Age gracefully on your own terms with Home Care from Mind & Mobility

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Your top choice for compassionateIn-Home Care in West Chase, FL

It's often said that the golden years of your life are the most enjoyable. For most older adults in the U.S., it's a time to unwind, reflect, and live in the comfort of familiar surroundings. And that's how it should be - most senior citizens in America worked hard to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise their families. Shouldn't they be able to age with grace and dignity at home?

The answer is undoubtedly "yes," but as seniors age, they sometimes need assistance to live independently. Unfortunately, many older adults are unable to rely on adult children for help due to busy schedules, a lack of expertise, or both. That's where Mind & Mobility's home care in West Chase, FL begins to make a lot of sense.

Our in-home care services cater to those who want to stay in their homes as they age but require ongoing care that their loved ones cannot provide. Nowadays, most seniors prefer to live away from long-term care facilities and closer to their home where they feel most at ease.

If you or your senior loved one wants to thrive in their own house and avoid care facilities, in-home care is an effective, safe way to give family and friends the care they need when they need it the most.

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Home Care West Chase, FL

The Mind & Mobility Difference

Mind & Mobility is a home care agency that takes pride in helping seniors enjoy life at home with grace and comfort. One of the biggest reasons why so many seniors and their families choose us is that our senior caregivers in West Chase, FL, do more than just change bedsheets and prepare meals. They make it a point to provide compassionate care and connect with patients on a personal level.

Instead of eliminating independence from our senior population in Florida, we believe in maximizing it - a goal that's not always supported by assisted living facilities and nursing homes. In fact, those locations are often overpriced, understaffed, and known for the spread of disease. Senior care from Mind & Mobility provides a more emotionally and financially relieving option, whether you need a little help around the house or more involved services like companion care or dementia care.

While we take pride in providing compassionate caregiving services for seniors at home, we also offer clients free access to our Mind & Mobility Homecare Center in South Florida. Here, your senior can receive treatment from therapists who are experts in physical, occupational, and speech therapy.

Our therapists work collaboratively in a supportive environment, taking into consideration the client's needs and concerns. They combine their expertise with the latest research in their fields to deliver cutting-edge, evidence-based services. With unlimited access to one-on-one sessions, our therapists' top priority is to help seniors live and age gracefully at home without having to relocate to an assisted living facility.

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What is Senior Care in West Chase, FL?

Many older adults in the United States prefer to age at home, as it offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity. According to an AARP report, three out of four adults aged 50 and above wish to stay in their homes and communities as they age.

However, as adults approach their 60s and 70s, some may require assistance around the house, especially when family members are too busy or live far away. The truth is that the natural process of aging can make it challenging to continue living at home. Simple tasks like running errands become more difficult due to mobility issues. Preparing healthy meals and keeping track of medications and appointments can also become a challenge. Safety becomes a concern, and family members may worry about the well-being of their loved ones.

In these situations, in-home care is often a perfect fit. It allows seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.

Mind & Mobility provides a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they receive the help they need to remain independent. If you have a senior loved one who needs some extra help to stay happy and healthy, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even from afar.

Some of the most common home care services offered at Mind & Mobility include.

  • Light Housekeeping
  • Nutrition Monitoring
  • Assistance with Technology
  • Meal Preparation
  • Dressing, Bathing, & Grooming
  • Medication Reminders
  • Laundry Services
  • Activity Escorts
  • Much More
 Senior Care West Chase, FL
 In-home Care West Chase, FL

Did You Know?

U.S. adults over the age of 60 have a 59% higher chance of being unable to perform daily routines and activities if they're lonely.

Our in-home care services are covered by medical insurance, long-term care policies, and private pay. Members have the freedom to choose their own caregiver and can benefit from unlimited physical and occupational therapy, regular visits from a registered nurse, and care management from a licensed clinical social worker.

Curious if home care in West Chase, FL is right for you or your older loved one? Contact our office in Florida today for a no-pressure discovery call to learn more. If you or your loved one is ready to live life to the fullest, getting in-home care from Mind & Mobility is a quick, easy three-step process.

1. Speak to a Care Representative

One of our skilled care representatives will speak with you in person or over the phone and help you select the best home care plan to keep your loved one happy at home.

  Senior Caregivers West Chase, FL

2. Go Over Your Care Plan

A local care professional from Mind & Mobility will travel to your home and sit with you one-on-one to discuss the details of your care plan.

