to meet Inez. I’m confident you’ll enjoy the conversation!
Written by Don Wright, Managing Partner and Inez Fielding, Valuable Resident
Pelican Garden Assisted Living
177 Empress Avenue
Sebastian, FL, 32958