A parade of nearly 20 vehicles filled the street of Brandon resident Iva Bell’s home to celebrate her 109th birthday on September 21. Staff from the Hillsborough County Adult Day Service Center drove by with well-wishes and signs as Bell waved outside her home with her daughter, Gloria Bell Osgood. The celebration also kicked off National Adult Day Services Week.
Bell, who was born in 1911, has seen a lot of changes in Brandon. She moved to the area in the 1920s and worked at the Hav-A-Tampa cigar factory located in Ybor City.
Later, Bell and her husband owned and operated Bell’s Grocery during the 1940s and 1950s. The store was located at the corner of Lithia Pinecrest Rd. and U.S. Hwy. 60 until the highway expanded into four lanes. Her husband passed away in 1984 at the age of 84.
In 2011, Bell joined the Hillsborough County Adult Day Service Center. She is currently the oldest member of the center. Due to the current pandemic, all four of the county’s locations are closed, but the group came together to celebrate Bell and others in National Adult Day Services Week.
The manager of the Adult Day Services Program for Hillsborough County Aging Services, Anika Coney, shared her thoughts about National Adult Day Services Week.
“This would be an opportunity to highlight our programs and services that we provide to our clients and caregivers,” Coney said.
In order to continue serving its clients and caregivers during the pandemic, the group implemented adjustments, including staff-offered programs three times a week by phone with healthcare tips, trivia, support and more.
Senior Case Manager for Hillsborough County George Paulose has worked with Bell for several years. He believes that Bell is a very strong-minded person who always thinks positively.
Paulose also feels that Osgood is a wonderful caregiver to her mother. Bell receives a variety of supplies such as Ensure, meals and much more from the county.
“Overall, all of the staff members at the Hillsborough County Bloomingdale Adult Day Service Center are very caring for your loved ones,” Osgood said.
For more information, visit www.hcflgov.net/aging. Staff are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and the Aging Services Customer Care Team can be reached at 272-5250.