 Companion Care West Chase, FL

3. Thrive from the Comfort of Home

Once your care plan is selected, you will have the pleasure of watching your senior loved one enjoy an independent life at home with the help of a compassionate caregiver.

Home Care West Chase, FL

Companion Care You Can Count On

Aging in place refers to the practice of aging adults living in their homes as they grow old. Studies show that around 77% of retirees prefer to stay in their homes for as long as possible, and home care can be an excellent way to bridge the gap between receiving elder care and staying at home.

Allowing your aging loved ones to maintain their independence is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. This can contribute to their overall health and well-being, as opposed to a living facility where they may feel powerless and depressed. Unfortunately, these facilities often take away a senior's ability to do simple things like cooking for themselves, scheduling visits with family and friends, and even bathing in the comfort of their own homes.

Home care in West Chase, FL, including companion care services, is designed to provide both medical and non-medical solutions that your senior needs in order to maintain their independence. That way, your senior doesn't have to destabilize their life or adjust to a new way of living away from home.

Mind & Mobility companion care incorporates a number of different services, including.

  • Spending Time with Your Senior
  • Conversation
  • Homemaking Support
  • Planning Outings
  • Mobility Assistance
  • Help with Nutrition
  • Staying Active
  • Memory Skills and Games
  • Running Errands
  • More

Getting Started with Companion Care from Mind & Mobility

To learn more about our companion care services, you can contact any of our nine locations in Florida to request a care consultation with one of our representatives. During your consultation, we'll assess your needs to ensure that we provide the right caregiver at the right time to meet your specific requirements.

Doing so helps us ensure that we get it right the first time. We'll also be happy to answer any questions you may have and introduce you to the team of senior home companions who will provide you with companion care services in Florida.

Need home care companion services on short notice? As a respected senior care business with more than a decade of experience, we have access to a large pool of senior caregivers in West Chase, FL who would be happy to provide you or your senior with last-minute support.

 Senior Care West Chase, FL
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Take a Break with RespiteCare Services from Mind & Mobility

Taking care of a senior loved one can be a tiring and overwhelming task, particularly if the caregiver is employed full-time and has other responsibilities to handle. Taking care of an older adult in such a situation can result in caregiver burnout, which can lead to a decline in the quality of care provided and even illness. To combat this issue, many adult caregivers choose respite care as a solution instead of full-time home care in West Chase, FL.

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults in the United States provide care to someone aged 50 or older. Unfortunately, many of these caregivers experience stress, fatigue, and even depression.

Respite care services offer a short-term break to family members and unpaid caregivers from their caregiving duties. This is a crucial service that benefits both seniors and their caregivers and can be arranged for a few hours or even several days, depending on their requirements.

What are the Benefits of Respite Care from Mind & Mobility?

Respite care services can have a significantly positive impact on the health of your elderly loved one, as well as your own. Whether it's for an extended period of time or just a few hours a week, respite care can help ease the burden of caregiving.

Taking some time off for yourself may seem selfish at first, but it's crucial to recharge your batteries to be able to continue providing care. Taking a short (or longer-term) break can also improve the overall quality of your care. Plus, professional respite care services offer your senior an opportunity to learn from and engage with a compassionate caregiver from Mind & Mobility.

 In-home Care West Chase, FL

Some of the most common caregiving services provided by our respite care professionals include.

  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Help with Dressing and Grooming
  • Bathing Assistance
  • More

Our respite care services in Florida are typically offered on a temporary basis. However, we also serve many clients who require assistance on a weekly or monthly basis, depending on their specific needs. We recognize that care needs and schedules can be subject to change, and we strive to be flexible in our approach to ensure that your and your family's needs are met.

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Three Hurdles That Family Caregivers Face

Caring for your aging parents can be a fulfilling act of love. As you reminisce about the care they gave you while growing up, you now have the opportunity to return the favor. However, providing care for loved ones can be challenging. It's important to anticipate the obstacles you may face and learn how to manage them to protect your own health and well-being.

Here are three of the toughest challenges that family caregivers have to face when caring for their senior parents or loved ones.

