Photo courtesy of Sagewood at Daybreak
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Leaving her home of 40 years was not an easy decision for Shirley Hill. Finding a new home was much easier, thanks to her daughter, who found Sagewood at Daybreak.

When her husband passed away seven years ago, Shirley tried to stay in her Bountiful home. Over time, caring for a yard and house became too much, and she decided it was best to move. Her daughter took her to visit Sagewood and she “fell in love” — that was two-and-a-half years ago, and ever since, she simply calls the community “home.”

“I have a bright, sunny apartment and Buster gets up on the bed and barks at the cars,” Shirley says with a laugh. “It’s just fun.”

Buster, a 7-year-old chiweenie, is her companion dog. Last week, the staff at Sagewood threw a birthday party for Buster, who has become somewhat of a celebrity among the residents and staff.

“You’d be surprised at the number of people who came and sang happy birthday to Buster,” says Shirley. “When people bring in their children or grandchildren, he always greets them.”

Buster also tags along with Shirley and her friend, Donna, each week as they hand out bouquets of flowers. The flowers were Shirley’s idea — it came to her when she realized Sagewood was discarding the previous weeks’ flowers every time they put out the new, fresh floral arrangements that adorn the community.

Shirley decided she could take the good flowers from the old arrangements and make bouquets to hand out to different ladies each week. She says that many of the women, especially the widows, haven’t received a bouquet of flowers in years.

She asked her friend Donna, who lives next door to her, to help with the arrangements. The two of them rounded up nine vases and got to work cutting the stems and arranging the flowers into bouquets.

“There’s nothing like a bouquet of flowers for a lady,” says Shirley. “I just thought maybe those flowers would cheer up some people a little bit and make them smile, and it does.”

They insist the bouquets are not from them, but from Sagewood: at Shirley’s request, the staff printed up cards saying as much. On the back of the cards is a request to return the vase so it can be used again.

Shirley says giving out the flowers is a lot of work, but it’s also a lot of fun. She says she is sincerely grateful to Sagewood for letting her and Donna do it. But, she says that’s just how it is at Sagewood — people are so kind. She says everyone smiles and greets you, and the people who work there always have a big hug.

“Sometimes, when you get older, you just can’t take care of yourself and your home,” Shirley says. “Thank goodness our kids are able to find a place like this for us.”

Sagewood at Daybreak: Come to an open house May 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and see for yourself what makes our community a home.