Enough Support

Not Enough Support

It's common to feel like you're carrying the majority of the burden when it comes to taking care of your aging parents. However, assuming that you are solely responsible for their care can be overwhelming and cause strain in other relationships. It's important to remember that caring for someone else is not a one-person job. Attempting to do so can lead to burnout, depression, and other serious health issues. It can also negatively impact the level of care your parents receive.

Enough Sleep

Not Enough Sleep

Interrupted sleep can be a problem for older adults whose circadian clock has shifted, leading them to wake up more frequently throughout the night. It can also be a result of stress and worry. If dementia is a factor, you may need to stay alert due to sundowning and wandering. Those tasks can be difficult and require a sharp mind that has had plenty of rest. In fact, getting enough sleep is crucial for your ability to provide the best care for your parents, as well as for your own physical and emotional well-being.

Enough Privacy

Not Enough Privacy

Sharing living space with your parents can compromise both your physical and emotional privacy. This is especially true if one or both of your parents have dementia, which can cause them to feel afraid or disoriented when you're not around. At the same time, your parents may also find it difficult to maintain their privacy while under your care.

That begs the question - how can you conquer the challenges that most family caregivers face on a daily basis?

In-Home Care in West Chase, FL Helps Alleviate Your Burden

Mind & Mobility's in-home caregivers can be there to help you ensure the best care for your parents and a healthier life balance for yourself. Taking a break from caregiving is not just a great idea; it's essential.

Our respite care services offer you regular breaks from caregiving, which allows you to take care of yourself while enriching your parents' lives. We provide opportunities for socialization and engaging activities, along with the necessary support to ensure safety and comfort. You can rest easy knowing that your parents are in the best of hands while you take a break.

Reliable In-Home Care for Parkinson’s Disease in Florida

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative condition. That means that people who are affected by Parkinson’s have symptoms and difficulties that increase over time, and often in different stages. It’s a disease that affects more than 69,000 individuals in Florida. That number is expected to grow to over 120,000 people by 2030. Given that many older adults are misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed, the number of Parkinson’s patients in Florida is probably even higher.

When caring for individuals with Parkinson’s, it’s important to focus on continually adapting both the home environment and daily routines. As the patient's condition progresses, their health and abilities will change, necessitating adjustments to their care plan. Being proactive in anticipating and accommodating these changes can help to maintain their independence and quality of life for as long as possible.

If your senior loved one has Parkinson’s, there’s no doubt that you’re stressed about how to give mom or dad the best care possible. To solve this challenging problem, many adult children in Florida turn to Mind & Mobility. Our non-medical in-home caregivers work with Parkinson’s patients daily and have the compassion and commitment to care for your senior so you can breathe easier.

Mind & Mobility caregivers are trained and educated to understand the nuances of caring for a person with Parkinson’s. Some of those training highlights include:

  • Strategies to Spot and Manage Motor and Non-Motor Parkinson’s Symptoms
  • How Parkinson’s Changes and Advances Over Time
  • Fall Prevention
  • Nutrition and Diet
  • Home Safety
  • Medication Timing and Reminders
  • Light Exercises to Foster Better Balance and Mobility
  • Making Adjustments to Maintain Balance and Hand-Eye Coordination

How Mind & Mobility Caregivers Help Loved Ones with Parkinson’s

At Mind & Mobility, we know that your senior needs help to stay independent and healthy in their home. Unfortunately, having to continually adapt to the varying stages of Parkinson’s can be extremely challenging. An in-home care professional who specializes in non-medical Parkinson’s care can help make those gradual transitions easier, by providing compassionate assistance when you need it most.

As Parkinson's is a progressive condition, the care needs of your loved one will evolve as the disease advances. Initially, they may require assistance with daily errands, but this might progress to needing help with personal care and daily activities. At Mind & Mobility, we understand that each individual's care needs are unique, and we work closely with our clients to develop personalized care plans tailored to their specific requirements.

Some of the tasks that our Parkinson’s caregivers focus on include the following:

Mind & Mobility caregivers will assist and supervise your loved one as they walk around their home, helping to avoid accidents. Our caregivers can also help perform light housekeeping chores, which include picking or cleaning up potential trip hazards that seniors may not see.

When an older adult has Parkinson’s, preparing and cooking meals can be truly difficult. A non-medical in-home caregiver will help assist with meal prep and can even help your loved one eat if they’re having a tremor episode. Since medications for Parkinson’s often causes dry mouth, our caregivers will also ensure that your senior stays well hydrated to avoid dehydration.

Staying fit can be hard when you have Parkinson’s, but being physically active is important to focus on as the disease progresses. Our caregivers help seniors with Parkinson’s start and complete activities like mobility exercises that your doctor may recommend.

Caring for someone with Parkinson’s disease can be emotionally draining and physically exhausting. We provide respite care for family caregivers and peace of mind for every member of your care network, from close friends to family members.

At Mind & Mobility, our approach to non-medical Parkinson's care starts by having a complete understanding of your situation. To do that, we set up a care consultation where we learn more about you, your senior, and the scope of care needed. This important step helps us confirm that having an in-home caregiver is a good fit for your senior.

Once we know the level of care your loved one needs, we'll craft a customized in-home care plan that alleviates your stress and allows your senior to live comfortably at home. Since Parkinson’s changes over time, your in-home care plan may also change, so we can provide the best care possible.

Contact Mind & Mobility today to schedule your initial consultation and learn more about how our caregivers provide compassionate support for patients with Parkinson’s disease.

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Compassionate

Compassionate Alzheimer’s Care in Florida

Alzheimer's Disease is a progressive, debilitating condition that affects more than five million people in the U.S. In Florida alone, more than 600,000 individuals are affected. By 2030, that number is expected to increase to five million people. Like many forms of dementia, the impact of Alzheimer’s extends beyond the person diagnosed with it, leaving families in Florida with a crucial question:

“How can we give mom or dad high-quality, dependable Alzheimer’s care?”

For many adult children, the answer to that question is non-medical in-home Alzheimer’s care from Mind & Mobility. Many seniors in the early or middle stages of Alzheimer’s Disease can receive affordable care at home, especially when compared to the costs of nursing homes or assisted living facilities.

At Mind & Mobility, our specially trained memory caregivers provide dignified care in the comforting environment of home on a recurring basis that fits best with you and your senior loved one’s needs. We understand the significant burdens you bear when a family member is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

As such, our compassionate approach to Alzheimer’s in-home care services helps families manage the disease by:

  • Maintaining as much independence as possible by allowing your senior to stay in the familiar, comforting environment of home.
  • Providing reliable, high-quality Alzheimer’s care services to maintain your parent’s dignity and provide relief to family caregivers.

How Mind & Mobility Caregivers Help Loved Ones with Alzheimer's

Our in-home care services for Alzheimer’s cater to those who want to stay in their homes as they age but require ongoing care that loved ones cannot provide. Nowadays, most seniors prefer to live away from long-term care facilities and closer to home where they feel most at ease. That’s especially true when a senior is experiencing cognitive decline or is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Our professional, highly-trained caregivers help your senior loved one maintain dignity and quality of life with Alzheimer’s in a number of ways.

Alzheimer’s patients have specific physical and mental needs and require ongoing engagement. Clinical studies have shown that engaging in familiar activities at home could help slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s, especially when compared to long bouts of inactivity. Our caregivers understand that fact and take the necessary time to interact with your senior loved one in a purposeful, gentle manner.

An Alzheimer’s caregiver from Mind & Mobility provides assistance with day-to-day living service, prioritizing one-on-one attention and interaction, which is key to providing the best dementia and Alzheimer's care possible. Some of the tasks our caregivers help with include the following:
  • Social Engagement
  • Mental Stimulation
  • Grooming, Dressing, and Toileting
  • Transportation to Doctor Appointments
  • Grocery Shopping
  • Meal Planning
  • Medication Reminders
  • Maintaining a Safe Home Environment Free of Hazards
  • Keeping a Regular Routine to Minimize Agitation
  • Much More

At Mind & Mobility, our non-medical Alzheimer's caregivers know how to mentally engage dementia patients. Some of the activities that provide active mental stimulation include the following:
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Reading
  • Viewing Family Photos
  • Playing Board Games Like Bingo
  • Singing Songs
  • Figuring Out Jigsaw Puzzles
  • Listening to Music
  • Much More
Our caregivers always take a supportive, flexible approach to your senior’s Alzheimer's care and understand that this disease affects each person differently. That’s why we offer a range of mental stimulation activities that keep seniors engaged so that their neurons continue to fire.

The impact of Alzheimer's Disease often involves a decline in mental cognition while the body remains seemingly strong. Inactivity can lead to a decline in overall health, potentially resulting in complex medical issues or life-threatening infections. It is crucial to keep individuals with Alzheimer's active and moving to maintain their current health for as long as possible. Our experienced caregivers understand that each patient's level of activity depends on their physical capabilities. For instance, a person in a wheelchair may engage in modified sitting exercises. We assess each situation and promote moderate activity to keep individuals physically engaged, which in turn supports cognitive function. A few of the most common physical activities our caregivers provide for Alzheimer’s patients include:
  • Going on Walks
  • Swimming
  • Bed Exercises
  • Standing Exercises
  • Seated Exercises
  • Grocery Shopping
  • Light Household Chores
  • Gardening
  • Dancing
  • Much More
We understand that caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia can be demanding and overwhelming for caregivers. That’s why we offer adaptable Alzheimer’s care assistance – to help alleviate your caregiving responsibilities for a temporary or extended duration when you need it most. Contact Mind & Mobility today to learn more about in-home care for your loved one with Alzheimer's Disease.
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Compassionate Care When You Need It the Most

At Mind & Mobility Home Care, we take pride in our commitment to helping older adults maintain a high-quality life. Our team of senior caregivers cares deeply about the well-being of our clients and works together to craft personalized services that are backed by research and experience.

Our home care services are designed to support clients in various ways. Whether it's recovering from hip surgery, preventing falls, enhancing cognitive abilities through brain training, or pursuing new hobbies, you can rest easy knowing we have your senior's health and happiness at heart.

Of course, every one of our clients has their own unique needs and goals, and we adjust their levels of care accordingly. But one aspect of our home care services never changes - and that's the compassionate care we provide to seniors so that they may remain independent.

Contact Mind & Mobility today to take the first step toward aging gracefully at home. We'll be there by your side every step of the way.

Latest News in West Chase, FL

Hurricane Idalia: Hillsborough Under Evacuation Orders, Schools Closed

Tampa, Westchase and communities along the coast in south Hillsborough are under a mandatory evacation order. D'Ann Lawrence White, Patch Staff|Updated Tue, Aug 29, 2023 at 2:33 pm ETHILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL — Hillsborough County Administrator Bonnie Wise signed an ...

Tampa, Westchase and communities along the coast in south Hillsborough are under a mandatory evacation order.

D'Ann Lawrence White, Patch Staff

|Updated Tue, Aug 29, 2023 at 2:33 pm ET

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL — Hillsborough County Administrator Bonnie Wise signed an executive order declaring a state of local emergency with the approach of Hurricane Idalia.

Kevin Guthrie, emergency manager for the state, said forecasters are predicting Idalia will make landfall as a Category 3 or 4 hurricane in the Big Bend area near the Florida Panhandle.

Tampa Bay is expected to experience storm surge of 4 to 7 feet as Idalia makes her way to Florida's west coast, prompting the National Hurricane Center to place Tampa, Westchase and the coasts along Apollo Beach, Ruskin and Gibsonton under a hurricane watch.

To help residents prepare, Hillsborough County is making sandbags available to the public from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 29.

Sandbags will be available at the following locations:

Find out what's happening in Tampawith free, real-time updates from Patch.

Hillsborough County residents are eligible for a maximum of 10 sandbags per family. Residents must show an ID verifying they live in the county. A driver's license or utility bill will serve as proper identification.

Edward Medard Conservation Park and E.G. Simmons Conservation Park will be closed to the public during sandbag operations.

The state of local emergency order is in effect through Sept. 3. A state of local emergency can be in effect for only seven days, unless rescinded or extended. The emergency declaration gives the county administrator and emergency managers the ability to quickly take certain actions to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the community, and provides a path for federal reimbursement of certain expenses.

As of now, Hillsborough County has not issued voluntary or mandatory evacuation orders.

All Hillsborough County Public Schools and district offices will be closed Tuesday, Aug. 29 and Wednesday, Aug. 30. All after-school programs and extracurricular activities are also canceled for Tuesday and Wednesday.

The latest forecast brings Idalia up the west coast of Florida with storm surge and heavy rains expected to impact Hillsborough County by Tuesday evening and all day Wednesday. With that in mind, county emergency officials have made the decision to activate some of its schools as storm shelters to house evacuees in flood zones.

At this point, it is anticipated that schools will reopen and resume normal operations on Thursday, Aug. 31.

For more information on any other potential emergency in the county, click here and sign up for the HCFL Alert system. Additionally, residents can follow Hillsborough County on social media.

Residents without digital access are encouraged to call 833-HC STORM or 833-427-8676, the county's storm information line, or visit this website. The storm information line is now open.

In response to Hurricane Idalia, Hillsborough County is closing all public services to allow county employees to perform their assigned emergency response duties. Additionally, county facilities located in Evacuation Zone A, including the Frederick B. Karl County Center in downtown Tampa, will be closed all day Tuesday, Aug. 29, and Wednesday, Aug. 30. All county public meetings have also been cancelled.

Parks & Recreation will close all sites to the public on Tuesday and Wednesday, including all programming and after-school care.

All Hillsborough County Public Libraries and book returns are currently closed so library staff can serve on Hillsborough County’s emergency operations team in response to Hurricane Idalia.

Residents can renew books online through HCPLC.org. The library is fine-free, enabling residents to return items after the storm.

The Pet Resource Center closed intakes on Monday and will remain closed until the storm passes.

Animal control staff is responding to emergencies only, which include sick, injured and overly aggressive animals.

Trash, recycling and yard waste collections will continue as normal on Tuesday, Aug. 29. However, there will be no trash, recycling or yard waste collections on Wednesday, Aug. 30. There will be no collection makeup day. Services will be provided on the next scheduled collection day.

All Solid Waste facilities will be closed on Wednesday, Aug. 30.

Cool Off in Florida’s Natural Springs

Florida is home to an abundance of gorgeous natural springs. Below are six springs, some nearby, others a bit of a drive, and all perfect spots to cool off on a hot summer day.Lithia SpringsLithia Springs Park is well-known for its natural springs, which flow year-round at a crisp 72 degrees into the Alafia River. It is a great s...

Florida is home to an abundance of gorgeous natural springs. Below are six springs, some nearby, others a bit of a drive, and all perfect spots to cool off on a hot summer day.

Lithia Springs

Lithia Springs Park is well-known for its natural springs, which flow year-round at a crisp 72 degrees into the Alafia River. It is a great spot to swim, but the park also offers fishing, volleyball, picnic tables with a playground within view. Camping is also available for those who want to extend their stay.

Location: 3932 Lithia Springs Rd., Lithia, FL 33547 Summer hours: 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Cost: $2 per vehicle park admission (up to 8 people); swimming $2 per person

Weeki Wachee Springs

Weeki Wachee may be known for their mermaids, but they are also a great spot to cool off in beautiful, brisk spring water. Here, guests of all ages can enjoy swimming, tubing, kayaking and tons of fun in Buccaneer Bay Water park, which includes a water slide, lazy river and kiddie pool all in gorgeous spring water. This is definitely not your typical water park. There is also a Wilderness River Cruise that runs daily from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Location: 6131 Commercial Way, Weeki Wachee, FL 34606 Hours: 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Cost: $13 for adults, $8 for children ages 6 to 12. Ages 5 and under admitted free.

Rainbow Springs

Rainbow Springs is roughly an hour and a half north of Tampa in Dunnellon. With its crisp, crystal clear water that flows into the Rainbow River, this is one of the most popular tubing destinations during the summer months. The adjacent spring is perfect for swimming and snorkeling, and the hiking trails that surround the spring feature some of the tallest waterfalls in Florida. This site is an easy day trip, but weekends are packed and the park closes when it reaches capacity. The best bet is to go on a weekday and to go early. For those hoping for a weekend, arrive before the park opens. Camping is available for those who don’t want to make an early drive.

Location: 19158 S.W. 81st Place Rd, Dunnellon FL 34432 Hours: 8 a.m. to sunset, daily Cost: Park entrance is $2 per person (under 6, free); Tubing is an additional cost.

Wekiwa Springs

This unique park just minutes from downtown Orlando features emerald springs feeding the Wekiwa River and lush tropical hammocks perfect for cooling off on a hot summer day. The crystal-clear water is a refreshing 72 degrees year-round. The swimming area at the spring is just over a half-acre in size with an average depth of four feet and is surrounded by wide-open grassy spaces perfect for picnicking. This is also a great place to snorkel.

Location: 1800 Wekiwa Circle, Apopka FL 32712 Hours: 8 a.m.-sundown, daily Cost: $6 per vehicle

Ichetucknee Springs

This area features spring-fed rivers, lush canopies and cool swimming hole, making it a perfect spot for both tubing and swimming. Tubing is available year round. With two drop-in spots. Swimming is available at either Ichetucknee Spring (head spring) or Blue Hole Spring, but it’s important to note Blue Hole Spring is for experience swimmers only due to its depth and current. The area is also home to 2,669-acre Ichetucknee Springs State Park, which is a wildlife haven where beaver, otter, gar, softshell turtle, wild turkey, wood duck and limpkin all find a home. This area is a bit of a drive from Tampa, so book a campsite in advance to make the most of your stay.

Location: 12087 S.W. U.S. Hwy 27, Fort White, FL 32038 Hours: 8 a.m. to sundown, daily Cost: $6 per vehicle; Tubing is an additional charge and information can be found here.

Juniper Springs

These springs, located in the Ocala National Forest, are a bit of a trek from Tampa, but worth the drive. Known for being one of the oldest recreation centers on the East coast, this place has it all. During the day, enjoy swimming snorkeling, picnicking, bird watching, paddling and hiking. This site tends to be packed on weekends and does close when capacity is reached. Make it a vacation by booking a camp site and arriving at the recreation area early in the day to take advantage of these gorgeous springs.

Location: 26701 E Highway 40, Silver Springs, FL 34488 Hours: 8 a.m.-8 p.m., daily Cost: $8 on weekdays and $11 on weekends; Campsites are additional.

Westchase's Newest Charter School Moving Full STEAM Ahead

The new $20 million Avant Garde Academy Westchase at 13901 Sheldon Road, Tampa, offers a state-of-the-art design and a full-size gymnasium.D'Ann Lawrence White, Patch StaffTAMPA, FL – A new charter school in Westchase is moving full STEAM ahead, offering elementary school students with an innovative curriculum that emphasizes Science, Technology, Education, Arts and Mathematics.The $20 million Avant Garde Academy W...

The new $20 million Avant Garde Academy Westchase at 13901 Sheldon Road, Tampa, offers a state-of-the-art design and a full-size gymnasium.

D'Ann Lawrence White, Patch Staff

TAMPA, FL – A new charter school in Westchase is moving full STEAM ahead, offering elementary school students with an innovative curriculum that emphasizes Science, Technology, Education, Arts and Mathematics.

The $20 million Avant Garde Academy Westchase at 13901 Sheldon Road, Tampa, provides state-of-the-art classroom technology and a full-size gymnasium.

The school opened for the 2017-18 school year with a limited enrollment while finishing touches were put on the building.

Principal Dana Smith said the building is now complete and the school is ready to accept applications for students in grades kindergarten through seven for the 2018-19 school year.

“Absolutely everything is now up and running,” Smith said. “We encountered some unexpected construction delays as we prepared for the current academic year, but we opened as a small K-6, and the year has so far been extremely successful and encouraging.”

Find out what's happening in Westchasewith free, real-time updates from Patch.

She said she’s especially pleased to see how quickly the parents have gotten involved in the school.

“They have already held dances, fundraisers, service learning activities and special events,” Smith said. “This area of Tampa has extremely involved parents, a key to overall academic success.”

Beyond its academic STEAM focus, the school offers robotics during the school day, Lego classes for all grade levels, engineering projects, performing arts, (including an art club, band, chorus and guitar) and a full sports program that includes volleyball, soccer, track and basketball.

“We take the responsibility of educating our children to heart, and appreciate being so positively welcomed to the area,” Smith said, adding that she’s already received several hundred applications for the coming school year.

“We have had such a positive first year, and are very much looking forward to sharing our expanded offerings for the next academic year,” she said.

Avant Garde Academy Westchase participates in the national school lunch program and even bus transportation service to the school.

Interested parents should contact Smith at (813) 551-2144 or email her.

For additional information, visit the school's website.

Images via Avant Garde Academy Westchase

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Wild Fork opens new grocery store in Westchase

Wild Fork Foods, a Miami-based meat-and-seafood market offering more than 700 products ranging from Australian wagyu to alligator, as well as wild-caught seafood and plant-based proteins, has officially opened in Westchase.The market sources beef from slow feeders in Nebraska and Colorado. This region produces some of the top cattle in the world due to the cold climate and lush grasslands.ADVERTISEMENT Wild Fork blast freezes its meats for peak freshnessThey age all of our beef in a climate c...

Wild Fork Foods, a Miami-based meat-and-seafood market offering more than 700 products ranging from Australian wagyu to alligator, as well as wild-caught seafood and plant-based proteins, has officially opened in Westchase.

The market sources beef from slow feeders in Nebraska and Colorado. This region produces some of the top cattle in the world due to the cold climate and lush grasslands.

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Wild Fork blast freezes its meats for peak freshness

They age all of our beef in a climate controlled environment for 17 days, which enhances the flavor and tenderness, and age their pork for a minimum of 8 days.

Wild Fork blast freezes its meats at -40 degrees Fahrenheit and maintains them at frozen temperatures throughout the supply chain. In addition to shopping in-store, the concept also offers pickup and same day delivery.

The Westchase location is Wild Fork’s first in the Tampa Bay region. Follow Wild Fork on Facebook and its website

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The Westchase store represents the 9th brick and mortar location in Florida and 11th overall for the brand, which is also bringing new stores to Orlando, FL and Frisco, TX in June.

Blending elements of a traditional grocery store and a specialty retailer, Wild Fork stands alone as a unique new model in the retail and ecommerce space – with an emphasis on impeccable customer service, top quality, and impressive variety, all at low prices every day.

A new neighborhood butcher in Westchase

“We’re excited to bring Wild Work Tampa with our new store in the Westchase area. With more than 700 products on offer we believe that our store will be a welcome addition to the community.” said CEO Vincent Trius. “Wild Fork can provide the centerpiece dish to every home-prepared meal – from weeknight dinner staples like chicken breasts and ground beef to special occasion dinner party ingredients like organic rack of lamb, 100% Japanese A5 Wagyu and Ahi Tuna Saku Block. We also have side dishes, ready to eat meals, vegetables, breads, desserts, spices and sauces to go along with every meal, all at competitive prices to provide convenience without compromise.”

Address: 10601 Sheldon Road

What to read next:

Westchase Leaders To Consider Purchasing Community Golf Course

According to the community’s online newspaper, World of Westchase Online, the district’s five supervisors plan to vote on whether to sign a letter of intent that may lead to the purchase of the Westchase Golf Club for $4 million.Westchase, a master-planned, deed-restricted community in northwest Hillsborough County, contains 3,478 homes in 29 neighborhoods. Among the co...

According to the community’s online newspaper, World of Westchase Online, the district’s five supervisors plan to vote on whether to sign a letter of intent that may lead to the purchase of the Westchase Golf Club for $4 million.

Westchase, a master-planned, deed-restricted community in northwest Hillsborough County, contains 3,478 homes in 29 neighborhoods. Among the community’s amenities is an award-winning 18-hole public golf course built by nationally known golf course architect Lloyd Clifton in 1992.

The CDD has been negotiating with the owner of the golf course, Nick Neubauer of Chicago, since supervisors learned in November that the facility was on the market.

Since then, according to the World of Westchase, CDD supervisor Greg Chesney and Westchase Community Association President Ruben Collazo have been talking with Neubauer about a potential purchase.

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Neubauer reportedly wants $4 million for the property, significantly less than he paid for the golf course. He told CDD representatives that he is willing to spread payments over 13 years.

The CDD vote is scheduled to take place at 4 p.m. at the Westchase Community Association office on Parley Drive. By signing the letter of intent, the supervisors are not agreeing to purchase the golf course. The letter simply secures the property from being sold to another potential buyer. The CDD has six months to explore its options and make a final decision on the purchase.

In recent years, hundreds of community golf courses have been sold as a result of a declining interest nationwide in the sport of golf. Golf course administrators say the facilities are losing money and developers are eager to purchase the land to build more homes.

According to the World of Westchase, the Westchase Golf Club is no exception. Editor Chris Barrett said the facility is losing tens of thousands of dollars each year.

However, Westchase residents like Collazo are concerned that the sale could lead to undesirable development, such as apartments and townhomes, in Westchase.

The CDD currently has $370,000 in uncommitted funds that could be applied toward the purchase of the property. But supervisors believe CCD assessments would need to be increased to purchase the golf course.

For more details, read the story in World of Westchase Online.

Photo via Westchase Golf Club

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